It has been about two and a half weeks since our baby's birth, and the world I live in now is very different than the one I inhabited before he showed up. I feel like I'm on the other side. As if I've climbed Mount Everest and can see a vista I didn't even know existed -- and can appreciate a human experience that I only poorly imagined before. I think I would sound trite if I tried to describe all of the changes I have gone through, but I'm sure anyone who has been through this can relate. My relationship to my body, to my sense of self, to my family and others... nothing is the same.
But despite that, having our little guy feels so completely natural. It feels like he has been with us forever. He feels so right when I hold him in my arms. And when I press my nose against his skin, he smells exactly as he should, and I can't get enough of him. When I look at him, I fill with an aching feeling -- a determination that I should -- that I have to -- do right by him. Please let me not fail him.
There are so many moments in the past two and a half weeks that I want to preserve. Like the second when they pulled his writhing grey body out and laid him on my chest -- and how I cried when I saw him. And how he has grown so miraculously fast that he seems like a different person already, and it hasn't even been three weeks. And how much it warms my heart to see Jeff hold our baby and talk to him with the most engaging of conversations, even as he changes the fifth consecutive diaper in less than an hour -- he who always declined to hold other people's babies. And the tireless effort of my mother to mother me after the delivery -- and to see her hold our little baby and to know that she must have held me the same way 38 years ago. And to see my father kiss our child, even though I had never seen him kiss anyone as long as I've known him.
I am filled with emotions, and I can't seem to contain them. Life seems so tender, as if it would bruise so easily. But it is also very soft, and it is in this softness that I have been living in the past two and half weeks. Let us stay here a while...