Beautiful and Terrible

Somewhere out in the darkness, a phoenix was singing in a way Harry had never heard before: a stricken lament of terrible beauty. And Harry felt, as he had felt about phoenix song before, that the music was inside him, not without: It was his own grief turned magically to song…” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

It seems to be an infinite juxtaposition, this pregnancy: beautiful and terrible.  Writing has been my transcription of the clash between the two.  The experience has been something like the Russian sage that grows around my mailbox: lovely and sweet smelling, while also wild and uncontrollable.  The beautiful enmeshed with the terrible somehow makes it bearable? Continue reading

Time is a River

Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire. -Jorge Luis Borges

I remember so distinctly those first few hours in my hospital room after Quentin was born. One minute, I was feeling constant movement of a baby inside of me, and then he was born and that feeling gone. I have been feeling this baby move for months. Much as I tried to keep myself detached, thinking that distance would help if something were to happen, it became unavoidable as a steady stream of movement captured my attention throughout the day. In those early days of movement, I had to place my hand on my abdomen to feel it, since the anterior placenta made it tricky. It became easier. I could see the movement from the outside. A constant reminder. It doesn’t mean that I loved Nelle or Iris any less, but the time I had with them was shorter. The bond here has had more time to develop into something tangible.  Continue reading

The Right to Grow

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.
Anaïs Nin

As the days diminish, now down to thirteen, it is a constant back-and-forth between “everything will be fine” and “something terrible will happen.” I spent Friday and part of Saturday in good spirits, mentally thinking ahead to the checklist of things that we need to do once the baby is born, things that I refuse to do in advance. By Saturday afternoon, I was hit with “Something will go wrong. Something has been missed. Or what if there is an unrelated complication?” I was back to a place of not being able to picture bringing this baby home. That it will continue to be just four of us. That all of the expanded space I have allowed in my heart will remain empty. Continue reading