Wednesday, January 11, 2012
when a baby rocks your world
this baby changed everything.
now babies are supposed to change things. they are completely dependent. completely consuming. completely wonderful. judah did that kind of changing just like all other totally helpless bundles of joy. but the kind of changing i'm talking about was unique to this experience. judah's birth was a tool. a tool that ripped and destroyed while simultaneously restoring and healing things that were devastated.
the first year of judah's life was very different than the life of my two baby boys that came before. my firstborn was equally wonderful and wanted and celebrated. but he came into a home with a mother deeply affected by depression. a family with opposing views on responding to an infant. the first year with that baby was quite different.
the second baby came suddenly, with no notice. already 7 weeks into life and already knowing so many different caregivers. and this new home, our home, was intended to be temporary like all the others. equally delightful. desperately wanted. but quite a different circumstance. full of anxiety and uncertainty.
both of these experiences gave me my two precious sons. i love them with all the depth and fierceness of any mother. they are my boys. but i had lost something that could never be found, never be restored. and i didn't even know it.
until judah came.
all that i had missed, all that was not as it was supposed to be came crashing down on me. i couldn't hold, feed, change, look at, or engage with judah without a stab of pain. my heart was experiencing the beauty of bonding. the brilliance of attachment. and it was new. and oh, how i ached. how i longed. how i grieved. this should not have been the first time i felt these things. and worse than the realization of what i had lost, was the dark discovery of what my beloved babies had lost. it was too much to bear. i could hardly keep my eyes open as i looked stark reality in the face. i cried. i sobbed. for what never was. for what never could be.
in those same moments i was also feeling sheer joy as this time was different. i was fully present with my baby and it was right. and it was good. and it was a salve on the wounds i had carried for so many years. my husband and i were in harmony as we cared for this baby and so many hurts and painful memories were covered with these new interactions.
the arrival of this baby has broken me down and built me up.
what a gift.