I am filled with what can only be described as relief. Relief that I got to this place, that this is my life. — Emily Giffin
Dear Body, I’m sorry.
Dear Body, thank you.
When Charlie died, I blamed you. I blamed you for not doing the one thing that was supposed to be the most natural thing you could do. I blamed you for not sending me the signals that something was wrong. I thought you were defective, that you wouldn’t ever be able to do anything right. When we started trying again, I went ahead and blamed you ahead of time in case we were unsuccessful.
When I did get pregnant again, I didn’t trust you. I held my breath for months, convinced you would fail me again, fail the new baby. When we learned the level of amniotic fluid was lower than optimal, I thought of all the ways that could be detrimental to the baby, and I blamed you for not being able to regulate the fluid. After I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I was so angry that you’d become insulin-resistant, and further placed the baby at risk. When the placenta showed signs of being three weeks more aged than it was supposed to, I laid yet another strike against you.
I spent most of the last trimester feeling like I was in limbo, so worried that you wouldn’t be able to sustain her until birth. I was so grateful when they finally induced me — but when the induction failed, it was another in a long list of things that was your fault. Why couldn’t you just get things right?
Body, I’m so sorry. For blaming you again and again, for being so angry, for the times I felt like I hated you. I was so filled with fear that I couldn’t see all the gifts you were giving me.
When Charlie died, there was nothing you could have done to change it. But you tried. You didn’t send me signals that anything as wrong because you were trying so hard to make it not so. You were trying to keep Charlie safe and warm inside for as long as you could.
When we started to try again you got ready right away, and almost immediately Birdy came into existence. While I worried about you failing, you persevered every day to help Birdy grow. You battled the low fluid, the gestational diabetes, the placental lakes, the aging placenta, and my fear — and you did it all while keeping Birdy safe.
Oh, Body, you must have been so tired. And then the induction happened and I willed you to let her go so I could have her outside. The process further exhausted us all but you wouldn’t give up on her. And though I was devastated, your stubbornness meant she got more time to develop those lungs and prepare for the wild world.
Even with my lack of faith in you, you never failed me — never failed us. You have worked so hard this year. Even in my anxious moments, please know I marveled at how you carried her life.
Body, thank you. Thank you for more than I know how to say.
You look different now, you feel different. The stretch marks, the saggy skin, the scar that will come; these are all reminders of what you accomplished for me. Once again you are working hard, this time to help me recover.
I’m sorry I doubted you. Thank you for your strength. Body, you are a warrior.
It’s hard to believe I haven’t really been on here since January, but at the same time, not that hard to believe at all.
Though the past couple months have been chock-full of stuff to write about, the most monumental and literally life changing is that Birdy was born!
I tried my best to fight for what was best for her all the way up until she took her first breath of air, and thankfully she is doing well. But let me tell you, mom-guilt is real and (at least for me) kicked in before she was even technically born.
Right now, we’re getting into some semblance of a routine as a new family of three, and Hubs and I are learning how to operate on less than optimal sleep (which I know is par for the course). So often I look at Birdy and still can’t believe she’s here, that she’s real, that we made a tiny human, that not too long ago she lived inside of me. I get that it’s biology, I understand how it scientifically happens — but that doesn’t change that to me she is some kind of miraculous.
While I’m on maternity leave, in addition to spending much needed time with her, I’d like to pick back up my writing on here. My idea is that over the next couple months I’ll write some new posts that chronicle the last couple months of pregnancy with her, her entry into the world, new mama-dom, and throw in some book recommendations, etc. as well. We’ll see how far I get on this, because obviously Birdy-time is my priority; but as I’ve been told by multiple sources it’s still important to take care of myself as well, and I think this could be part of how I do that.
I’ll love you, dear. I’ll love you till China and Africa meet, and the river jumps over the mountain, and the salmon sing in the street. — W. H. Auden
Although I have been trying to use the library more, sometimes it’s just so nice to get some new books you don’t have to return (I’m a bit notorious for late fees).
Lucky for me, Hubs and my mom gifted me some new books/B&N gift cards for Christmas and my birthday, so I’ve now got a whole delightful stack waiting to be read!
I’ll let you know how they are!
I’ve also now got a newly refurbished waiting-in-the-wings book list for when I need to start up with the library again. Here are a few from that list:
The Someday Jar — Allison Morgan
This is How it Always is — Laurie Frankel
The Hate U Give — Angie Thomas
Sugar — Kimberly Stuart
Marilla of Green Gables — Sarah McCoy
The Shadows We Hide — Allen Eskens
The Bookshop — Penelope Fitzgerald
In Her Bones — Kate Moretti
The Home for Unwanted Girls — Joanna Goodman
…and several teacher-y books 🙂
Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to utilize my local(ish) library more often and make sure I always had a book going. I like to think my habit of reading before bed helps my stress level :-). At any rate, here are some books I’ve read recently(ish) that I would recommend:
The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall
I wouldn’t call this a “feel-good” book, but it makes you think and I think the story is told well. The book is told from differing viewpoints of several characters throughout the plot. Some you immediately dislike, as I imagine you’re supposed to, but some you are just rooting so hard for to figure their lives out.
The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel
This is an easier read, but engaging and sweet and nice to have if you’re a right-before-bed reader like me.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Historical fiction based on actual testimony from a tattooist in the concentration camps during WWII. A thinking book for sure, but one where hope is overarching.
I’ve also read several books in the Tracy Crosswhite series by Robert Dugoni. Normally I’m not a huge series reader, but these are pretty good, especially when I get an itch for a suspenseful read. https://www.robertdugonibooks.com/books
I know there aren’t many recommendations here, but many of the books I’ve read in November/December were mainly pass-the-time reads…as I like to think we all have from time to time.
The Eskimos had 52 words for snow because it was that important to them. There ought to be as many for love. — Margaret Atwood