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.


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...

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.