Monday, June 12, 2006




Three Years Ago Today
I remember a new house, unpacked boxes, a newly painted nursery, and a hand me down crib.
I remember feeling overwhelmed.
I remember feeling big and uncomfortable.
I remember fear, loneliness, and isolation.
I remember having support and love, unconditional love.
I remember taking pictures and timing contractions at Julia's end-of-the-year Kindergarten party.
I remember resting on the couch, quite and calm, alone in my house while my family celebrated at a graduation party.
I remember knowing it was almost time.
I remember shuffling Julia off to her grandparents house knowing that the next time we would see her it would be to introduce her to her baby sister.
I remember it felt very surreal.
I remember feeling much older than I did five years prior when I had Julia.
I remember waiting in the hallway of the labor wing for over an hour before being checked in.
I remember it being strangely still and desolate in the hospital.
I remember the room where I labored and not feeling at home there.
I remember pain.
I remember using the bed rail to grab onto as I labored on my side.
I remember being angry and short-tempered.
I remember refusing an epidural.
I remember more pain.
I remember knowing when it was time to push.
I remember using my anger to my advantage in pushing.
I remember my determination was unlike any I had ever known.
I remember fear, anxiety, and exhaustion.
I remember being in so much pain after Iris was born that I couldn't even see her.
I remember the doctor cutting the cord without asking my husband, to his heartbreaking disappointment.
I remember seeing him with Iris as they weighed her and wrapped her.
I remember him holding her, talking to her, adoring her.
I remember whimpering and crying because of the intense and continual pain.
I remember my mother coming in and demanding someone to attend to me.
I remember me not understanding why I was still in pain.
I remember hearing the doctor comment I was full of blood clots and being scared.

I remember finally holding my tiny daughter with a knowing; a calmness and quiet, recognizing her somehow.
I remember being wheeled down the hall to my room, cradling her, not feeling like she was new to me, but as if I had held her before.
I remember sleeping in the hospital bed and waking to her stirring, confident in knowing what she needed from me and how to give it to her.
I remember nurses and pediatricians and lactation consultants.
I remember the congestion in her tiny nostrils that made her snort and snore.
I remember being a tireless mother despite my exhaustion.
I remember feeling drained, fatigued, weary, old, relieved, blessed, calm, and deeply in love with my daughter and although she was merely hours old, I remember feeling as if I had always known her.

Happy Third Birthday Iris.
I love you more than I can say.

13 comments:

Claddyjack said...

This is beautiful Trace. Happy Birthday Iris! I miss you.

one smarmy mama said...

aw. that's so sweet!

happy birthday, pretty girl!

mothergoosemouse said...

So beautiful. I loved reading all the memories leading up to (and through) her birth. Happy birthday to your little(r) girl.

(And gorgeous pic too. Wow.)

la vie en rose said...

awwwww...*sniff, sniff*....

Tere said...

This is so beautiful, yet so sad... I hate that you felt the way you did in the hospital, it sounds like such a shitty thing at a time you should be your most comfortable, relaxed and safest.
:-(

Left-handed Trees... said...

Your writing here really goes deep into the subterranean levels of birthing and motherhood. Happy birthday to your little one...

Her Bad Mother said...

I wish that I could say something more interesting, but... SO BEAUTIFUL.

And the photo, so, so lovely.

Busy Mom said...

What a beautiful picture! Happy Birthday, Iris!

Jen said...

Beautiful entry - it brought tears to my eyes!

Happy B-day!

Jessica New said...

I am now unable to swallow, due to the alarmingly large lump in my throat....
Excuse me, I have to go get some water now.

Happy Birthday IRIS!!!!!!!!!! You are loved beyond anything you could ever measure....

So you're turming 3, not 2???
LOL! What a weenie i am!!!

amy said...

beautiful, bittersweet, lovely and amazing... the story, your iris, and you!!! i love it! happy happy birthday, my little fellow gemini.
kisses on those cupid lips...
xo
amy

Mamacita Tina said...

Your reflections are absolutely beautiful! The picture...sweet.

urban child bride said...

Ohh...*sniff, sniff, wipe*... Can you excuse me a minute? I seem to have something in my eye...

How sweet and sad and dear, Tracey! And that picture! Good heavens, what a beautiful girl. I can hardly stand it.