Six months have passed since H came into my life and changed everything. Here’s a little reflection on that time.
It was inconclusive as to whether my water ever really actually broke, though I thought I felt it do so twice. When I arrived at the hospital the contractions were insane but they insisted it would be a full twelve hours until she popped out. Almost as soon as the Dr sent my husband back to work and I had told my mother not to rush, a new Dr told me I was ready to push. They had lost her heartbeat and she was already beginning to crown. Thankfully my mother hadn’t listened to me and arrived. She was able to get B back and shortly after he returned (with a looming threat of a C section) I pushed harder than anyone thought I could and out popped H with the umbilical cord around her neck – thankfully not tight enough to do any damage.
She was long with delicate fingers and toes, a full head of jet black hair and big blue eyes. She cried almost the entire night that first time we met, but for some reason I wasn’t tired and not even remotely worried. Something in me just told me she was fine. She was just new and needed some time to get acquainted.
H and I quickly fell into a rhythm – maybe more of a ‘whatever you need, I’m here type vibe than a rhythm – but the love I had for her took over whenever I thought I didn’t have much more to give. One thing I’ve taken from this experience so far is a mother has strength beyond even her own understanding. It wasn’t until day 7 that I realized that I hadn’t really slept. Adrenaline is something special….
So now it’s been 6 months and it literally feels like 6 minutes. Nothing makes you appreciate the value of time like a baby. It moves so quickly you wish daily that you could somehow find a way to make it slow down. Even if just for a few moments a day. Some days have been really tough, others have been absolute magic and every day I learn something new.
My cousin – who also has a daughter – sent me this prayer by Tina Fey and it seriously couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Hilarious and so totally on point – especially in reference to Crystal Meth and playing the drums. Ha!
A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child By Tina Fey
“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Thanks Simone! And thank you to you all for your awesome emails, comments and well wishes of support. You’re amazing! So grateful.