October 19, 2011
My niece, your cousin, had a baby boy today.
“8 lbs. on the dot…20.75 inches.” Your Aunt Linda texted me.
Just minutes before, on my way home from work, I talked to Linda. After a full day at the hospital, she was headed home to rest. Hospitals are exhausting. All that waiting. I called her, wanting to know if I could come be with her at St. Pete’s.
St. Pete’s where I sat alone with you many days and nights while doctors ran their tests, pumped you full of drugs, probed your body and argued over whether you had Lyme disease, MS or lupus. It could not be Lyme disease, they reasoned with no scientific evidence, it has to be MS or Lupus. When you and argued with them, they got angry. Pulled the iv’s, stopped the tests, gave you release forms, and sent you home.
I am thinking of my niece. Of being a parent. Of all that means. I want to call her and tell her to breathe deeply the scents of this baby, fresh from inside her. To enjoy those first minutes when her baby will ask nothing of her, as he shakes off the transition from amniotic fluid to the warmed air room, as he acclimates to the feel of her skin against his. Those moments before his stomach rumbles, creating his first intense unpleasant feelings of wanting, needing, demanding that will grow as he does.
I would give anything to be in that moment again with you.
I drop my purse and coat at the front door, let Sadie out in the back yard. Stella wants dinner. She gets a can of Fancy Feast. As I put it in her bowl, she purrs. Sadie gets a can of Chef Boyardee Mini Raviolis. I am not hungry. My body feel like it has been beaten with a bat, like I was thrown from a car going 60 miles an hour. It is all I can do to climb the stairs, pull back the down comforter and close my eyes.
The sweet release of sleep.
Be seeing you.