Ours: A Story of Bringing Home the First Baby

Ours: A Story of Bringing Home the First Baby -postpartumprogress.com

I can’t. That’s what I thought.

I can’t.

We pulled in the driveway over four years ago, me in the back seat with this new foreign person, aching in every way. And I thought those words. I thought, I can’t.

I asked his Daddy to take the baby in without me, to introduce him to the dog without the excitement of me, the dog’s everything, in the picture. So I stood outside and shivered in the heat alone, looking around at everything being different than it had been just a few days before, all overly bright and textured from the pain pills. Standing there in my suddenly roomy maternity shirt, I shivered. Empty.

Ryan came out and said everything was going fine. The dog sniffed the baby and the baby slept. There were no big events as I had imagined.

I walked up the steps, not quickly because of the surgery, and passed through the door. I looked down at the sleeping child in the car seat. Our child. My child. In our house. My house.

I walked slow circles in our tiny living room, trying to figure out what to do. My Mom and my husband said that I should take a nap, but I don’t do naps. I just nodded and repeated over and over that they should get me if the baby needed to eat, and I disappeared into our room, knowing I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I sat down, frozen and staring, thinking and thinking.

The baby, I thought.

Our baby.

My baby.

Our life.

My life.

Different. Changed.

It was all new and foreign and big and too much. What was ours and mine and we and us was over and done and final and past.

There was a new ours and a new us that I didn’t yet know and it scared me.

I sat on the bed and shook with fear and tears like never before. Until I was empty. And then I called for him, my husband. The we from before. I told him the truth. That I was sad and alone and hurting and scared. That this wasn’t anything like the movies or the books and that I was guilty and ashamed for feeling so empty and alone. I told him that I didn’t know what to think of the fact that my life would never ever even once be the same again. That I was grieving that. That I was sorry. Sorry that I didn’t know I would need to do that. Sorry that I wasn’t prepared for it. Sorry that I felt sorry.

Then that tiny boy, that little sleeping guy opened his big blue eyes and asked to eat with screeching sounds. And I loved him deeply despite my shaking and shivering. So I sat for the first time on the bed that was once ours and mine with this new baby on top of that macaroni shaped pillow thing that everyone said I needed to have. I struggled to get him all lined up and open-mouthed to eat.

I struggled. And I loved him enough to share something that was mine and ours and now his.

Me.

::::

Tonight, over four years later, he was pounding on the door on those same steps I walked up slowly when we first brought him home. After playing outside with Daddy and his brother and the dog, he was screeching and wanting me. He cried, Mama! Mama! until I ran for him and opened the door. I was there like before and I asked him, What sweetie? Why the fuss?

Mama, I needed you. My hands are cold.

So I pulled off his mittens and I covered his hands with my own warm ones. Because they are mine and they are his and they are ours.

And I can.

 

{This post was originally published at The Extraordinary Ordinary in 2009 when the now almost ten year old boy, the firstborn, was just four years old. He continues to glow with magic and we are ours.}

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Comments

  1. this is exactly how I felt. now he is 3 and I would so love for him to have a sibling but Im to scared to go through it all again.

  2. So beautifully written. So achingly true. That was the beginning of anxiety for me, that pure terror of all that had changed.

  3. I have thought “I can’t,” more times than I can count. Especially in those early days. I’ll just be over here, ugly crying. Cathartically.

  4. This is so beautiful. Being in the thick of things (6 weeks postpartum) and reading this gives me home