Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I first wrote this in the days right after KittyCat was born. I knew that soon the shock would wear down, and my own brain was going to shut off a lot of things to help me cope with it in the longterm. I did not want to lose the emotional weight of those times. Someday when KittyCat is old enough to know this- perhaps when she has her first child- I'll share this with her. There's a part of me that wants to share it with all new mothers facing childbirth; people have told me that this is one of my better works.

While I was trying to fall asleep tonight my mind kept returning to the words near the end of this. Where is my child? Where is my faith that life continues, and as much fear as consumed me in those weeks it was repaid with joy on the flipside. Children are more then blessings. They have a special hold on our hearts that no one else can have. They don't demand, they can't really offer much at first, just dependant on us for all their needs being met. In the process of meeting those needs we build certain bonds. They wrap our hearts around their fingers, and they become a part of the truth that tells us that only the ones we truly love are able to destroy us. A parent cannot shield themselves from that kind of anguish. To shield against it is to deny the love between them, to deny that bond of trust and love that takes an entire lifetime to build.

I was wondering about faith in transitory objects earlier while I was dealing with the car situation. This seems to be an answer. KittyCat is a transitory object. Her entry into the world was surrounded by terrible risks and complicated timing. I learned to have faith in her life, so that I could reach out and open my heart and not be afraid to love her. I was told that if she had lost her fight for life I would never regret loving her, and always regret fearing to love her. It doesn't seem that far a stretch to compare the two situations.

An offering, a post to the cyberspace gods. May these words somehow bring a comfort to one soul. Even if I reach only one heart and give comfort from this piece, I count myself blessed to be able to have it. I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow for two weeks, and I don't know how much posting I'll be able to do in the meantime.

I went down into the darkness
the doctors told me it was time
I was afraid for you
I was afraid every moment of that day, the night
dragged on and on
terror rose in my throat
choked my words
I could not hold my head up high
where are all my brave words
where is my courage
where is my child
I do not want to go down this path now
face to face with it
it’s dark and full of pain
there is no one to go with me
and only the promise that when I reach the other side
you will be waiting for me
where is my mother
I want to see her with my eyes now
to know that I can come through this
where is my child
the doctors are telling me things I can’t comprehend
machines are talking for you and every beep makes me fear
I do not dare to wonder what will happen if they stop
my husband is waiting with me
I can tell him that I’m scared
I know that he’s scared too
he’ll never admit it
your daddy loves you
in the long hours of the night through my fear
I prayed that no one would ask him to choose
they would tell me that I’m silly, if I told them
do not say so, ever, to a woman when she faces the darkness
do not tell us our fears are silly until you, too, walk this path
and still through all those long hours
where is my child
the doctors come at dawn with coffee and breakfast trays
with a rush of alarms and beeping and calm focus they tell us that it’s time
shouldn’t I be the one telling them?
I want to protest this
I take my fear down into the dark with me
no one there to take my hand
no one can walk with me I have to go myself
woke in a room with calm blue walls and my loved ones
and you weren’t there
I was alone in this body again
where is my child
did this happen at all or was it just a dream
I want it to end
I want to skip this part
forget the fear
my words return slowly
pushing my way from the hospital bed
stand on shaking feet
reach for the wall to steady myself
hold a picture of you in my hand
when I can walk to the door and back
they will let me see you
in a wheelchair, they will take me down the hall
my child is in a little plastic box
four portholes to reach in
hands must be scrubbed three minutes with strong soap
before I can gingerly open one window
reach in
put one fingertip to your arm
machines beep again
seeing you here I want to cry
I don’t know you yet
I fought to bring you here
to carry you and give you breath
and you’re a stranger to me
so I’ll return
day after day
week after week
to sit by your box and hold your tiny hand

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