All posts tagged: featured

Things I Won’t Forget: The Hospital

My little love came screaming into the world. Obscured by a powder blue curtain, his was a voice I’d never heard, but that I knew by heart. “He’s here,” my husband whispered. The wail that escaped my body took with it the fear that had held siege since the moment they wheeled me into this unexpected surgery. Screaming, furious, and beautiful, he was here, and I was fine. Their words about risks fell away… The heightened dangers that this commonplace surgery had for me, ever the uncommon case were far away now that I knew: he was here. And, I want to remember that. I want to remember the moment that I stepped down from my perch to allow someone’s life to matter so much more than my own. I never want to forget how Elliott made me brave by simply being born. —– It wasn’t until our second long night that Elliott and I clicked into place. He was born at 10:18pm on Thursday, and that first night was spent in the delirium of …

(Not) Love at First Sight

02.16.2007 I had been divorced 27 days when I met him. Decked out in my favorite jeans and a striped black top that afforded a peek-a-boo look at my fuchsia bra beneath, I felt like hot stuff. What can I say? I was 24-years-old, single for the first time in my adult life, and determined to spend the next year — at minimum — kissing random boys just because I could. And, then I walked into my friend’s apartment, and every plan I had went to hell. First, though, let me back up. She’d called me an hour earlier to tell me that her friend Ryan wanted to join us for our night of planned debauchery. (She’d just broken up with some jerk, so clearly.) “Look cute!” she said. She’d been hoping to set me up with this guy, and out of the blue, he’d called her. Fate, her voice seemed to suggest. “I always look cute” was my quippy reply. So armed with my usual cuteness and a complete lack of expectation, I walked …

Accoutrements of Mamahood

Last night, I discovered what a horrible mama I am. That’s how it felt at least. I climbed into the driver’s seat of our Nissan by myself and made a trip a whopping three miles away. I was nervous being away from the boy for such an extended period of time, but also? I enjoyed the living hell out of it. Where did I go on this momentous trip? Walmart. Yes, super exciting. Walmart has a lot of haters for many good reasons. That’s fine. I get it; I even agree with it. But, back in Greene County, Indiana? That’s all we had, and I still can’t walk into a Walmart — a rarity these days — without feeling a lump in my throat. It makes me think of my Gram. It reminds me of humid Sundays mostly spent playing in the yard and punctuated only by a trip to that big store one town over with its cool rush of air and aisles of toys. So, tooling around Walmart last night felt not only …

The Long Days

I dream about him every night. Not Elliott, though he is often right there in the periphery of my mind, but Ryan. I dream about my husband. In these dreams, we are doing mundane things, the basic stuff of life… walking around Target, holding hands, talking. Sometimes, I wake in tears. I miss him. A lot. …which is ridiculous. I am one of those incredibly lucky women who have daddy home right now. He has paternity leave. By the time he returns to work, Ryan will have spent six weeks, day in, day out, with Elliott and I. And, yet, I find myself going through my day barely able to think of my handsome husband without tears in my eyes. I am aware postpartum hormones aren’t kind… or logical (!!). So, there’s that. Plus, we’ve established a sleep schedule that means we never lay beside one another. I generally sleep 10-4, and Ryan goes to bed when I wake. (This will change a lot once he goes back to work.) In the days after the …

Due Date

Today is Elliott’s due date. Like many infertile couples, our due date was easy to calculate. It isn’t a guess at all. So, my precious little love is just now crossing that invisible threshold from negatives to positives. He was born at 37 weeks, 4 days — early, but still full term. Hundreds of times, I imagined his birth. In the later months, it was our favorite topic of conversation: rehearsal. We’d studied, taken classes, prepared, prepared, prepared. I had a very well-researched birth plan that became useless to us almost from the moment we entered the hospital. Our Elliott had his own agenda. So as all of our plans fell away, we did what we’ve done now for years: we made the best of the unexpected. And, it really was the best, because he is here. Hallelujah, he is here. I fully expected to still be pregnant right now. And, that again ties back to the ludicrous notion that I have any control over the whats and whens of such things. Admittedly, I’m glad …

The New Normal

I keep waiting for things to go back to normal. Not because I want that old, childless normal — I adore every aspect of having Elliott in our lives — but, it is more a reflection of the nature of most things in life: sooner or later, things feel “normal” again. I crave that. Years ago, I ended my first marriage. I remember climbing into my mom’s car as we pulled out of the drive, feeling a wistful combination of new chapter-like excitement and exhaustion at the idea of rebuilding my life around the hole my ex-husband would leave. Now, Ryan and I are rebuilding the new normal: a family of three. It is absolutely glorious and utterly overwhelming. That feeling of overwhelm comes mostly in quick flashes. I’ll be elbow deep in a sink full of breast pump parts, when all of a sudden I feel nearly suffocated by the responsibility that comes with taking charge of a helpless human being. I knew that I would love my child. But, I was entirely unprepared …

My Heart’s Desire

His name is Elliott, and he is my heart’s desire. When my own mama was young, younger than I am now, she prayed for her “heart’s desire,” and from that dream, I was born. She’d tell me this with something I didn’t understand shining in her eyes. I understand now. His birth story is a tale for another day. It was long… Long, long, long, and I haven’t really spent much time thinking about it. I’ve heard my husband refer to the experience as “traumatic.” When I think of how the midwives, nurses, and doulas around us treated me with such tender affection, how they cared for me with red-rimmed eyes, how they would pause and rest their foreheads on my knee, or hold my hand, or stroke my face, I know it must be true. It was nothing I imagined, nothing I would have chosen, but in the end, I have my Elliott nestled against my chest as I type this. And this end, of course, eclipses the means. My boy is 10 days …