Balance

Dear Kale;

Today marks your nine month birthday and while I have so far not written you public letters or hardly even marked each month as it ticks by, this one is special as you have now been out of me for as long as you were in me and I feel like the scales are balanced. I feel like we’re balanced. I really trust you, Kale, and I trust myself when it comes to you. I wanted to write you a letter today to tell you about how you were born, but to do that, I have to go back to when you were started.

I found out I was pregnant with you on a Sunday.  I woke up really early that day and I felt compelled to go and take a  test and sure enough I was pregnant. I cried, in the bathroom, and in that few seconds I felt everything about me change. I crept back to bed and I woke up your Daddy and waved the test around in his face until he clued in what I was trying to tell him. I went to the walk in clinic and got confirmation and we figured out your due date was June 26th.  Those first few weeks everything was a blur, because I was dying to tell the world about you but was supposed to keep it a secret at first. In the interim, your Daddy and I found a very nice midwife named Linda and I went for an ultrasound and it was the first time, Kale, I got to see you and see your heart beating and you took my breath away because you were just. that. beautiful. I started calling you the Grey Blob and for a little while, I wanted to name you Grey.

I have never cried as much in my life as I did the nine months you were growing inside me, unless you add up all the tears that first two weeks after you were born. I had always assumed that tears were the result of sadness, and so from the moment I found out about you, I learned that sheer joy could make me cry, too. We were lucky, Kale, and other than some routine tests and some troubles sleeping and some other minor annoyances, I had an easy pregnancy with you. I remember the exact moment I felt you inside me – it was early at 14 weeks – and you bubbled at me while I was at a meeting. Now, I’ve already forgotten what my belly felt like when I was big with you and so I look at pictures to remind me. I have to remind myself every morning what your kicks felt like because I am scared my heart can only remember so many things and you kicking me from the inside is something I don’t ever want to forget.

When your due date came and went, our very nice midwife Linda sent me home with some herbs to make a concoction with and I drank it down and was very disappointed that nothing happened. Ten days after you were due, it was a Sunday, and I checked into the hospital for induction. We first tried a gel and after two separate doses of that and being sent home in between each time, I still wasn’t in labour, although there was a bit of progress. I guess you liked the climate controlled house I had built for you, and you didn’t want to come out! On Monday, we checked into the hospital for good this time, and I knew I wouldn’t be leaving that building without you. I was really scared, but I was so excited to see you.

They started the IV to make me go into labour and I felt a contraction for the first time and I was startled at how strong it was. You and I worked for a long time, and we laboured all day together. Late in the evening, I asked for an epidural. I knew it meant I wouldn’t feel you anymore, but I was tired, sweetheart, and I needed some relief and I knew I couldn’t make it the many hours more they were telling me it would take. Those hours after the epidural had been given passed by so quietly and so slowly and every second ticked by like an eternity and although they told me to try and get some sleep while I could, I lied there thinking of you, and wishing it was over so we could be together. I felt very alone in those hours, even though your Daddy and Linda were usually there with me and the constant swoosh swoosh of the machine beside me told me you were there, too.

In the wee hours of the morning of July 8th, Linda told your Daddy and I that she wanted the obstetrician to have a look to see if he agreed with her and he did. You were simply not in the right position and they agreed to give us some more time to see if you could sort yourself out. I guess we were both just tired, my love. And so when the doctor came back hours later and quietly and apologetically told us that it just wasn’t possible because your head was deflex and you were starting to show signs of exhaustion too, well, my little soldier, I knew you weren’t going to come out the way nature intended and I signed the consent forms for a cesarean birth. The doctors and nurses and even the very nice midwife Linda slipped out and your Daddy and I spent a few moments crying together. Crying for what didn’t happen the way we wanted but also crying for the relief of the bad things that could have happened to you that hadn’t.  We were prepped, your Daddy filmed us going to the OR and in a flash, there you were in our arms.

