Monday, December 1, 2008

The estrogen ocean...

Today I took a trip. It's a land I once inhabited often, when I had the time to be self indulgent and wallow in what I thought were real problems and troubles.

The land of sobbing and wailing. Have you heard of it?
And what, you might be asking, could take me to this place?

Grab a kleenex and a cup of coffee. Let's talk.

I was wandering out attic. Okay, not wandering since I barely have room to turn around, but I was innocently looking for Christmas decorations...and what did I open instead? Newborn clothes, lovingly washed and packed away, folded into tiny little bundles. Newborn clothes that still smelled like my now almost 2 year old did when she was fresh from the womb.

Her tiny newborn hat.

The first outfit that ever truly fit her. Size preemie, of course.

Tiny booties, tiny socks. Sleeping gowns. Rompers. I became instantly overwhelmed.
Before I knew it, I was sobbing hysterically. I am not an overly emotional person, (not anymore) but I could not for the life of me stop. I had to just give over to it and let it go. It was the first time in a long time I had cried like that. Long, hard, and with purpose. Add all that together, and this, my friends, is what you get.

Every outfit was linked in my mind to a memory of my sweet, tiny, fragile baby. The uncertainly during the last part of my pregnancy, the worry of those first few days when she was so sick. The first joyful and utterly exhausting weeks at home.

I remembered it all. I remember trying to bathe her when she was first home...just a little under 5 lbs at that point (after being readmitted to the hospital for jaundice and dehydration). I was confident in my abilities, but she was so fragile I trembled the whole time. I remember bringing her home and having to keep the Biliblanket on her, keep her temp regulated, wake her and feed her every 2 hours. Waking up to a cold silent house, and sitting on the couch, alone, nursing her. Crying with joy. Crying with sadness. Wondering if anyone else in the world was up and feeling the same way.
I remembered the first time she looked at me while she nursed.

But I mostly remember the love. The huge highs and lows of new love. The moments when I could not get enough of her. The moments when everything seemed to be a battle. I am crying again, now, just thinking of her tiny face, her fingers and toes. Her mouth drawing milk. How she looked when she slept bundled in the sling.
The love hasn't changed. It is still just as deep, if not deeper. See, we know each other now. We aren't strangers any longer. I know her, and I am proud to be her mommy...not just because she is my child, but because she is good. She is good, and funny, and kind. She is warm and affectionate. She makes me proud because she is Lily.
I remember, I am thankful, and I am blessed.

I love you, my sweet sweet baby girl.

(same outfit, nearly 2 years later)