Friday, May 15, 2009

365 days ago

Yesterday morning I went out for a run. It was a seemingly beautiful morning and I was looking forward to stretching my legs. As I headed out, the wind began to pick up. And as I turned to head up the trail, a gust whipped down the open space and nearly knocked me off my feet. Not to be deterred, I pressed on. It actually felt like I was pressing against something. Attempting to run, uphill, against a strong wind, seems almost futile. At certain points it felt like I wasn't even moving forward any more. Perhaps backwards. A gust caught me as I was leaping from the road I was crossing up onto the sidewalk and it almost returned me to the road. But this is where my stubbornness, or perhaps determination - that sounds better, overrides my ability to concede defeat. Sometimes common sense. I had to keep going. Eventually, the wind was at my back and it was lovely. Later that day, Donovan looked out the window and watched one of our trees sway and shiver in the gusts. He kept nervously saying he thought it was going to break. I knew it wouldn't, though it was being whipped around pretty fiercely.

I have been reflecting on where I was a year ago. In rereading my attempts at liveblogging last year, I actually take comfort in hearing me be relatively upbeat. I'll be honest, it has been painful to think about how "at this time last year, I was STILL in labor" knowing that it only got worse. And for a long time. There were times I felt like I was not progressing. Or pushed backwards. Or being knocked off my feet. Or that I had these almost out-of-body experiences where, in looking at myself, I thought I was surely going to have to break in order for this baby to come out. And all the while, I kept going.

And then. Peace.

Out of chaos and despair and inexplicable pain and (this is hardly exaggerating) the ashes of my broken spirit, rose the glorious phoenix that is Gemma. She has been such a gift. Can I share a dark lingering fear I have? That she is just too good, and she would be taken away from me. But perhaps she is the gift for having been pushed far beyond the limits of what I thought was capable.

I will try not to dwell on how long it took or how hard it was. But, rather, give thanks that a year ago today, I discovered I am not the shrinking violet I thought I was when it comes to pain. Actually, I can endure quite a lot when the need arises. Also, I give thanks at how it was truly a team effort, with Joel lending far more support than most husbands have to. Who didn't complain about the endless hours of standing and supporting. Who made a tribute video I still cannot watch. Mostly, I give thanks that my life was forever changed by the addition of sweet Gemma to our family. She has the entire family wrapped around her shrimpy pinky. Nothing swells my heart quite as much as seeing Ainsleigh introduce dolls to her, Donovan look at books with her, or Joel get down on all fours to play with her. And all the while, Gemma smiles and laughs and claps.

Gemma, I promise to do all in my power to give you years of smiles and laughs and claps. And to keep those metaphorically windy days at bay.

Happy birthday, ladybug.

Care to stroll down memory lane? It's a long one. You might need to bring some water. And perhaps a power bar.

I'm cranky(the prelude)
and so it begins
this is hilarious
10:49 pm - going to take a bath
3:49 am - hospital bound
11:27 am - I'm trying not to let this get to me
3:49 pm - not much to report
after 34 hours
pitocin and turtlenecks
extra details
Gemma's first video


wanda said...

Sniff, sniff.... well said. "Can I share a dark lingering fear I have? That she is just too good, and she would be taken away from me." You have expressed exactly how I felt about Laura. Which of course, doesn't mean I love the rest of your less. There just seems to be that vulnerability. Inexplicable.

Nataluscious said...

Happy Birthday Gemma!! And just like you and your mom, I have the same lingering, dark fear about K2. I'm not sure if its because she's so *good* (LOL) but because I just see her as this innately perfect being and addition to our family and I cannot for one second imagine life without her (and K1 too, I have to say that) but with K2 I fear that its all too perfect and I wonder if the other shoe will drop? I'm glad I'm not alone in those sometimes disturbing fears :).

Anonymous said...

That was the sweetest, most clever post I've ever seen! ( and that's saying something because I've read your other ones!) And so in the pic of you a couple posts back with your kids you look like a model! Heather