Baby

 

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. 

 

Comments 2

 
Rosy Cole on Saturday, 14 May 2016 12:25

Wonderful, Amy! And what your post points up so clearly is that at either end of the spectrum of our experiences, whether in tragedy or joy, the question is also worth pondering: Why not me?

Wonderful, Amy! And what your post points up so clearly is that at either end of the spectrum of our experiences, whether in tragedy or joy, the question is also worth pondering: [i]Why not me?[/i]
Amy Brook Palleson on Saturday, 14 May 2016 15:27

Exactly, Rosy! You hit it on the head. Before Julia (the subject of this post) was born, I heard some guy on TV talking about an extreme hardship he was going through but how he was never tempted to ask God/the Universe "Why me?" because he had never once asked "Why me?" when good things happened to him so he felt he shouldn't do it when bad things happened to him.

And it completely hit me, and is probably the very thing that transformed my experience of her birth. Because it's so true: Why on earth do we ever ask "Why me?" when negative things happen to us if we don't also ask it when good things happen? I want to be the kind of person that feels compelled to ask "Why me?" when good things happen!

Thanks for your comment. It was insightful... as always.

Exactly, Rosy! You hit it on the head. Before Julia (the subject of this post) was born, I heard some guy on TV talking about an extreme hardship he was going through but how he was never tempted to ask God/the Universe "Why me?" because he had never once asked "Why me?" when good things happened to him so he felt he shouldn't do it when bad things happened to him. And it completely hit me, and is probably the very thing that transformed my experience of her birth. Because it's so true: Why on earth do we ever ask "Why me?" when negative things happen to us if we don't also ask it when good things happen? I want to be the kind of person that feels compelled to ask "Why me?" when good things happen! Thanks for your comment. It was insightful... as always.
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