It’s only been two fleeting weeks. Two weeks of immeasurable change. Of nights so still that time just stands. Each sound of her primal cry is amplified by the silence. Nights of searing pain that burns as my body begs to be healed. Of wet cotton sheets that reek of, salt from sweat and tears, and blood and sweet milk. And yet there is magic here. There is hope here.
I place her on me and we start an animalistic dance. Back and forth we tussle. My body tenses as it prepares for the spasms of agony as her miniature mouth latches on to my heavy, burning, breast. I exhale. I want to scream; I want to cry hot tears. The sea of emotions that crash like violent waves in which I could drown. But I don’t. When the water might enter my lungs I pull my head up. For I know this is my birthright. A requirement. A privilege. An honor.
I think of my unborn babies. The ones that I never got to hold. The ones that the universe sacrificed so that she was able to walk beside us. I wonder where they are. I’m guilty of missing them.
I hold the weight of her body under the palms of my awkward hands. She is tiny and primal and utterly perfect. Her deep black eyes stare and the fine fur on the side of her face glistens in the muted light. She gulps my warm milk and her body relaxes in satisfaction.
The 40 minutes she sips and swallows take a lifetime and yet a second. My eyes are so heavy that I slip into fragments of colorful stories, so vivid that what when I snap back it takes some time to adjust. It’s 3am and I miss my firstborn. I think of her hands. Her hands so sticky with dirt and florescent paint. Every new inch of her fingers signals time that I have been gone, the two weeks of pleasure and pain and loss and life.
My uterus twists and contorts. It has housed a miracle and now is left hollow, waiting to be pushed and sucked back in to its original form. I stare at my body. It’s foreign to me. Skin that is heavy and thick. Detached from the bone.
Who am I now?
I squint in the mirror. This young child stares back at me. She seems incapable to be a mother, for she herself is sometimes lost. Lost in her own confusion of life, In the never ending questions with no answers, lost in the magnitude of the responsibility,
I don’t know where you begin and I end, for your cells, I have been told, will always remain in my body.
But here we are.
Just you and me.
I love you
I love you
I love you
It’s only been two fleeting weeks….