The greatest love stories are those you don’t really expect. The ones that come upon you and take you by surprise like a wonderful maelstrom. This one starts with me, 5 weeks pregnant. I had 24/7 sickness for weeks on end. I threw up everywhere. I do mean everywhere. Then we were evicted because the landlord wanted the house back. At seven months pregnant, I became a first time homeowner of a house that had to be gutted and rebuilt. At eight and half months I’m on my hands and knees the whole day painting trim, deciding on paint colors, and putting together furniture. Just as the final piece, a new furnace, is done installing I go into labor. Twenty six hours of natural – and I do mean natural – labor later, I have a baby girl. I take this human being home and despite being wounded, torn apart, and exhausted start taking care of her.
Two weeks go by. Two weeks of utter exhaustion, of sleeping a total of three hours in half hour spurts, of a crying baby I have no idea what to do with. Two weeks of me crying and thinking I made the biggest mistake of my life and wishing I could take it all back. I think I’m an awful mother because I’m supposed to be so happy and in love. Then she finishes nursing, and I put her over my shoulder to burp her. And she spits up blood.
My mother-in-law panics. My mother panics. Suddenly my heart starts breaking in half. I look at her and all I want is for her to be fine. My midwife tells me to go to the emergency room.
I panic. I stop breathing. I stop.
In emergency she stops spitting up blood. They check her vitals. And they examine her thoroughly. She’s fine. She’s clearing out birth blood that’s been in her system and is just now being purged. I have a healthy baby girl. I get to take her home. I breathe again.
I come home and get to hold my baby girl all night because she can’t sleep if she’s not lying on me. I get to feed her, change her diaper, figure out how to soothe her and stop her crying. I get to be robbed of sleep by her. I get to be frustrated by her. I get to wake up at 1:30am, 2:30am, 3:30am and so forth. I get to do all this because she’s strong and she’s fine. Nothing, nothing is as bad as that feeling of not knowing if your child is well, or the fear of losing her. In that moment, I realized my love for her. In that moment I realized that I have never felt so strongly for another being in all my life. She is the greatest thing I have ever done. I appreciate every moment I have with her. My heart is whole again. But it’s so fragile. Because it’s living outside of me.
I’m thankful every day. She makes me laugh every day. She chases the dog everyday – sometimes she even wins. And she amazes me everyday.
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