"i who have died am alive again today"

A Birth Story

Our new baby has two birthdays.  The first, the path from the womb to the world: slippery; expected, happy, easy (commonplace, really); it indulged me.  Our wiggly newborn  quickly occupied our waiting hearts and our waiting arms and only idle musings, which had always been quickly tossed aside, had ever considered other possibilities.  The other birthday: the slow surgical re-genesis, an awakening; sedated, fearsome, unassuming, (taking nothing for granted); it rebuilt me. 
It has been 9 days since he was born and 6 since his open-heart surgery.  In those 9 days, I have held him 9 times.  I have nursed him only 4 times.  Only his first moments were untethered by tubes and wires.  He has never been rocked, or bounced, or bathed; he has never been outside to feel the sky.  And yet there is no doubt in my mind that he has been loved deeply and by many.  I could never thank them enough--thank you enough--the doctors and nurses and the friends and family that have kept vigil, stroked his forehead, or sent comfort.  Instead of one loving mother he has had 10 or 20: faces that smile with voices that whisper and fingers that snuggle.  He may not know the rhythms of a rocking chair, but he knows the rhythms of lullabies sung deep into the night.  He may not be under the shelter of his own home, but he has had watchful eyes and ears keep him safe and save his life, always knowing what to look for, when to worry, and when to rejoice.  
Here is a place where I can lay out the pieces of my blurry memory.  I may get the details wrong and I will never be able to express my gratitude adequately.  However, as I sit here, still stunned, in the quiet by his side, I know there must something to say.  


  1. wow, Anita, so powerfully expressed I don't even know what to say. I want to say 'sorry' for the hardship and challenge of powerlessness and pain you have endured in your longing to hold him yourself...yet I find joy and hope are the predominant expressions you have shared with us. and so I am in awe at your faith and fortitude, your ability to find in the blurry memories the glimmer of beauty and love that could so easily be obscured by the tubes and turmoil. I am sure not all your hours are as grateful and hopeful as you have shared, but I am personally moved by the gift you have shared with all of us: a glimpse into YOUR soul in just one of many pure moments. What a beautiful woman you are. I am honored to be among your friends. Call if you want to chat, but know we are praying for you and your family.

  2. Beautifully written, as always. Your family continues to be in all our prayers.


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