this is a very baby-centric sappy post...skip if you aren't into babies :)
Have you ever wanted something so much that it feels very precious to you? So much that you hesitate to even talk about it aloud, treating it like some sacred secret to be handled with reverent care, holding it inside you like a gem that gives you buoyancy and spirit. It is a part of you, this dream, will always be a part of you no matter the outcome, shapes every thread of your existence.
My dream has always been to have a baby.
There was a time I dreamed of having twenty kids! By the time I was ten years old I'd settled my dream to becoming an anthropologist with six kids. All my dreams involved being a mother; even as a teenager I dreamed more of having babies than having a rad boyfriend or a great love affair. Needless to say I was an excellent babysitter and a second-mama to my littlest brother Joey. I rocked him to sleep and sang songs to him, changed his diaper and fed him bottles and played school with all three of my brothers. I held every baby I could get my hands on.
As an adult I grew other dreams too, of course. Dreams of being a scholar, of having a country house with a library and a spiral staircase, of writing a novel, of selling vintage clothes, of having chickens and kittens and a farm in the sun. A lot of my dreams are still in the making or changing shape. But underneath them all, for years, was the dream that started to seem impossible, the dream of having my own baby. The prospect started to look dim as my cycle came back regularly month after month, year after year. I have vast compassion for those who struggle with infertility; the desire to have children is something so huge and so personal and life-altering, and when that desire is threatened, your heart breaks again and again and you never know what to expect and the path of your own life seems strange and impenetrable and foggy.
When I found out I was pregnant after six years of trying to conceive, I was filled with inexpressible happiness. I hardly dared believe that my sweetest dream might be coming true. It was like holding my breath, with pure excitement and glee like a little kid on Christmas Eve, but for forty weeks.
Then she arrived. My tiny baby. A little daughter for me to feed and teach and love, love, love. i smell her, I cuddle her, I gaze at her hands, toes, tummy, eyes. I whisper in her ear, i love you i love you i love you.
Friends, there is no telling how much light fills the heart when this kind of dream comes true.
I know I sound blissed out, and that's because I truly am.
Yes, having a newborn can be difficult. She cries and I panic and I feed her round the clock. I have anxieties and I am fuzzy headed, tired and a little bit cuckoo and completely devoted. I never knew the extent that a baby would become the air I breathe. And because I am utterly a baby person, I embrace this transfiguration with all my heart. I really do think my acceptance comes from having loved the idea of having a baby for so long. I don't know how it is for everyone else; I understand that there are frustrations and struggles and I admit, nothing is easy anymore...not a routine run to the grocery store, not thrift store shopping, not even taking a walk. everything comes with a plan, a fresh diaper, a light blanket, a pad for my boob, an exit escape in case the baby freaks out. But I love all this, because it means I have little Lucy by my side.
I have always tried to be the kind of person who lives life with gratitude. I want to always appreciate the town I live in, the kind of family I grew up in, my amazing husband and our incredible friends, the wildflower hills and the books I've read, professors and poets and the river and gardens and the earth itself.
Well, needless to say my gratitude has never been more grand. with this most incredible blessing of life, I spill over, I can't contain the flowing spirit of this immense joy, like a confluence of rivers to the sea.
My baby and me, we are ancient as time itself. Doing what mothers and babies do best, caring for each other, knowing each other fully, loving.
My Lucinda is six weeks old today. All these photos are from the last week or so, just hanging around home and town, getting our rhythms down, growing together.
And all I can do is go outside and look all around, and look at my baby, and my house and my husband and my life and say right out loud until tears stream down my face, thank you. thank you. thank you.
i hope that every one of you has known a joy so sweet as a secret dream coming true.