Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Love-crazed baby addiction

I just re-read the last posting I made and I am thinking about that little thing I wrote about the way I love Liam being too complicated to explain. And it really is. He's always going to be (is he always? or will this change?) the result of me having my two babies so close together.
I really want to write down Liam's birth story, but I know I am going to be called to pull two, sweet, wet children out of the tub in about 2-3 minutes, so I have to wait on that one for a day or two. But the gist of the circumstances of his birth are as follows.
When your baby dies, and I think especially when she's your first and you are left with NOTHING, you have this pretty awful situation at hand. You just had a baby, you just had revealed to you the secret of life: this love that is huger than huge, this privilege of adoration and creation that you never anticipated, and then she is gone. Poof. Just as soon as you had gotten the chance to see her beautiful little body, her little fingers and toes and furry shoulders and soft, dark head, she is gone. You drive home, with your empty car seat and the bag all packed with the teeny-tiny clothes, and you wonder, what should I do with these teeny tiny clothes all packed in this little tiny suitcase for the baby that I just held yesterday, who just changed my life forever and who I won't ever see again?
You have a house full of baby stuff, yes, but mostly you have a heart full of baby stuff. You have this huge, open place that was going to be your mommy (or daddy) brain. You have this availability and this giving-ness and you want nothing to do with yourself anymore. You just want to give to your baby, and she is gone, and so what do you do?
We devoted every day to Charlotte, we kept all her things, preserved the nursery, all the clothes, etc. She still lived with us, just not really. But what we wanted was to be parents, real parents, not just lighting candles around the table and sifting through memory boxes and writing letters in a little journal. We didn't want to be just writing beautiful poetry and planting gardens and making beautiful art about her. We wanted somebody who was here, too. We needed to put our energy somewhere, because the Charlotte energy was finding its place in the things we did to keep her here, but the rest of the parenting energy could, in theory, be displaced and bestowed upon another child.
So birth control was out of the question, and it appears that I am quite fertile, so suddenly, quite suddenly, I was pregnant again. Still in the absolute pit of despair, pretty much not knowing what was up from down, and I was pregnant.
Now this was a good thing, really. To be given a shred of hope for a bright future at this juncture was really pretty unbelievable good luck. To think that maybe, just maybe I could feel that love again, was motivating for me to do the things that some people take for granted, like breathe frequently (seriously, if you are ever in a situation like this? there would be moments where I would realize I hadn't breathed in a while. I actually hurt so much I had to think about breathing), eat, drink water, exercise, etc. So I was pregnant, and this was good.
But I wasn't done grieving, and I wasn't done really with my "charlotte only" period that I needed, where I just clung to her with every ounce of my being, and refused to let her go, and figured out, day by day, how I was going to keep her with me.
So the pregnancy was a little weird, with a lot of denial, and a whole lot of fear, and not much trust in my body or even in my tiny, innocent boy who was growing beautifully in my well-seasoned womb.
And then he was born.
Oh, he was born, and that's the story I will tell tomorrow, or the next day. But my world did explode, oh how it did. What a beautiful thing. What a complicated thing. And the love that I have? Huger than life. And the same thing when Aoife was born. I honestly think, and this is so ridiculous that I can't believe I am writing it because it obviously isn't true, but I honestly think I love my kids more than other people do.
To thinkI would write this! But really what I mean is, I love my kids so much, so intensely much, and I am so grateful for them that my image that flies past the blackness of my eyelids when I think too hard about this love is of me lying, face-down, on the ground reaching up for them. I want them so intensely interwoven with me, I feel absolutely addicted to them and entranced by them and I just can't imagine that everyone else in the world feels this way because I am almost CRAZY with the love and addiction for them. I feel that if we all felt this way the world would be full of crazy people. But I know that this is not true, and that perhaps everyone's love is just this strong, but in my mind I secretly like to tell myself that my love is a teeny-bit stronger, just because I feel I am owed that due to the hellish beginning to my life as a mama. (this feeling of being owed things would be a good topic for another day)
So, no offense to anyone, I am sure you all are also completely, gut-wrenchingly, insanely addicted to your children as well, but do you know what I mean? Is it not hard to fathom that other people are also so crazily addicted to their children and are functioning, as are you, relatively normally?
So the wet children beckon, and now I must go and fulfill my addiction by kissing delicious, wet tummies, by rubbing a soft cotton towel through wet, sweet smelling hair, and by kissing soft, tooth-brushed lips and cuddling under the covers. Oh, how divine....


Rixa said...

I am another mama totally addicted to her child. I never ever realized how intense it would be to love a child. We see all of this stuff on cinema glorifying romantic love as the pinnacle of human emotion--ha! It doesn't even come close to the passion I hold for my daughter. You described so well how it feels to love your children. This makes me think...is there a way we can capitalize upon that amazing, crazy energy and somehow change our world because of it?

Birdies Mama said...

oh dear mama!

I can so see how much you adore and LOVE LOVE LOVE your babes, every time I am with you I can FEEL it!

Oh how I long for those days of addictive baby love....of course I am addicted to Birdie!

Becky said...

It makes complete sense to me. Honestly, it does.