Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I have had seven Mother's days now, one with all my children with me. That was the first, which was exactly thirty six hours before my daughter died.

We walked with our good friends along the river which now has Charlotte's stone along its banks. I remember holding my hands in the air as I walked, they were swelling. It was a beautiful, fresh day. The sun was shining and the apple blossoms were breaking apart, spreading their pale pink petals all across the trail and field beyond and filling the air with perfume. The river snaked lazily along. In my ears, simple gold hoops hung, a gift from Greg for my first Mother's Day.

My father had given me a card that morning, a funny one, in his usual fashion. Also according to the way dad is, there was something changed in the card-- part of the original text that had been crossed out and replaced with his own words, exchanging the word "move" with "come".

On this Mother's Day, Keep this one thing in mind about children-- the card read on the outside.
Eventually, they come out! his words changed the inside to.

How we laughed. Would this baby really come out? Already a week late? But of course! We had only to wait.

I told this story to my friend, Gina, as we walked. We laughed, knowing this was all we had to wait for. This pregnancy was as good as over. I had sailed through, happy and healthy, the baby was robust and vivacious, and we were in the final days. If I didn't go into labour on my own, I would be induced the following Friday at 42 weeks. I was home free.

Gina was so excited for my baby to be born. She is a true baby lover, now a mother of two herself, and there was no hiding the fact on either of our parts that she was living vicariously through me for this pregnancy. Her hands were always on my belly, she was knitting things for the baby. She would be an honorary aunt, for sure.

As we came to the top of the hill, near where our cars were parked, the conversation turned to a family she knew whose baby had died some years before. The family owned a restaurant, and had made a little "shrine" to the baby in the restaurant.
"That's kind of weird," I can remember saying. I thought for a moment, then reconsidered. "Then again, it's hard to imagine how that would feel like."
"Yeah," Gina said, rubbing my belly. "I mean, you've carried this baby for nine months. Can you imagine?"
"No," I said gravely, "I can't." And I didn't. There was no need to, because my baby was not going to die. I, like most people who have never lost a baby, knew this could not, and would not happen to me.

The conversation never crossed my mind again. Until, of course, two days passed and my baby did die. Then I thought about it a lot, a lot.

This Mother's Day was a delight from beginning to end. I awoke after a 12 hour sleep at half past eight to the smell of freshly baked brioche. My children ran to me and crawled into bed with me, covering me with kisses. Upon coming downstairs there was a beautiful, handmade banner in my honour, and a vase of flowers from the garden sat upon the table.
After enjoying the brioche, we walked up to the high school which is up the street and took Liam's training wheels off on the track. He took to it immediately, flying around the track about 9 times before the agenda turned to kite flying and t-ball. It was an amazing morning.
I slept again in the afternoon for a few hours, and when I awoke the children were back at the river. They had a huge tupperware full of various salamanders, larvae, water bugs, and tasty green things to eat. It made my heart sing to live in the woods, surrounded by such opportunity.
The day was made complete by a trip to town and a lovely, early dinner in a favourite restaurant. Bedtime came easily for the children, and now the lawn mower hums outside as the sun drops below the horizon.

This year is the first year that I have broken the tradition and not walked by the river, but it worked for me. The day was perfect, through and through.

But I haven't told you the most exciting part of the day, which came just after I awoke, when I was downstairs examining the banner that the children had decorated. One of Aoife's drawings was of "a big round tummy". Greg asked her to explain to me what that meant, and she told me that my tummy was big and round because there was a baby in it. I laughed, and patted my tummy, which was, in fact, slightly rounder than it has been.
"And what would you children think," I asked, "If I told you that there really was a baby growing in there?"
Liam's eyes grew wide. He is a perceptive child, as is his sister, and suspicion had been high in the past week or so. "Is there?" he asked.
"There is," I said. "There is. You are going to have a new brother or sister just before Thanksgiving."

Cheers all around. Cheers, hugs, kisses, and more hugs. Could there be a luckier baby?

13 weeks, folks. The countdown is on.

(And now you know why so much of my Mother's Day consisted of sleep. this, combined with the past seven weeks spent mostly green and heaving, also explains the dearth of posts in the past few months)

27 comments:

ezra'smommy said...

Oh Carol, congratulations! And thank you for this beautiful post.

jojo said...

what a beautiful day. that aoife she really called it, didn't she?! happy mothers day to you, my dear friend and the woman i feel was most put on this earth to be a mom.

Hope's Mama said...

Yay Mama! Counting down with you! I'm hot on your tail, 11 weeks and counting.
Thank you for showing me the way.
xoxo

Shanti Mama said...

Yea! Happy Mother's Day!

kris said...

Carol, Carol, Carol!! What amazing news :) Another sweet one for your lovely family. Lots of love, my friend.

Shannon said...

Congratulaions, Carol! What great news!

Ya Chun said...

Sounds like a peaceful and relaxing day. Congrats on a successful first trimester and the best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

April Elliott said...

From a lurker, never a poster, congratulations! I'm just so thrilled for you and your family!

Delia said...

YEAH!! Congratulations on the new addition to your lovely family! I'm so very happy for you all.

mama said...

crying tears of joy....your beautiful and i love ya so much mama!

Mira said...

Also delurking - what a beautiful day! Blessings to you and that new bean, and to the big siblings. Be well...

mommymichael said...

I know I don't know you besides via the internet, but I can't stop with the tears!

I'm so so happy for you!! Many blessings!!

Anji said...

Long-time lurker popping out to say - Congratulations! <3

THAT GIRL said...

Congratulations on the new life inside you! How wonderful, and what a perfect day! I am so happy for you and your little family.

Happy Mother's Day!

Sara said...

So happy, so excited for you.

Meg said...

What wonderful news! I'm so excited for you!

rebeccaeee said...

Hooray! Big mama's day hugs to you. Allow me, since I have complained about my own old eggs here with you, to share my due date of November 13th. Hooray hooray hooray!

HennyBeeMama said...

oh my, carol!!! congratulations! what a lucky baby to have found its way to your belly! i am SO happy for you all.

Gretchen said...

What amazing news! I so happy for you and praying for the safe arrival of baby #4.

The story of your first Mothers Day is just haunting. I am sorry Charlotte was not here to celebrate Mother's Day and the news of a new sibling.

allyson said...

Definitely worth de-lurking to congratulate you and your family. Wishing you all the best.

Hennifer said...

Oh congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you! And so sorry you have been ill. Hoping that fades quickly. Glad you got the sleep and the Mother's Day you needed.

Thinking of you...

Team Harris said...

CONGRATULATIONS CAROL!!!! I'm ecstatic for you and your growing family!!!! YIPPPPEEEEEE!!!!

Lisa C said...

Hooray!!! My heart is filled with so much joy for you Carol! For you, and Greg, and Charlotte, and Liam and Aoife. I often wonder about what might have been but I'm so in love with the family you have and now there will be more to love!! Kisses and hugs to all of you. XO

Dalene said...

That's wonderful news! I'm so happy for you and your family.

Natalie said...

I knew it!
congratulations!

Natalie

Dana said...

I thought, the day of the walk, that I recognized that bump! So very happy for you all.
dc

Dana said...

I thought, the day of the walk, that I recognized that little bump. So happy for you all!