The 4th Trimester

I am slow to integrate changes.  Even as I gazed at my son's still quite blue body for the first time, I didn't feel that it was really happening.  Touching his silky soft, just-born skin was surreal.  I remember muttering some words as I held him to my chest, but even that didn't feel real.  Even though I had labored for more than 9 hours it still felt like it had happened so fast.  And in all sincerity it took me a little while to feel integrated. In those first couple of weeks I remember hearing people say things life "oh have you ever known a love so deep?" and "now that you've had a baby don't you feel like you could do anything?!" My truth was that I felt fragile and numb. It's not that I didn't love my son immediately, but rather there was simply SO much to feel physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually that I allowed myself to not identify with a specific feeling.  Instead, I surrendered to the simple peace of the present moment where love takes the form of eye gazing, stroking, kissing, holding, crying, laughing, stillness, silence.
An all encompassing journey of love, sadness, fulfillment, loneliness, frustration, and joy.

A new life has begun for us and there is simply no going back. I was told again and again that "being a mother is a full time job" and "it will change everything." But what no one mentioned is that being a mother would illuminate all my falsities, all my fears, and all my shadows. For being present to a newly developing life demands, invites, requires such focus, it leaves little room for ego. The 24 hour meditation of nursing, changing diapers, soothing and nursing again is an opportunity to either tune in or tune out. In the long spaces of silences and often solitude with the little one, my mind can be so loud, reminding me of the the rug that needs vacuuming, the garden that needs weeding, the friends I haven't called back or the email that I haven't checked. And the only thing to do is breathe. Surrender. Accept.

And somehow, no matter how tired I am, now matter how lonely or unproductive I feel, the squishy cheek on my shoulder and tiny breath in my ear dissolve all anxieties and soothe all sadness. And yes, there is sadness here. Sadness for the life of a girl-maiden gone. Sadness for romantic nights with my husband dissolved into a diaper changing station. Sadness for the letting go.

And when I let the tears flow and let the worries go, I remember what I am doing. I remember that I have chosen to put a new human being on the planet to steward this Earth in a good way. I remember that I have chosen to show up to this little one fully so he can know trust and love right from the start. remember that I have chosen to become a mother and so THIS is the becoming. This is the becoming wise and patient and mature. This is the becoming aware and awake to the potential of unconditional love.