Thursday, February 25, 2010

One wonders about the things one can never know.
I bury my nose in Fiona's little head, I breathe in deeply and smell the smell of her baby head. It is new skin, milk, sweat, sleep, saliva. The smell of a small, warm, sweet new person. The chemicals that course through me are of love, love, devotion, protection, lay-down-my-life for you hormones, but there is something else, too. There is this element of mysticism, this inability to comprehend that she lives, that she made it all this long while, and that her chest rises and falls with mine right this minute while we type. There is this feeling of tears filling up the back of my throat, a tightness in my chest as emotion surges through me, I weep on the inside because she is here, but part of that is a reflection on who is not here.
And I wonder, as I breathe her in, as I feel dizzy with the smell of this person, intoxicated by her very being, how much of this exists for anyone, and which pieces are enhanced by my loss. I can only proclaim that my gratitude is enhanced by loss; but I can never test this theory because with every living child, I have already lost one.
Does the memory of the feeling of your dead child in your arms make your skin tingle just that much more when you feel that your new baby is warm, and when you notice how she is growing? Does the echoing silence in your memory cause you to breathe just that much more deeply with the amazement of your current state when your new baby's mewing wakes you in the night?
Is the haunting recollection of long nights spent alone, with a tear-soaked pillow, what gives me the stamina to awaken with a tender smile any time I hear my baby cry?
And I feel certain it is Charlotte who has caused me to never, ever say no when my older children ask me to lie down and cuddle them, even when I have hours of things to do after their supposed bedtimes.
I will never know.
But I can't imagine this could feel quite the same.
I just can't.

2 comments:

Hope's Mama said...

I am sure Hope and Charlotte make us love more deeply. Not that we wouldn't of course loved Hope and Charlotte and any children who would follow them with all our hearts, but I think they made our capacity to love much, much stronger. One of the gifts they left for us. To appreciate more and to never take things for granted.
Off to hug and kiss Angus, just one more time...

Birdies Mama said...

YES. My dear friend YES, I too believe as Hope's Mama does. Our dear little babies gave us the gift of an enlarged heart, an enlarged capacity to love our dear, dear living children.