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.