The moment of your birth was a relief,
Probably for you, too.
You were so late,
And we had been struggling for hours.
My body desperately trying to send you
into the world.
You desperately trying to stay home,
I’m not sure which.
They whisked you away.
I don’t know where they took you.
I remember asking if you were okay;
More because I thought it was something I should say
Than because I wanted to know.
Someone – one of the ten or fifteen people who had been in and out of
Me and my room that day – said you were okay.
They must lie easily. I learned later they took you to some neo-natal specialist
To make sure you didn’t have brain damage from being stuck
Between there and here for so long.
So you might not have been okay.
When the nurse brought you back to me
You were wrapped in a soft flannel blanket
White with delicate blue flowers
You were so tiny.
Too tiny to be whatever had passed
From there to here
Between my legs
You were so beautiful.
Unruly black hair; long, slender fingers; enormous violet eyes framed by soft, dark lashes;
Even your toothless mouth that filled the room with hungry, tired, confused cries
Was perfect and beautiful
And, you were powerful.
I fell hard and fast,
There are no words to describe.
I fell in love.
You – eight pounds, seven ounces, barely two hours old –
Had more power over me than anyone else in the world.
I felt my whole self open.
Heart growing too big for my chest; eyes wide and filling with tears; lungs expanding
Searching for the breath you had taken.
I felt my whole self open
As if to pull you back inside
To live at the centre of my being