I’m putting this picture up because I think it best symbolizes what I’m trying to get at in this post: there is definite empowerment to be found in intense vulnerability.

I’ve been feeling a bevy of emotions in recent days and I’m not entirely sure what to do with all of them. On the one hand, I feel like I’m beginning to climb the walls with being home all the time. I feel tethered to Bram because of the breastfeeding relationship, so when I do leave the house to run errands or take a walk I find myself easily panicked and feeling rushed back to home (this is, of course, all self-imposed, as R always does an excellent job of comforting our boy). In my frenetic dashes to be in the outside world, though, I’ve put a bit too much strain on my healing body. It is in the process of telling me to slow the hell down, which I’m working on this weekend.

On the other side of my emotional spectrum, though, I feel like all I want to do is be snugged in close to B taking in all of his sweet little newborn creature-ness. I’m so damn analytical, though, that I have a hard time just resting, finding peace in being laid back, and letting myself totally fall in love with this baby. The vulnerability of this new found intimacy is destabilizing. When I first fell in love with R, my whole world changed in ways similar to this: sleep deprivation, changing priorities, the seeming absence of time. It was different, though, to be having this experience as two adults. We could talk about what was happening, we could rationalize, we could plan (albeit poorly). With a baby, though, it’s the best I can do to surmise his needs in a given moment (hungry, wet, cold, hot, gassy, lonely) and to meet them to the best of my abilities. R and I can communicate with one another throughout this process, but B and I are just beginning to develop our lines of communication. It’s terrifying to 1) love someone this small this much, 2) feel 50% responsible for his well-being, and 3) not be able to guarantee his safety in the world.

I find myself having lots of dreams where I can’t find the baby or he’s hurt. I wake up panicked and rushing to his crib to be sure he’s safe and sound. I recognize that some of this is the by-product of sleep deprivation, but, I suspect, a lot of it is the process of my subconscious making peace with this level of vulnerability in the world. The early parenting experience has certainly ripped away another layer of the illusion that I move through the world with. This will be, in the long run, a positive thing. After all, what’s true is always already true. Denial doesn’t change that. Still, I find myself longing for a little bubble that I can keep him in…just for now…

n.b. We’re dilligently working on our birth story, so that should be up in a few days.


8 thoughts on “.intimacy.

  1. just unbelievable….i hope that knowing how you were
    “seen” and protected through all the days of your life….will give you some peace.
    i am always SO happy when i see “breaking into blossom” in the subject line of my email.
    you are both wonderful writers and your description of this experience is just amazing.
    peace and love to you both,

  2. For months, I had the recurring dream that our son was sleeping in our bed (which we didn’t typically do) and suddenly I realized he was far underneath the blankets. In my sleep, I’d be up on my hands and knees, frantically digging through the blankets and pawing at the mattress saying, “Where is he? Where is he? He can’t breathe!” Although it makes me crack up now, I’m feeling for you on the sleep deprivation/hallucination experience.

  3. I think those hallucinations are really common! I’ve been waking up thinking my stuffed animal is MJ and freaking out because I’m smothering him. When we are getting so little sleep it doesn’t seem fair to wake up like that!

  4. That photo… just beautiful. I love how you relate this to your experience falling in love with R. Sleep deprivation, changing priorities, seeming absence of time. I found myself saying *yes* exactly, that’s what happened when I fell in love with Ben! The new vulnerability of falling in love with an infant must be frightening, but it’s clear you already know and welcome the rewards that come along with it. Wishing you peaceful dreams along the way, dear friend :)

  5. Oh man did this post get to me.

    “The vulnerability of this new found intimacy is destabilizing.”

    ABSOLUTELY. What you’ve said is so true that I don’t have anything coherent to add. Expect “Here, here” and “It only grows”. I don’t know if that’s encouraging or just more overwhelming, but every.single.day that feeling gets deeper. I can’t imagine how far the tunnel goes.

    Also, beautiful picture. I love the way your hand is cradling is head. And hooray for the Rabbit ticker! Happy Day 17!

  6. Wow. This brought me right back to the intensity, terror and vulnerability of those crazy newborn days. I remember so well the alternation between claustrophobia and wanting to curl up close to home. I found myself saying “yes!” repeatedly while reading it. Thanks.

  7. this is spot on – i had dreams (before, during and after pregnancy) that they baby needed to be fed and i was on a seemingly endless hunt trying to find food him . i still struggle with taking time away from gunnar – (since i’m gone at the office all day – hard to take time away in addition to that). i find fluidity is key.
    love and blessings to you all,
    p.s. *love* the pic

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