Sunday, February 18, 2007

Birth

All these years I have treasured my memories of being pregnancy with my son and of the birth, knowing that those were my experiences and memories and no one could take them from me.

With my daughter, the pregnancy and birth were different, as were my feelings about them. I attributed much of this to knowing I would be raising her, afraid of losing/replacing my previous memories, and terrified of actually being a parent. (My mother's phrase of 'be careful what you wish for' would loop through my head and I would worry that I was getting myself into something I may regret, after all - I hadn't been good enough to parent before, why would I be now?)

I realized a few months ago that I don't have distinct memories of my daughter's birth and I began to wonder why. After all, both births were alike as far as duration (short) and drugs (none). And it has slowly dawned on me - her birth wasn't the beginning of the end of my relationship to her so I have many more memories - and all are equally beginning to fade because there are more every day. That is what is different. The story hasn't ended.

I've read other bloggers who have lost babies to adoption and death write about how unnatural it is for your body to not nurture the child - for example, how a mother's milk comes in and there is no baby to nourish. That makes sense. But the memories thing ... the ongoing cycle of life that isn't strictly physical, and not necessarily emotional ... for the first time I realize how truly, truly unnatural it is to let go of your healthy newborn baby, to let the story end.

1 Comments:

Blogger Maxine said...

Having my daughter was surreal, so strange to be able to HOLD her after she was born, imagine.

I never thought about this before. I know the story of my daughter's birth, and I remember a few things, but in general, my memories are pretty hazy. It's been 22 years since my son was born, and time has definitely dimmed things, but the memories I do have of his birth are much more clear.

Both of my deliveries were short and drug-free as well.

When I was pregnant with my son, I would often hug my big belly at night. Knowing I would never hold him as my own baby once he was born, I guess I had to do what I could. The first night at home after he was born, I was in my bed, looking around thinking how strange my teenaged room was after what I'd just been through, and instinctively put my arms to my belly, only he wasn't there anymore. I didn't feel that empty until I had a miscarriage almost two years ago :(

1:19 PM  

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