11.08.2010

BATTLEFIELD


When I look back on those first few days after Huck was born it like I am looking through a glittery soft-focus lens. I miss those days. I miss that throbbing feeling of new emptiness in my abdomen, and the way his squishy face would give way to the tiny fluttering of barely open eyes. I miss my nurses and the ugly hospital gowns and the impossibility of knowing whether it was day or night outside.

It has been two weeks since Huck was born, and already my memory has started to fade. I can't remember what it felt like to be pregnant at all. I don't remember where my back ached, I can't even picture my pregnant belly. My memory of the pain of childbirth is already so dim that I feel like I could have seven more babies, right this minute. Pretty please? The bruise on my arm from where the nurse blew out my vein trying to insert an IV is finally healing, my stomach is flat again, and even my outtie belly button is back to being an innie, something I really thought might never happen. I've already asked Brandon when we can start trying for another one.

But smoldering hot in my memory still are those first few days at home. Those first days with a newborn are like warfare, and I was its loyal soldier. Bruised on the battlefield of delivery, my body so so sore, I'd reach for that squiggly body through the pain like he was the very air I breathed. Through exploding rounds of fire and hormones, while exhausted and aching from every muscle, and with eyes aching from the fatigue of all-night skirmishes, I couldn't even force myself to sleep. I had to catch his every expression, memorize the outline of his cheeks before they changed any more, and be alert for every fleeting second of his perfect little life. He would latch on and my toes would curl through the pain, until slowly I was relieved, my every cell vibrating with purpose.

I have never felt more alive. I've also never felt more like the walking dead.

My aunt Stacey texted me a few days before Huck was born. (Marco!) She told me she was jealous of what I was about to do. She described her childbirths and hospital stays and first days home as "magical." It sounded ridiculous to me at the time, but now I remember sitting on an ice pack in the recovery suite, my still sweaty hair pulled back in a sloppy ponytail, staring at this beautiful creature as he nursed, feeling blissfully happy and under the influence of all kinds of crazy cocktails of new mom hormones, and I got it. It made perfect sense.

Those fantastic, frustrating, horrible, aching, incredible, soul-explodingly joyful days, those first days are straight up magic.

I can't wait to do it again.

26 comments :

  1. Your Huck is a lucky little boy. Just sayin'...

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  2. Gosh I love your posts.

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  3. magical describes this post as well.

    and *cheers* yay old testament post!!! bring it!! : )

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  4. Yay! I'm glad you're loving it, even though it is FREAKING HARD!!! It's weird how quickly you forget things, huh? I remember nearly crying watching other people flop down onto the couch with nary a thought, thinking, "I will never get to flop anywhere AGAIN!!!" Or bend over, or get up without huffing, or see the bones in my feet, or see anything akin to cheekbones in my icky moon face. And then, boom! I suddenly got to do all of it. And within a week I was taking it for granted. Now, with the second baby, there's still a pile of jeans in my closet I'm sure will never button again (and Utah winters mean I WON'T be exercising outside, thank you very much), but I keep reminding myself that someday I'll say goodbye to the extra booty I managed to acquire, as well as the boobs that eclipse my feet, and that someday I'll wear those jeans again. By which time they will be well out of style. Lovely. ;)

    p.s. You are correct--there is nothing magical about sitting on an ice pack because your hoo-haw is mortally wounded. N.o.t.h.i.n.g! But holding that sleepy, squishy little bundle with that thick newborn hair and those puffy newborn cheeks and that tiny newborn cry and that irresistible newborn smell? Pure Disney/Hans Christian Anderson/fairytale/once-upon-a-time magic.

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  5. And she blogs, too, ladies and gentlemen!

    Don't know how you still manage to write such beautiful prose with a newborn and lack of sleep, but I'm so glad you do. Your posts are always such a treat.

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  6. You are already an awesome mom!

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  7. You summed becoming a mother up perfectly!! Enjoy him.

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  8. Your posts lately have made me want to have a baby. I've followed you (rather quietly) for a year now, but just recently started to comment. I am just amazed on your honesty in your posts. You rock, lady! :)

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  9. Oh man, NAT! I am sooooo happy for you! And your baby is beautiful and I've now got baby fever like nobody's business. Something the Schatz is kinda on the fence about. But he's beautiful and I know you're rocking motherhood. Congrats again. May your nights be peaceful and your baby eat well.

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  10. oh my goodness. you could not have described those first few days better. you just put into words my feelings. so much pain, so much joy, so much magic. and even the curled toes while nursing. motherhood has made you an even better writer, which i wouldn't have thought possible.

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  11. Beautiful post! I'm so happy for you and your huckleberry holbs family. :)

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  12. PRECIOUS! I can't wait to feel such magic!

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  13. You said it so perfectly! I could not agree more.

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  14. Dude, it took me three months to even allow the thought of more children to cross my mind. And even now, at almost four months post-partum, I still remember the AGONY that was the first 6 weeks. My baby was angelic, but I was a basketcase.

    It's a good thing some moms don't feel the way I did, or people might stop having babies.

    Here's to recovering and continuing to multiply and replenish the eart!

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  15. very sweet post. and that photo is absolutely beautiful. what a precious memory for you to have.

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  16. I LOVED being pregnant the first time. Like you I wanted another baby right away (well once everything "down there" was healed enough). Enjoy their baby years. Each year is special and wonderful, but there is nothing like holding your newborn!!

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  17. Congratulations again on your new blessing! I can't wait to read more.

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  18. I'm thrilled at the prospect of an Old Testament post, and I'm so glad you're enjoying your high life right now. :-) When the lows come, at least you'll be able to read this post to yourself, and maybe it will pull you up a tad until you're back up for real. Aren't blogs grand?

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  19. YAY! for an Old Testament Post!

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  20. Did you just say your stomach was completely flat to make me bawl? Ok maybe that will happen again. After this baby and 5 billion days of working out. Sigh he is beautiful times a million

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  21. it is so wonderful to know that it's possible to forget the pregnancy that quickly! during the nastiness of the first trimester i remember saying over and over, i'm never doing this again. my attitude is changing of course, but its good to know that i will indeed want more than one. :) thanks for sharing such sweet stories. it makes me sooo excited for my little one to come.

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  22. fine. i'll do it. you've convinced me. i must make a baby.

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  23. You obviously don't have a colicky baby. Lucky you.

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  24. Right there with you.. do it all over again.. and again.. and again...
    Love the toe-curling pain of nursing (in the beginning at least), that was exactly how my momma described it before I experienced it myself.
    Miss it something terrible!

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