a year ago
I wanted to write a post on my labor and delivery but the only words I could find to describe the entire experience was overwhelming and exhausting.
I spent nine months preparing for this moment. Nine months of growing, planning, prepping, and agonizing. The last few weeks of my pregnancy I obsessed over delivering vaginally and I never got to experience it.
I went back and forth on creating a birth plan. The only thing I really wanted was skin to skin with my son. My OB-Gyn was dismissive when I asked her, mostly because after two hospitalizations for preterm labor, we were deep in survival mode. Keep him in for as long as you can and then deliver a healthy baby.
The newest love of my life arrived via unplanned C-section after hours of unproductive labor. The moment they placed him on my chest, I burst into weary tears. He was finally here.
They say you are supposed to sleep when the baby does. I try but most of the time while I’m lying in the bed, my mind races.
My body’s new purpose is to produce enough breast milk to keep an infant sustained every 2-3 hours. The taut, burgeoning belly I used to rub has been replaced with flabby, soft skin and a new surgical incision I never wanted but now represents life and resilience.
Sleeping in, hell, sleeping in general is a luxury that my mind cannot seem to wrap itself around. Stealing moments of sleep while the baby sleeps is necessary but I can’t get the thoughts to calm down enough so I can rest. My mind races with laundry, dishes, unreturned phone calls and etc. that I feel I should be doing.
I stopped watching the news and barely log onto social media and yet the horrifying news continues to find me. I think about the state of the world and the painful reality I am raising a Black baby in a world where screaming #blacklivesmatter falls on deaf ears over and over again.
I try not to think about the day when I will no longer be able to swaddle him tightly and cuddle him on my chest. The day when my breasts will no longer serve as sole nourishment for him or the day he will no longer gaze into my eyes as if he is trying to memorize every detail of my face.
I can't make time stop so instead of sleeping, I stay up and stare into his face, in awe of my little miracle.