Monday, February 17, 2014

breaths, burps and blessings.

My breaths were stronger this time. 

I was induced at 38 weeks on the nose. Contractions grew with the day until my eyes were closed and the only sound I could hear was my breath. When it was time to push, they came quickly, eagerly. And then their breath filled my ears instead.

Eleven minutes separated them.

First, Solveig Marta emerged with deep and fierce cries. 
She grabbed my finger right away.
Five pounds, five ounces.
Eighteen inches.

Then, Tove Saunders wailed short and piercing cries.
As they turned her toward my chest, 
she peed on everyone at the foot of my bed.
Four pounds, nine ounces.
Seventeen and three quarters inches.

Solveig came home from the Special Care Nursery the same day I did, but Tove stayed a full week to gain weight and work on her breathing. Every day, Solveig and I would get dressed and drive to the hospital to spend 6 hours with her. I high-kicked a handicap door button while holding a diaper bag, pumping parts and her car seat every morning on my way into the Mother Baby Center while thinking, "Oh, a mother's love. How on earth am I doing this?"

Shortly after Solveig came home, Matt and I made an ambitious outing with Jasper. I had three hours away from my pump and parking at the MOA seemed to use two of them. But we moved through the chaos running races, visiting fish tanks, chowing down in the food court, and venturing into Nick Universe just as my milk came in. Matt ran to get tickets while Jasper and I waited in line at his favorite ride. I was tuckered and sore, but blessed by the small hand clutching mine with delight.

It's all milk and burping around here, which is difficult for Jasper. Tove came home the afternoon we were to celebrate his third birthday. Help from the village ensured that the girls stayed out of the spotlight and Jasper could shine. He spent weeks blowing out practice candles. He's come a long way from the spit eruption that extinguished two candles last year.

Matt and I have a Valentine's Day tradition of Hardee's and this week makes 10 in a row. The year I lived in AZ, I ate at a Carl's Jr. and three years ago we went through the drive thru right after being discharged with newborn Jasper. This year I took a detour after my massage and picked up burgers for me and my man…and chicken strips for our little guy. We smiled while chewing our burgers. For a meal, everyone was quiet.

Someday these three will be fabulous friends. Jasper will want to help and the girls won't barf right after baths. Someday I will return my pump to the hospital and have one drink too many and fall asleep on my stomach for eight glorious and uninterrupted hours. 

But that means someday there won't be tiny breaths and candles and fingers and diapers in my house. That means someday people will stop leaving delicious meals on our doorstep and sending kind text messages and prayers. 

So I'll gobble this up until things change. 
The good, the bad, the ugly.

That's not to say I will "enjoy every minute". Hell, no.
But I will be present in these moments 
because they are amplified by two. 
And five.
And then some.

The breaths, the burps and the blessings.


Mary Hess said...

You write so vividly that it brought back so many memories! One of which was my mantra that I needed to soak it up while it was happening, because it would pass too quickly. On the days when I was so tired I wanted to throw a child out the window I would take a deep breath and remember that this was sacred time. And of course it did pass too quickly. Now my eldest is graduating from college, but I can still remember nursing him in the earliest days of his time with us. Blessings on this journey!

Ellie Roscher said...

stunning, you truth telling, grace filled sage you!