Friday, February 12, 2010

Plus one

It had been an exhausting few days filled with the kind of joy and tiredness and love and family and laughter and anticipation that is natural after having given birth. We had just arrived home from the hospital to the welcoming arms of our parents and our son was cozily sleeping in his car seat on the living room floor as we all gazed adoringly at him. He had been circumcised earlier in the day and our instructions had been to feed him as much as he would eat directly after the procedure and then let him sleep as long as he would.

So it came to be that after chatting with the grandparents over a late barbecue dinner while our son still napped, we found ourselves going to bed. I climbed into the cool sateen sheets and looked over as I lay my head down on my soft pillow to view my beautiful, sweet baby boy sleeping so incredibly soundly in his car seat on the floor next to my side of the bed. Never before in my life, and I am assuming never again, will I experience the gravity of that moment; knowing that as soon as he woke up and his cries pierced our sleep, our lives in our house would be forever changed.

The depth and clarity of that moment stole the breath from my lungs as I felt a swell of every possible emotion course through my veins.

In those days after bringing our son home, everything was different. Our house, our lives, the whole world and how we viewed it had changed. The hormones that invaded my body enhanced every feeling with garish clarity. It was overwhelming and exciting and frightening. But as the days continued, one after the other, I started to understand and accept our new identities instead of fighting against them or mourning for our old selves. Until recently.

Recently, I have found myself looking at my son and thinking, "when did he get here?" Or I will catch myself in a moment of excitement knowing that we are going to have a boy. Rather than let this frighten me, I have recognised that finally, after seven months, I am starting to feel 'normal'. Back to myself. Clearly we are still changed and our lives are still very different; but instead of accepting that we are different people, I have finally seen that we are the same individuals, the same people, the same couple - plus one.

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