One year ago today I spent my day very pregnant. I went to sleep very pregnant. And then the next day Noah was born, six weeks early. Today, I will go to sleep, under one roof, with my most treasured loves of my life.
One year ago today I was able to only sympathize with parents of premature babies. Today, I now empathize. In that moment your doctor tells you that you’re more than a few centimeters dilated and you’ll be delivering your baby that day? It takes a solid team to endure having their just-born remain in neonatal/NICU, instead of coming home with you when you leave. Davy and I were fiercely in love with Noah, in his incubator. But through three weeks we cried a lot and had frustrations with everyone, and each other. But today, we know we’re waking up tomorrow to celebrate Noah’s first birthday.
One year ago today I could only imagine what kind of mother I would be. Today, I know that I’m a mother like so many sleep-deprived yet exhilarated mothers. And I understand that being a good mother also means being a good wife, and friend and everything I was before becoming a mother. I’ve learned that having a baby shouldn’t mean your life is social or sexual roadkill. A happy mother makes for a happy baby. Davy also says, “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”
One year ago today I could only imagine what kind of father Davy would be. Today, after a year of watching the father Davy has become and with the only other father I’ve ever lived under the same roof with being my own, I can say there is so much of my father in Davy. Hardworking and hearty in appetite and laughter and affection and so many intangible things. My mother sees it, and sees it every day since she’s been visiting. And it makes us gulp back tears wishing my father was here. Here in Belgium, here anywhere, just here. I know as sure as I know the scar on my own vagina from giving birth, that Davy and my father would have been made for in-law heaven. But I know my father watches from heaven, all the time, because he was like that in life. At peace and always steady like a river, my father, it’s why so many people still miss him.
One year ago today I thought I was tired. Today, I’m able to sleep with my eyes open whimpering slightly. Noah is a DREAM baby, but this is the longest trial of my life. I have newfound tons of respect for my mother, and all mothers. And fathers. Good fathers seem outnumbered by other kinds of fathers too often.
One year ago today I thought I knew it all. Today, I’m still a know-it-all. But I know I most definitely didn’t know it all, one year ago today. I’ve learned so much and grown equally tolerant and intolerant of so many things. I know way more than I did one year ago. Which means, I know it all now?