When I was in sixth grade, I suffered from hives that covered my entire body. They lasted for six months, unforgiving red circles that itched. I saw doctors, I missed school – no one could figure out what was going on. Finally, the pediatrician said “Let’s run a culture for strep throat – sometimes it can present with hives.” Culture was positive. A course of antibiotics later and the hives were gone. Continue reading
I knew that there would be things I would just do, or handle differently with Autumn than with my bigger kids.
She slept in our room, in a bassinet for a few weeks. The bigger kids were in their cribs from Day One. But with her, I feared that she would stop breathing or something. Having her close to me made me feel better. Continue reading
My pediatrician doesn’t know that I lost two babies. It was timing, really. Quentin and Theo have birthdays in March and September. I had only lost Nelle a few weeks before Theo’s well-child visit in the Fall and there was no reason to bring it up at his appointment. Then lost Iris before Quentin’s visit in the Spring. I was a few months pregnant with Autumn at the March appointment this year but, as I ended up doing throughout the pregnancy, said nothing out of fear that something would go wrong. I think it was a big surprise for the pediatrician when we showed up for an appointment with a five-day-old newborn. Continue reading
It is 3:00 am and I just finished feeding my baby. Not because she woke up crying and hungry. But because I wanted and needed to be with her.
I had met a friend for dinner. Tucked the big kids in so that I was not leaving Ger to fend for himself with three kids at bedtime. There was pumped milk in the fridge. I spent a few hours away. Even had a glass of wine, a first in a long time. And the first time leaving the baby for “fun” versus out of necessity like running an errand or taekwondo class. Continue reading
(Note: I tried to write this on Mother’s Day, but I couldn’t. Finished it up today instead, the first day of my third trimester.)
Of all the deserving mothers, this is written especially for those who are not able to hold all of their children in their arms on Mother’s Day:
Motherhood is a mirror. A mother looks into the glass and expects to see a reflection of herself. The best parts glow under the light. The image stares back at her, expectantly. There is always the layer of sweet glass between her and the image. She can try to improve upon herself, try to make things perfect but if she turns away from the glass, she has no idea if the image will follow. She just trusts that it is there: a reflection, yet an existence of its own.
Add more mirrors and the light will dance and expand and reflect in exponentially larger grace. So it happens when more children are born. More mirrors are added, shining the reflection in new ways, to new dimensions. The mother envelopes them all as an extension of the original image.
If crack appears, the mirror is broken. Sometimes shattered. The mother can still see her reflection but it is distorted, fractured. A permanent jarring. Cannot be fixed. Never whole again.
It is an existential, quiet love that once created, even in the most minuscule form, can never be erased. Can never be replaced. Will always be a reflection outward.