tripping the life unbalanced

Sunday, March 04, 2007

4 years ago

4 years ago tonight marks the eve of Alice's birth. I had a c-section on March 5th, 2003, due to some endometriosis that had plagued me throughout the pregnancy. The plan was for the section to start at 10AM on the morning of the 5th, and about 4 years ago right now we were just returning from an excellent Thai dinner. The last dinner we were to have as just two. We tidied up that night, making sure every last detail was taken care of. We were excited. And scared. Extremely scared.

We lay in bed and talked the night away, even though we knew we had to be up at the crack of dawn to get to the hospital. I was scared about the impending surgery, but mostly anxious to meet the baby. The one we had been talking to, singing to, envisioning and loving before we knew her. I couldn't see myself as a mother, or Matt & I as parents together. Our lives were chaotic, even then, a fact that was reflected in the clutter that filled our hallways and closets. I was nervous I would not be able to step up - to face motherhood full on like I hoped.

And now, four years later, with our lives still in chaos and constant clutter wrapped around me like a shawl, I feel sentimental tonight with the memories of Alice's birth. Because of the section, she was born with fluid on her lungs that lingered for a few days. She couldn't breath on her own for awhile, and was put on a c-pap machine until she was 4 days old. I wasn't allowed to hold her for 4 days.

I have battled anxiety and panic in the past few years, and yes - I could argue that it was parenthood that did that to me. I could say it was being a mother that at times brought the worst in me. But it wouldn't be entirely true, because knowing Alice and being her mom has also changed me for the better. I often feel she created me, and not the other way around.

Even in the first year after she was born, when the anxiety started to show up, holding my daughter could calm me down. Breathing in that milky breath, as I rocked her and desperately tried to carve out my place as a new mother. We were still more like one then, instead of two. She was still just mine. And as much as I embraced and welcome the entry into daycare (oh god you have no idea), it was sad too. Those endless days of just her and I were gone. Forever caught in this type of sentimental remembering.

Just now when I went in to kiss her goodnight, she had fallen asleep amidst a pile of books on her bed. The little baby who never napped, who scared us all in the first few days of her life, the energetic toddler who tantrumed her way through the 2nd year, the preschooler who jumped and danced around the house, the willful child who recently told me "now, I hate you" and "I can never stop loving you" on the same day - this child of mine, she sleeps so beautifully. I feel blessed and lucky and full of love for this child.

4 years ago tonight, she created me.

Happy birthday, baby.



13 Comments:

  • And judging from the awesome woman I had the privilege of meeting last week...what a creation she has made.

    Something that astounded me about her was her eyes...deep sharp penetrating soulful.Courageous. I felt she was looking right inside me.

    Happy birthday to her. And like her momma, she will probably turn out to be a handful.

    By Blogger crazymumma, at 12:04 AM  

  • Happy birthday to her!

    By Blogger metro mama, at 7:40 AM  

  • What a beautiful post! Happy Birthday, Alice.

    By Blogger Suzanne, at 7:49 AM  

  • Happy Birthday Alice!
    I really like the idea that she created you. I had felt that but had never found the words to describe the feeling.

    By Blogger Lisa b, at 8:55 AM  

  • And she is one of the causes for two new friendships. Or more...

    Happy Day Alice!

    By Blogger Marla, at 9:08 AM  

  • Happy Birthday Alice and Happy Birthingday to you. A beautiful story to read.

    By Blogger MotherBumper, at 9:16 AM  

  • wow.

    By Blogger BlogWhore, at 5:22 PM  

  • Hppy birthday to Alice! And congrats to you as well.

    By Blogger chichimama, at 8:37 PM  

  • Crying. That line about your creation was quite moving friend. Now can we go back to talking about Pussycat Dolls and Model please?

    By Blogger scarbie doll, at 3:39 PM  

  • Oh, this is late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    By Blogger Her Bad Mother, at 9:59 AM  

  • This is such an awesome post. Happy Birthday to Alice and, well, to you in a way too.

    By Blogger tomama, at 6:45 PM  

  • How wonderful! Happy birthday little one!

    By Blogger Missy, at 12:48 AM  

  • Love the line about her creating you.

    Happy very belated birthday to both of you!

    By Anonymous karrie, at 5:37 AM  

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