The hormones made everything hazy, as if preparing me for the hinterland I was about to enter.
Because my body had been making you for over seven months, gliding through the gestation of another human so effortlessly that I had no idea that the warm gush of fluid flowing down my legs was my body telling me you'd have to be born before you were ready.
And as all mothers do, I pushed forward in strength lest you be burdened with shouldering my struggles, and girded myself while doctors informed me of your uncertain prognosis ("She could die; she could have neurological damage")
and nurses stuck your head five times to start your IV;
crying quietly ("We don't know what will happen; it's up to her") while even Science confirmed there was something to fear.
And as I shrouded my heart against your loss, the question "Why me?" drummed its punishment, the deep unfairness of what was unfolding taking over; “Why me? Why my baby?” I asked of God and the Universe as the healthy babies went home and, in fear and grief, I shamefully wondered whether I should even let myself love you.
For when you feel helpless, heartbreak feels inescapable.
But days passed,
And as nurses disconnected you--tubes and cords dangling from your 4 LB body, tape anchoring them to fragile, red, transparent skin—and placed you in my arms,
The world whispered the story of a miracle,
And gazing into your face, holding you as you fell into the dream time,
Rocking you into your new life,
I came alive to what I was doing, and I wept,
and there was no hardship,
Because in the sheltered whir of the NICU, with nurses talking, doctors hustling, monitors beeping,
tingling as I bottle-fed you food made from my own breasts, my body vibrated in attunement with a benevolent Universe,
For when your delicate fingers grasped my own you told me that we could always be One,
forever reaching for one another across all possibility,
And in the grace of eternity, Living all moments at once, I did not know why I deserved this beautiful moment, and asking “Why me?” I cried quietly, for even if I only got to hold you for
one second, I knew there was no amount of fear that could stop me from loving you,
And my soul danced in gratitude at the gift God had given me.