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Last Wednesday evening, we headed to Virginia to visit my mom’s family. They live in a valley between two very large mountains… no radio reception, no cell reception, no internet, no television. It’s something that you just accept — you say goodbye to the outside world & enjoy a few days of long, long hours, afternoon naps, & schedules revolving around the next meal.

On Thursday (our first full day there), my father called to make sure we arrived safely. (Sidenote: this show of concern is not usual.) He chats a minute, starts to say goodbye, then says “Oh, I almost forgot. M had her baby. He’s healthy, everybody’s fine.”

Screeching halt. In a split second, I felt a thick, choking wave of emotion. Excitement & shock — favorite cousin M successfully birthed a child! Four weeks early! Guilt — I promised to be there, & I’m not. Envy — M successfully got pregnant, stayed pregnant, & now has a living baby.  Sadness — I am broken. I’ll never have what cousin M has.

Jennifer, Sue & I walked to my uncle’s house to use his long-distance service. Of course she didn’t answer, but we left lengthy voice mails. On Saturday, she called my grandparents’ house, & I answered the phone. “Sarah?” she said, “I’m a mommy.” Her voice held shock & disbelief & elation & tears. She & her husband were coming home from the hospital with a tiny 5 lb, 7 oz human in the backseat of the car. We talked for a while — she told me about labor & birthing & how his newborn clothes were so incredibly too big. We scheduled a visit for this week & I apologized profusely for not being there at the birth & for not knowing until it was over.  So I’ll be going to meet the new little one in a few days. I hope I don’t cry.

I keep replaying that line in my head. “I’m a mommy.” I don’t feel angry or bitter, really, which is a diversion for me. I just feel sad & very, very tired. That night, I dreamed of Bobby holding our own tiny son, & what his face would look like as he realized that this little human was really our child. When I woke up, the dream sat on my chest, crushing me. I can see his expression. I can see our baby. And yet, I can’t see me having a successful pregnancy.  To me, pregnancy feels like an elusive myth.

I need to go to bed & sleep for while. I feel saturated with other people’s children… my job at the daycare, my nieces, the baby shower & subsequent birth, this weekend where the blonde-haired, blue-eyed children seemed to outnumber the adults.  I’ve been chugging along merrily for a while now, not letting things get too close. But this weekend/week just pushed it too far. I feel drained. I’m just so damn tired.

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