Friday, August 13, 2010

Birthday Blues....

Excuse me but I've been a bit emotional the last day or so.
Who me? Emotional? Shocker I know..

I am busy planning Hendrix's 1st birthday.


and if that wasn't enough our dear friends John & Jody have welcomed their beautiful baby girl RoseLee into the world and well that just about done me over. Nothing tugs at the heart strings like a fresh out the oven bebe!
Happiest Birthday Wishes to that lil peanut!!

I am feeling very nostalgic for Henry's early days when I measured his existence in hours, days, and then even mere weeks.

I miss that fresh feeling of a brand new baby in my arms. The curled up body and that sweet baby's breathe. Oh god, I could have inhaled it all day every day. 

Those first few rookie hours where you go from being a single gal to crossing over to motherhood are so overwhelming. The good kind of overwhelming. 
All parents say it but really you have no idea...just no idea... how great it is. How sweet life can be. How profound.
Everything changes.
I miss that newness. The hospital and the nurses. The late night feeding sessions and first times. It is all just a memory now.

The first few weeks of Henry's life were terrifying. I didn't get that joyous birth that I wanted and I remember walking from my room up to the NICU when he was just a day or so old and a father was bringing coffee into the room next door. A room filled with baby noises and happy grandparents and balloons. My room was empty and cold and lonely.
I honestly had been so overwhelmed by the entire experience up to that point that it hadn't even really occurred to me that the other babies were in with their Mama's and Papa's.
It hit me hard, that he was all alone.

I still hate thinking about it.

I crave that happy beginning to go along with our happy ending middle.

Not even gonna lie...I am outright jealous. and yes, I am selfishly jealous for myself because I so so so wanted that "Happy Birthday" moment where they would place his gooey, squirmy body on my chest and my husband would swoop in and cut the cord but I am even more jealous for my son. Because he so so so deserved that
It's not fair. I struggle with that. even now. with the unfairness of it all.

Soon it will be time to celebrate his 1st birthday. This one? Oh, he will get that "HAPPY BIRTHDAY' moment. Mark my words...I mean, really, it is two months away and I have been planning/crafting/planningsomemore non stop...can you say obsessed??

I've told you all my birth story. But never what happened next. So here it is...

The morning after Hendrix was born. When I was finally able to come up and see my boy they wheeled me in a chair down that NICU hallway. The last room on the left. The sun poured in and there he was, under a blanket of wires and bleeps and looming machines, asleep on a table, lips puckered in a little O, lookin like an angel,and I nearly died with love. Crazy, undeniable, all consuming love.

and guilt. Guilt that he wasn't snuggled in the cloud covered blanket I had lovingly washed and packed away being drenched in kisses and happy tears from loved ones in our room down stairs while aunts and uncles sipped celebratory coffees and ate birthday breakfasts.

The nurse said "Oh, he was up earlier. I snapped a few pictures, he has blue eyes"

Talk about a slap in the face. She meant no harm I am sure but it hurt.
I wasn't there on his first morning awake.
I wasn't there to show him his first sunrise.
I wasn't the one snapping his first photos.
I wasn't there to discover his ocean blues.

Falling asleep in the maternity ward with a picture I didn't take of my newborn son taped to the hospital bed was by far one of the hardest things I have ever done.

I still struggle with it.

The fact is I can't change the past. I'm pretty good at staying positive and I have so much to be positive about. I got very lucky with this little man but...still...
I struggle.

As a parent...what do you struggle with?


  1. I'm so sorry you and little Hendrix didn't have the ideal first moments together. I know what it feels like to have that gut wrenching feeling of "this was not perfect, it should have been perfect, there's nothing I can do to go back and make it perfect.. just perfect.." Maybe not as a parent, but in other ways. I think it's great that you're a writer... writing helps so much for me as well.. but your words are so palpable that all of us readers ultimately carry some of those words, and some of that pain for you, and hopefully you'll feel the weight of it all lift as you write more and more.
    So have fun planning! and I'm sure you guys will give him the greatest birthday celebration ever! xoxoxoxoxo

  2. wow thanks. i teared up a bit. that was one of my fav comments of all time so thank you. i needed to hear that.

  3. Much like the comment above me, I can understand the heartache of not having the best moment in your life occur just like it should have, just like you've imagined it in your dreams for years. My husband wasn't able to hear our son's first cries or see his eyes look at our world for the first time. He wasn't able to hold him till he was four months old. I struggle EVERYDAY with the fact that he never knew how tiny his toes actually were. He never got to change a first tar-like diaper. All the firsts in our son's life are just stories being told for him. He'll never know what it was like to be a zombie, sleep deprived new parent. And he'll never know how many times I cried rocking our new child in his glider while he screamed from colic. It kills me. It kills him. And I worry about how we will tell our son the important reasons why his daddy wasn't there. Why instead, he was overseas.

    I hope as time passes, we both are able to cope easier with our struggles. We all have them and you are a wonderful mother.

  4. PPD was a bitch. I regret everyday how I acted, and what I missed out on for the first 6 weeks of Evelyn's life.

    It is not something we talk about in my family. It is not something I ever want Evelyn to know. I don't want her to know, how I thought about adoption, weeks after she was born just so I could "be 18"

    I don't want her to know that I slept in the bathtub with the door locked, so no one could come get me when she was crying. So she couldn't look at me with those eyes that begged me to just LOVE her.

    I only want her to see me as I am now. A young mother who is focusing on school, and the important things in life. The mother who loves her unconditionally, who'd die for her. I want to be successful, for her, and all my children. I just want her to be proud of me.

  5. I've been following your blog for a while. First time posting.

    Firstly I love your blog. Secondly I can relate to how you feel about not being there for your little man after his birth.

    After the birth of my little girl I vomited non-stop for seven hours. I was so ill I couldn't even sit up in bed. I couldn't hold her. I couldn't even see her properly. For the first 48 hours of her life I was so ill and stuck in bed. I couldn't hold my own daughter! I felt extremely guilty for not being there for her! After all I was her mother. For a long time afterwards I couldn't stop thinking that I wasn't there for her in those first two days of her life. I cried a lot about it and felt like such a bad mother. But at some point I must have let that all go. I don't know when but for a long time now it hasn't bothered me at all. I missed the first two days but have had many days with her since then to make up for it.