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For a long time after Hannah was born, I didn’t write. Anything.
I didn’t want to write. I didn’t know what to write about even if I did want to write. I didn’t have time to write. I was too tired to write.
I didn’t read anything either. From the beginning of February to the beginning of June, I read maybe two books. Usually, I read a book a week. But I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t have time.
I didn’t know how to make time. Being a full-time mother was just so all-consuming. I didn’t really know how to deal with the identity change. I didn’t know how to deal with what felt like a severe loss of myself.
I don’t blame Hannah for this. I just couldn’t adjust. I didn’t know how to go from being “mother of a dead baby” to “mother of a living baby.” I didn’t know how I was going to survive worrying constantly about this tiny, precious, perfect creature that had come into our lives. I didn’t know anything at all.
And then I began to accept that even if I didn’t know how, I had to do it anyway.
I have never been a person who loves babies. I didn’t hate them, and I didn’t necessarily feel awkward around them – I just didn’t like them much. Especially young babies. The babies that do nothing but eat and poop and sleep. I didn’t get the big deal about them. And, of course, everyone said that would change when I had one of my own.
Well, yes and no.
I love my daughter immensely. She’s pretty awesome, and yes, even adorable at times. But . . . the older she gets, the happier I am. The more I like her. The easier it is to deal with her. Even when it isn’t actually easier to deal with her, if that makes any sense. She was okay as a one-month old infant. As a nine-month old baby, she’s a lot more okay. And while I sometimes think about how tiny and helpless and precious she was seven, eight, even nine months ago, I don’t want to go back to that. I don’t really want to do the newborn thing again.
I love my baby, but that doesn’t mean I love babies. It took a while for me to admit that, because I felt guilty about it. I mean, babies are great, and I’m happy for all the people I know this year who have had beautiful, healthy babies, because that’s awesome. But babies aren’t easy for me, and that’s just something I’ve come to accept.
About six weeks ago, I started reading in earnest again, and I started thinking about how much I missed writing. But this is still the first real writing I’ve done since then. I’m out of practice. But I was starting to miss it more than ever. It’s not something I want to let go of. I probably won’t have time to write every day – Hannah the nine-month old is still as much of a handful as Hannah the one-month old. But I know that if I don’t do something now, the longer it will take me to do something later.
And I’d like to get a little practice in before November and Nanowrimo come ’round again.
So it’s time to face the wall and work on getting to the other side. This is where I’m starting.
It never fails: summer plods, August drags, and September seems to linger for as long as it likes. And then autumn rolls in, and September picks up its pace, and the next thing you know, it’s the middle of October.
It’s the middle of October.
October is usually one of my favorite months, but this year, the first half of October was rough. The end of September brought the anniversary of Lauren’s sleeping birth – two years, my god, has it been two years since she left us? She still seems so close to us, so real. I can still see her in my mind’s eye: a tall, lanky two-year old with dark curly hair and bright blue-gray eyes. I realize this is just my fancy, but that is all I have of her, and so it is what I believe in. She is still real to me, as real as her sister who – thankfully – is still bopping about in my growing belly.
Thirty-two weeks. Only eight weeks to go.
Less than that, really. As of today, only 52 days to go.
I hope it is only that long. I wouldn’t mind her coming a week early. Not much earlier than that, no, but I’d rather her be a week early than a week late, if not for my sanity then because I am so anxious to have her here with us.
She is so strong and so vibrant, our nameless little Niko. I place my hands on this great belly and feel her roll and twist and kick, and I pray that she doesn’t stop. She can cause me all the discomfort she needs to, just keep moving.
Keep moving, Niko. Keep that heart beating so strongly. Keep living. We’re waiting to meet you, waiting to hold you, waiting to shower love upon you. Stay strong, and live.