I have never felt love like you before. Never.  You were born on a Tuesday, at 10:45 in the morning, which I have always felt is a very sensible time of day. You weighed 8 pounds and 3 ounces and had auburn hair which fell out really quickly and because you had been inside me so long, your skin was peeling off in dry sheets. Your daddy took you up to our room and I went to Recovery where I retched up drugs for an hour. You had visitors – your Nana and Grandpa and your Gran and Grandpa all came to see you and they were there when I arrived in our room.  But soon, they all left, and your daddy and I just swooned at you, so deeply in love and so very scared all at once.

The very nice midwife Linda came and told us that the official name for what happened to you was positional cephalopelvic disproportion which means that the position you were in caused your head to be too big to fit through me because you had your forehead thrust back. A nurse told me she calls babies like you “stargazers” and I love how poetic that sounds and I decided right then and there to always think of it that way instead of us not fitting together properly. Because we do fit together perfectly.

So here we are, my little man. You’re nine months old now, and you have been ticking off milestones like mad, I can hardly keep up these days. You can crawl and you’ve just learned to pull yourself up on things, and you’ve even begun to take a few tentative steps as long as I am holding your hands or as long as furniture is there to hold you up.You hate sitting because it’s so boring and stationary. You have an incredible sense of humour. A few weeks ago I took you to the park and put you on a swing for the first time and you closed your eyes in bliss as you felt the sunlight and the wind rushing by. Your eyes are the same colour as mine. You’ve just figured out how to hold your cup and drink from it. Your favorite foods are oatio cereal and still bananas. You adore the dog. Your hair is finally growing in now – strawberry blonde. You still struggle with dry skin. You are obsessed with the dog dishes and we race to get to them all the time. You love the water.

You’re an incorrigible flirt. Your eyes light up when your Daddy gets home and when I hear the garage door opening I make sure I turn and look at your face when your Daddy walks in so that I can see that expression every day. You wear your heart on your sleeve and I hope you always do. There are some days when we frustrate one another and there are other days where I just want to rub my mouth on the top of your fuzzy head and never let go.

Life is balanced, Kale and you have completed me, like the last piece in a puzzle in which I didn’t know a piece was missing. Now that you are here, I can see the whole picture and what a beautiful picture it is. I will always be here for you, my wee man. Always.

Love Always and Forever,

Mama

9 years ago

6 Comments

  1. I’m not a mum nor will I ever be, and I most certainly did not need that cry today. Especially at work!

    But, thank you regardless.

    It posts like this one that make me sit back and take notice of the daily things I take for granted.
    The love ones I’ve found and gained, the love ones I’ve known and lost. And all the other, “stop and smell the roses” stuff that make me a greater person for those experiences.

    What a great post! Yes your life is balanced and I wish you many many more moments like this one.

    I hope this post touches Kale profoundly, and remembers it when he chooses to start a family of his own, and your grandkids will know the love in which their daddy grew up in.

    xo

  2. The is really a sweet post. When Kale is older he will have a very special memory from his “Mama”. He won’t get it in his younger years and of course as a teen he will think it’s dumb but I am sure when he has children of his own he will know just how precious this post is. It is amazing when you see your children grow up and become the special people you and your brother have become. I wish I could have done something like this for you and your brother. This is a very special treasure and you are doing a wonderful job! Kale is a very lucky boy to have both you and Ross as his parents.

  3. Oh my goodness Jen. You and I have never met but I so enjoy reading your blog. Such beautiful, heartfelt thoughts today! How lovely to read this and remember what it was like when I was pregnant with my son 19 years ago.

    He found out yesterday he has been accepted into a program that will take him away from home for 10 months. He is on his way out into the world and is terribly excited. I was too until I realized I’m going to have to let go!

    I think I’ll go home and write him a letter this weekend that perhaps he can read on one of those days when he might be feeling a little homesick 🙂

    Happy Easter!

  4. Absolutely beautiful Jen, you brought me to tears.

    I think this is the kind of letter we all wish we could have from our Moms.

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