A few days ago we spent the afternoon at The Liberty Hotel (my husband is their resident DJ so we spend a decent amount of time in their amazing rooms). We lounged, ate, Smoosh napped, I watched bad television. It was perfect.
My first time staying at The Liberty was when I was about four months pregnant. I slept in the huge kind size bed, butter soft sheets, feathers for pillows.
Princess and the Pea.
Four months is such a fun time. Everything tasted so good. I felt great. I was aching for others to notice my mini baby bump.
I took the longest shower in the morning. They have amazing glass enclosed showers with the perfect amount of light and just the right water pressure. I kept starring through the door into the mirror admiring my new body. The little nest I was growing for my baby bird.
The light illuminate a roundness below my navel.
A glow on my cheeks.
The mirror reflected Hope.
Bright and long.
When I got out I wrapped the long white robe around me and tied the sash just above the bump. At the time it got lost under the material. But it never got lost in my mind.
You were always in the forefront.
My baby bean growing, changing, living within me.
Big Bed.Little Baby.Lounging at The Liberty Hotel.
When I was about 8 months pregnant my husband treated me to another night at the Liberty. Again, we lounged, ate, I complained. I was sick of eating. I was exhausted from waking multiple times every night. No longer did I want attention for my belly but to hide it away as my little secret.
Just for me and your father. Our sweet secret. Hidden gem. Buried treasure.
I was sick of sharing you with the world already.
Again I showered. I remember being frustrated because I couldn't reach a dropped shampoo bottle.
The light illuminated fat thighs.
A bloated face.
The mirror reflected chubs and flubs and small inconveniences piling up.
The towel wouldn't fit around my waist. I had to tie the robe high up, just below my breasts. I was hot. Uncomfortable. Impatient.
After he was born. While Hendrix was still in the NICU, again we had a room. Michael and his son would sleep there so they could be closer to the hospital. The plan was for me to eat, shower, and catch a nap with them before heading back to my baby.
I picked at my food.
I cried in the bathroom.
I changed my mind.
I wanted to go back right away. It had been 45 minutes since I'd left.
My husband pleaded with me to at least relax and shower.
So again I showered. This time I hated the light.
It illuminated the bags under my eyes.
I hated the mirror.
It reflected back my grotesquely empty abdomen.
I sobbed. I cried so hard I couldn't breathe. I gasped for air. Choked on my own tears. I rested my face on the cool stone tile.
I put myself on repeat.
Out loud, I begged myself.
It was in those moments that in my head I wrote this and this.
So on our perfect afternoon, about three months later, I of course, showered. This time with my rolly, polly, jelly bean.
I pressed him up against me. He sucked on my shoulder. put his fingers to my mouth. This time,
The light illuminated wide eyes.
Rose petal mouth.
The mirror reflected Joy.
Pure, unadulterated, deep and wide as the ocean Joy.
He fell asleep. In my arms. In that shower. The same one where I cried and begged the universe to care for my son. To teach him to breathe. Where I begged myself to do just the same.
How far we have come.