And just like that, she was born. Autumn Nadine Taws. It was the moment I hardly dared to picture.
Someone I love wrote to me earlier this week: “When your new one is safely in your arms, you will know that you have been on a hero’s journey and have touched shore.” And what a long journey it has been.
After two losses, it agonizing to decide whether or not to continue along the path to a third child, but we did, and now she’s here, nearly two years after we were forced down a route that we could not imagine. She is my “chance” baby, taking a chance, a third chance at a third child. Baby Three.
Her middle name, Nadine, means “hope.” It was that hope that got us to this place. Holding our baby.
One day more. Another day another destiny.
-from ‘Les Miserables’
I don’t have much to say, on the eve of my c-section. I heard Quentin yell from his room this morning “ONE MORE DAY!” One more day of kick counts. One more day of injections. One more night of anxiety-related non-sleep. By this time tomorrow, we will already be at the hospital.
I have had prompts planned out for myself for months, to help keep me writing, now down to the last one. Below are some lines I’ve compiled over the past few weeks.
Let the world stop spinning
Let me hold hope for a quiet minute
And shake dusty anticipation from my hair
How did I arrive in this place?
224 days ago, such a remote possibility that I would see this day
It was such a faint, faraway moment
A tiny glimmer, flicker of shape
Hope in becoming fully formed
A thousand tears and shaking breaths later
Pounding heart and aching limbs aside
Every day, every hour, a step
Now, final inches ounces pounds
Moments running out of time, into time
Certainty in the unknown
Writing to anchor the moment in time
Heed the final space on the path
I can see it ahead, reach it
Touch it with only the slightest quiver
Fully formed, running out of time
Waiting for that final cry
“Mommy is this our last baby?”
Yes, this is our last baby, I responded to Quentin.
“But what if this baby dies?”
Then it will just be you and Theo.
“And then we would be really sad?”
I have unintentionally drawn a line between my pregnancies. I noticed it when writing the other day. I referred to my “previous pregnancies” but I meant only my pregnancies with Nelle and Iris. I wasn’t referring to my pregnancies with Theo and Quentin.
Now I need to make another decision: do I want a tubal ligation with my c-section? Continue reading
You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served. -Nina Simone
There is a difference between the physical act of listening and the active experience of hearing. I write, so that people may listen. Listen to my pain, listen to my fear, listen to my grief. Many listen. Not all will hear. Continue reading
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