Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Twice

It started in my mind: a vision, a truth, a reality that seemed fleeting even as I read the markings on a Sunday evening.

A few weeks later, the markings were confirmed as waves of sound created an image that flipped and turned, as beats were magnified into 140 notes a minute and a fleck of light ticked back and forth like a metronome on the black and white screen.

Already, unsteady emotions and uncomfortable symptoms confirmed that I had not made the whole idea up. My hair shedding, my face marked like an adolescent, my appetite non-existent, my body had once again become a brilliant machine without any instruction or direction from my own intelligence--building major organs, constructing functioning systems, and nourishing the new life with no thought to my own personal discomfort or cost. This new being is now the priority. This child.

Last week I cradled my daughter under my left arm while she finger painted the gel on my belly. She tasted it, wiped it on my clothing, and questioned me with her eyes while I willingly let a total stranger wash a wand back and forth across my stretched skin. As I strained to watch the child on the screen, my daughter quickly became disillusioned with the baby everyone was talking about. There was no child in the room besides her, not that she had found anyway.

In reaching the halfway point, I cannot help but soak up everything I love about life as we live it right now: a child that sleeps twelve uninterrupted hours at night, only one little person with needs to be met, a rhythm that carries us through weeks at a time without too much trouble. Yet even as I love the normal that has been established in life with our daughter, I cannot help but wonder about life with a second child. Even as this life only exists within me, he or she colors our plans for the future. Though I don't yet think about feeding and naps, I am constantly interrupted with kicks and movement that break my concentration and remind me of the impending upheaval waiting just a few months away.

Today, I rest in the peace and quiet that exists for now. Tonight, I fall asleep with the gentle nudges from an internal foot connected to a powerful frame that weighs less than a pound. It is no less miraculous the second time. And even as I remember the chaos that comes with a newborn--a body that comes from my own, created within me as I worked and slept and lived for the better part of a year--I cannot help but be thankful for the chance to experience it again.

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