When Grace was born, I wrote every day. I wanted to remember every moment, every little sigh and every baby grunt.
I haven’t written anything this time because I don’t want to remember.
I don’t want to remember the sadness, the tears, the hardships. I don’t want to remember how crying became normal, nor how I detached from my children.
I don’t want to remember the struggles, the frustration, the mourning for my former family, for easier times, for deep sleep.
I don’t want to remember the temper tantrums, the anger, the raw feelings. I don’t want to remember, “I don’t think you love me any more.”
But I should be writing.
It hasn’t been all bad. There are things I want to remember.
I don’t want to forget gummy smiles so fleeting the camera missed them. I don’t want to forget the silent laughter that shook Allie’s belly when she was a week old, nor the way she rolled over at the pediatrician’s office at her 7-day check-up.
I want to remember Allie’s puckered lips and wrinkled brow when she first wakes up. I want to remember her tiny arms stretched up in that moment, and her tongue that licks the air while she roots for something to eat.
I want to remember how Allie kept her legs pulled up tightly against her belly for the first two weeks, as though she were still a fetus in my uterus.
I want to remember Allie’s suspicious face as she eyes me and the soft chestnut fur covering part of her tiny head in a manner akin to male pattern balding – sparse on top and thick on the back and sides. I want to remember her tiny eyelashes and eye brows, nearly invisible.
I want to remember how teeny tiny Allie is, even at twenty-four days old. At fifteen days, she was smaller than at birth. Her whole body fits between my palm and my elbow. She’s only slightly above her birth weight.
I want to remember the tiny red splotches that she has on her left eyelids, stork bites, and the strange shape of her developing belly button.
I want to remember the fervor with which Grace hugs and kisses her sister, even when it rises to the level of annoying – for Allie and for me.
I don’t especially want to remember the breast pump to which I am tethered for several hours each day, but I am happy to be able to nourish my baby the way God intended.
I want to remember the happiness of our first day bottle feeding. I slept for the first time in three weeks. Joe felt needed and helpful. Grace was delighted because I could play with her for hours. Most of all, Allie had a heavy, full belly, and she slept more and cried less than any other day of her life.
I will remember the day she started snoring, day twenty-three.
I won’t relish the sleepless nights, but I won’t forget weeks of nights spent holding a baby who needed to hear her mother’s heartbeat and smell her mother’s scent.
I’m ready to write again.
© 2011 – 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.