Monday, June 16, 2008

I am Christopher's Mom

Twelve years ago this moment (it is now 11:20am EDT) I was in my 11th (out of a total of 14) hour of labor with my beloved son. He was taking his time coming into the world, and let me tell you, nothing much has changed in that regard! We didn't know until around noon or so that he was actually breach, and there was no way in hell he was going to be born in the conventional way. Upon seeing my little intrauterine Buddha on the sonogram screen, my OB's words were, "Prep the OR."

To which I responded, "I can't have surgery, it's my birthday!"

Which had to do with absolutely nothing at all. The OR was prepped, the child was delivered. He was silent upon coming into the world. Since I was behind a surgical paper tent, I could not see the child, and was absolutely terrified by his silence. Essentially, I made my OB make my son cry, so that I could be assured that he was breathing. But the second the stimuli was removed, he resumed his quiet. My husband was sitting at my right shoulder, which was literally tied down. Someone handed him my newborn son. He was beautiful. His dark blue eyes were open wide as he beheld his father. His hair was matted with goo, and though blonde, appeared quite dark. His skin was peaches and cream fair. But mostly what I remember is his big, open eyes looking at his father in complete silence.

I was so very full of my new mother self, walking him through the neighborhood. He was not even a week old. My belly stitched by not yet healed. I actually walked into my parish church to present my child to the almighty saying the words, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." Of course I prayed for his protection, as well. Now, on my yoga mat, the intention for my practice is almost always Christopher's peace and well being.

From infancy until around the time he was eighteen months old, Christopher didn't really cry much. He was a placid, happy baby. He rarely had to cry when hungry, his schedule was my sixth sense. He was, however, a picky eater. And he didn't sleep through the night until I forced the issue when he was 14 months old. By that time, I was going on 2+ years without even once sleeping through the night. It was taking a serious toll on my personality!

At around 18th months of age, we started a two year battle with ear infections. My poor baby! The fevers. The pain. The fucking medicine!! That child was miserable for such a long time. How we got through it, I'll never know. But they stopped as suddenly as they started, with no damage to his hearing, thank God. He's been really healthy ever since.

Today, he is a smart, wickedly funny kid who struggles with math. He is a little dorky and awkward, a trait from both his parents. He is empathetic. Somewhat excitable. I am so proud of the young man he is becoming. And I miss the infant that he was, when I could make everything all better with a hug, a snuggle, one more round of Goodnight Moon.

I am so grateful I share this day with him. It is almost like a secret language of twins. My son. My joy. The one and only force in this world that truly made me put someone else first, without thought or reserve. It is ironic, really, that he came into the world on my birthday. I always put so much stock in 'my' day. Don't get me wrong, I still really like my birthday. But now, I view it more as a passing of the torch. To step back, and watch him shine is truly my greatest gift both to give and receive.

I love you, my son. I am so very proud to be your mother.

r.

9 comments:

Fusion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fusion said...

Happy Birthday Chris, Hope you know what a great mom you have...

And happy birthday to you too, Rebecca, you recieved the greatest birthday present you could 12 years ago...

The Real Mother Hen said...

What a beautiful piece of writing.
Save this piece for Christopher, he will appreciate the words ever more as the years go by.
You're a great mom Rebecca.

The World According To Me said...

Happy Birthday to you both!

I was born on my parents wedding anniversary, and I can't help feeling that it was a rather special day to be born on.
So I can imagine the joy you feel for sharing your birthday with your son.

And I expect he's very proud to be your son.

Maria said...

Ah...happy birthday to you both. And many happy returns of the day...

Isn't it funny how your dreams and wishes change when you have a child? I used to be able to think of twenty things I wished for myself right off the top of my head. Now, I just think, "Just keep her safe, happy, and healthy and I don't care about the rest."

Who would have thought I was capable of THAT kind of thinking?

Eastcoastdweller said...

What a gorgeous blog-post.

While it is true that Women are capable of wonderful things, of accomplishing anything in the world to which They set Their minds ...

... and while Womankind should not be glorified solely for Her ability to be a Mother ...

...still, it is an astounding miracle, a feat of endurance and courage, a walk in the valley of the shadow of death, and one of many reasons to celebrate our Sisters upon this planet.

suesun said...

Happy, happy bday to you, Rebecca! And it was so totally awesome to have a drink with you in Manhattan, even if we couldn't afford the six thousand dollar bottle of wine! (I'll be posting the pics tonight) You and your family are welcome in Colorado Springs any time.

Blur Ting said...

It's a wonderful post. I love it! It reminds me of how wonderful it is to be a mom to my sons.

Foster Communications said...

Beautiful post, Rebecca. A happy belated birthday to both of you!! :)