The day before M was born, we’d been for a trace of his heartbeat. This baby’s got to come out, she said: tomorrow.
We thought we were ready. I knew I was ready. I was done with pregnancy, done with the anticipation, done with feeling useless. I wanted my baby. The baby we’d watched grow tri-weekly from a bean to a person (Leidon Factor V comes with benefits), the baby whose recent movements had been shaking our mattress forcing me to leave the bed so G could sleep. Our baby, whose clothes were ironed and waiting and whom we loved so completely already; we were ready to say hi.
One last ‘just us’ lunch. One last pram-free stroll. One last ‘on my own in a cafe with no baby’ coffee. Oops. Was that my waters?
We weren’t ready. Weren’t prepared. That desk in the kitchen would be turned into a 3am nappy change table, baby’s nursery that ‘we’ll do when he’s home’ still isn’t done, and whose idea was it to use eco balls for cloth nappies, anyway? But more than this, we weren’t prepared for what a baby would do to us.
It had happened ten days earlier. A gush of blood. “Baby’s getting ready to come”, she’d said. “Unusual, but normal…nothing to worry about.” But baby didn’t come then, so why would he now? Home.
None of it matters. The not having been prepared stuff. M will never know how chaotic his first night at home was, or how his nappies ended up pink after the first wash (note to self: always remove wraps. especially red ones). A baby doesn’t know if his room is decorated or his mobiles can spin. He doesn’t know, and he doesn’t care. All he needs is the one thing we couldn’t have prepared for, no matter how long we’d have had. Nothing prepared us for the rush of love we feel for this little man whose eyelashes grow longer by the day and whose little hand I can’t bear to let go.
When the doc can’t find the waters, you realise they must have gone. She realises they must have gone. It all makes a bit more sense. Would it have been different if she’d have checked me at the time? Could we have been more prepared?
We weren’t prepared for the love taking over our world, or of the shifting of the love in our world. I wish we’d been prepared. I feel it’s a failing on my part, on ours maybe, that we didn’t prepare for that. Having a baby shifts your focus from us to them. That tiny person becomes the first in line for the excess in your heart, and unwittingly the person you loved enough to create that tiny being slips down the list in need of love. At the exact time when you need to bump them up.
Prepared or not, I couldn’t have done it without you. And we were. Prepared, that is. In the way that matters most, we were. We were prepared to dedicate our love to always being in each others lives. Because that’s what a baby is..that’s what a baby means: an expression of love so deep that you cannot possibly begin to prepare.
“… open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you’re free
look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
ah, la one big family
it’s your god forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved”
30day song challenge: Day 07 – A song that reminds you of a certain event: The birth of our son.