Friday, February 4, 2011

Picture book

I am currently working on a picture book for Simon, documenting his first 6 weeks of life in the hospital. I wanted him to have a separate book for this experience because it was a big deal - and I want to have the whole story in one place. (I'll make him another one for his first year that won't focus so much on those early days.)

It brings up a lot of memories to look back at these picture, to reread my blog as we lived through it. I remember while it was all happening, how so many people were impressed by how positive and composed I remained. But there just wasn't any other way to be - that's what I remember. This was not what I wanted (of course it could have been much worse) - but it was what it was, and there was nothing I could do to change it. All I could do was focus on Simon, and I knew that he needed positive energy full of love and caring and compassion. I believe in that stuff - that energy heals, mind over matter, that I could make a difference.

But when I look back at our blog and all of the picture from Simon's first weeks, I also see how naive we were, and that, in some ways, it was to our advantage. Simon is our first, and I think this made it easier. Think about it. First time parents, we didn't know what to expect from a fullterm birth, much less a premature one. Like so many other new parents, we had to just take what we got and go with it. We didn't know what we were missing, or how things could or should be different.

Of course there was a lot disappointment. I had a plan. I was giving birth naturally (no meds) at a birthing center, away from all the meddling doctors, with just my midwife and my husband. I was going to try a water birth, and bring Simon to my chest immediately after giving birth. Rest for a while, then go home a few hours later with our new baby. I had a plan!

So I was disappointed, but I hadn't gone through it before to really know what I missing. What it feels like to hold your baby (or even touch your baby - really see your baby) after going through labor. Those first days of bonding and recovering - the ups and the downs. It was different for us. Now that I have experienced the love of my own child though - that unyielding all-powerful love - I look back in awe of our own experience and our own composure through it all. Now that I know, I think it would be so much harder.

It's funny to look back at all the pictures, because our perspective has changed so much. I remember how we sent pictures to our families every day, and commented on how cute he looked with his little hand or a little smile, how he had grown so much (ie. gained an ounce). We didn't see the tubes and the machines and the sterile hospital atmosphere. But I am sure most others couldn't help but see it - it's hard not to. And looking back I can see those tubes now, just for a moment, but then I see my little Simon, the sweet little love of my life. I am so glad this book has a happy ending.

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