Inspired by the recent birth stories at Mommypotamus and Sweet Ginger Mama, I decided I wanted in on the fun. I’ve always intended to write the stories of my children’s births, and while they are fresh in my mind like yesterday, I have not yet. But then I remembered that someone had written, and dug out an old journal where my husband had, over five years ago, recorded a personal account of his experience as a new father with a baby less than one week old. With his permission, here’s a peek…
Well, my son is 6 days old.
I am in heaven. He is the most beautiful, wonderful being ever to grace my life – and I can only hope to be a good father to him in return. We are in the early stages of parenthood, full of wonder and fear and deep, deep love. Will has been sleeping on my chest for the last few nights and it completes me. All in the bed, Emily and I hold hands and Will is breathing ever so gently and sweetly into my neck. Life does not get better than this.
On the second day of his life, Emily’s best friend, Jessica, came to the house to offer us some support for an hour or two. When she walked in the house – I will never forget this – she was presented with an extraordinary scene: I was playing the piano, Emily was in the rocking chair holding Will, and we were surrounded by love and hormones flying in the air around us. Jessica’s energy sobered us up, and the girls suggested I leave the house to get some air. Having not been outside since his birth, this seemed a good idea.
I stepped out into the evening, and, unusual for California, the air was moist with the promise of rain. I walked and breathed and a hundred thoughts entered my head all at once, but I let them go and concentrated on getting some exercise. From our house it takes 20 minutes to walk to the cliffs and a magnificent view of the Pacific. I headed for the sea, passing through quietly lit streets, houses adorned with Christmas lights, I looked up into the sky and massive deep cumulo-nimbus clouds threatened to bring a storm in our direction. I reached the cliff and saw them perfectly reflected in the sea as the moon was shining brightly.
I stood still for a minute, reflected on the sheer size and power of the sea and I watched the waves crashing into the beach – the moonlit foam dissolving in the sand. All this movement reminded me of Emily’s primal waves of contractions the day before. At that moment my body filled with an intense energy, and I reached up to the sky and through my tears I said thank you out loud.
When I turned back to start the return leg of the walk, I felt relieved and a powerful urge to return to my little family. All sorts of thoughts passed by, about my mortality, about the fragility of life, about Will and the miracle that he represents, and how in everyday life you don’t have these intense insights in spite of the fact that everyone enters this world in this way.
As I approached the house and my mind settled down with all these unusual thoughts, a leaf fell down from a tree and landed in front of my feet. I picked it up as a reminder of this momentous walk, and as a reminder of how lucky we are to be alive and how lucky Emily and I are to be given this beautiful boy.
PS. Got back in the house and Will has just peed all over Emily. Tee hee!
This post can be seen at Mommypotamus’ birth story carnival – hop on over and for more birth story adventures!