Holding him in the middle of the night, anxiety and anger had begun to build at the sleep he had stolen from me. How could such a tiny beautiful creature be so incredibly mean? How could something that came from me rob me of so much so quickly? I had already sacrificed my waist line, my hormones, my breasts, my salary – what more do you want from me kid? He moved his little hand that had been resting on my chest and reached out, bringing my hand out to meet his he wrapped his tiny, three-week-old fingers around my index finger.
You, I want you – he seemed to say with the grasping pulse of those tiny fingers.
Pulling him up to my chest, I breathed him in and the world stood still. Vision, focused, perspective shifted, reality of the moment, the sweet under the radar oxytocin-filled smell of that moment – reminding me of this moment, of life that was here and now, that the margin between exhaustion and joy can be held in the same breath. That a moment is a moment and this too shall pass – but did I really want it to? Was it really that upsetting to have something so unabashedly NEED me, to have a life so devoted to me? To begin to see that in this moment, holding this life, a life created within me, that all of this is fleeting.
Slow down, he breathed in. Be here, he breathed out.
Attack, offense, defense, keeping weapons raised, martyrdom at the helm, fighting against anger, exhaustion, frustration, guilt and worry, my life has always been in preparation for a fight – torches and knives raised high, at the ready. Fighting the good fight, enlisted in God’s army, fighting for a marriage, being a warrior for a cause, shielding my heart, protecting my faith, conquering evil, going to battle in prayer. I was raised to fight an invisible enemy, fight good and evil as it was preached to me. And then, over time, out on that battlefield, I began to lay my weapons down – because, as it turned out, I wasn’t fighting for anything I believed in, and it was fucking exhausting. The disarmament process takes time. PTSD is real. The sifting out of what is true and right seems a life-long process.
Attempting to find the self within that had never been free to surface – my own personal prisoner of war – the neglected girl that the war had forgotten.
Unwrapping the cords that held him within me unleashed the knowing woman inside. Every part of that unnatural birthing process of my second born honored the wisdom within that I had for so long sought from the outside.
Their lives change my world. With tiny fingers, whispy hairs, wide smiles, innocent eyes, simple asks, plans dashed, to do lists put on hold. Hold me mommy? He cries out in the middle of the night. Play with me mommy? He beckons while busying myself with seemingly “important” unimportant tasks. Help mommy? He whines as he tries to put on his own shoes. Will I? And now two, two of these lives realigning my attention.
Swollen with the pregnant idea that life is so much more than I ever knew it to be, it’s so much more complex and simple. It is so much closer to the truth of a heaven we create here on earth – instead of a war we fight. Maybe it’s in the stripping down to nothing, the vulnerability of trusting so deeply in the process, the blood within us instead of the blood we shed, that brings forth life. The call isn’t to fight the contractions but to be carried away in them, to allow them to guide us into the birthing process.
The doing will come naturally, these two lives show me. Be here now; they silently call to me.
Who birthed whom?