I prepare now to enter into the liminal space where created life moves from the divine unknown into the worn, faulty hands of flesh. They say that you cannot see the face of God and live. To welcome the newly born might be just like that. Just as this baby boy will emerge from this divine-human threshold, we will perish and be born anew. A new me will emerge – born of death and resurrection and heeding the call to go out and embark on a whole new world.
For the ones who receive the newborn into our care, standing in the threshold is a risky place to be. The only way to the threshold is through pregnancy pains or adoption anxieties. The pressure weighs heavy, distorts our very physical bodies, and leaves us trembling before the mystery.
Eleven months and ten days after his first arrival in this world, it’s time to say goodbye to the intimate role of being the source of nutrition for my youngest. As the days come to an end, I give thanks for the blessing that it was – to nourish, to comfort, to sustain this little life from my own. It was gift. It was blessing. From the early days in the hospital to the grueling first months. From the return to work with all the embarrassing mechanics to the nighttime bedtime routine with all its sweet tender moments.
Since the beginning when we savored that first golden hour after birth, there has been an invisible tether that kept our personhood interwoven together. We have been two human bodies in deep need of one another, sharing in our fragility and strength in a way in which no other human relationship can compare. Continue reading
Scanning the piles of winter clothes still not given their proper place in my closet, I stand in frustration as I try to pick out the clothes for the day. Squeals begin over the monitor from my six-month-old whose hunger demands my presence. It is another morning in which I must find the right loose-fitting top that covers up the belly that remains from pregnancy.
I am blessed to have been able to carry two children in pregnancy and to have access to medical professionals who delivered them safely via caesarean section. My children are the ultimate source of joy and gratitude, AND YET how is it that I look at my belly with contempt now that it is empty? Continue reading
Machines beeped as the straps monitored the baby squirming around in my belly. Little room left, we were only hours away from meeting him for the first time. We settled in for the long labor ahead… a book in my dad’s hands, needlepointing in my mother’s hands, and an iPhone in Drew’s hands. I leaned back and closed my eyes. Unable to take in all the anticipation, I tried to quiet my mind but I couldn’t help but wonder about the pain and ecstasy of bringing this baby into the world.
Breaking the silence, the nurses came flooding in. Drew stood to read the monitors and my parents emptied their hands as the nurses acted. They were quick, calm, but anxious – turning me on my side and placing the oxygen mask on my mouth. “The baby’s heart-rate is too low – he can’t handle these long contractions.” A needle stuck in my side aided in returning his heart-rate to normal but the words “you will probably need a c-section” lingered in the air. Continue reading