“Sometimes”, said Winnie the Pooh, “you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge, lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, and you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.” Tiptoeing away from M’s big boy bed, I know exactly what the honey bear meant – there is nothing more we need in this world than this here.
With days left until Bump becomes a Babe, I feel my blogging mojo slipping away. It’s not that I’m spending my time being more productive, with nesting cleaning or packing bags, more that I’m just not sure what it is I want to say.
Before M was born, G and I were on tenterhooks. Anticipation at the change that was to come set the hairs on our arms alight from morning ’til right through the night. Nervous yet impatient, we noted every single change that I thought I might feel, measured fundal height, counted movements M made. Hospital bags were perfected through list writing, cross checking, and buying new things, the freezer was stocked to the hilt. We were anxious yet ready, so I bounced on the ball, walked miles each day, ate spices and drank tons of pineapple. 42 weeks seemed to stretch eternally.
The past week, things have started to move, but this time, with my doctor away ’til the weekend we’re reversing all actions, trying to ensure Bump stays where he is just a few short days more.
As this stage of our journey closes its’ chapter, emotional clarity, deftness of word escapes me totally. The past 15 months have brought some of the richest, toughest, most magical days, bewildering moments and emotions I could ever hope to have experienced in a lifetime. Never would I have thought it possible to live so many emotions in a 24 hour day, nor remember only the positives the next. Never before in my life has my outlook been so revitalised simply by the dawning of every precious new day.
The coming weeks I know are going to challenge us in ways we can’t possibly expect. We’re going to be tired and dsorganised and chaotic and highly stung but the rewards are going to outshine this all. In the coming weeks not only will we meet our latest child, but we’ll be able inshallah to witness our sons meet each other, in this world now. Excited anticipation at the thought of these first days, witnessing the bonding of the very beings which hold our hearts sends this page blurry before me as I type. With M we were excited for our journeys, as a woman and a man not yet as parents; this time we’re excited for our journey and for M’s too; this time the current is flowing downstream.
A few weeks ago, we bought M a teddy – a Winnie the Pooh which is bigger than him. This bear is the first toy save his penguin he has shown any real attachment or given identity to. Watching him waddle from room to room hugging this friend he can hardly see over sends electric flutters of love through my soul. Since he was born I’ve tried to get to know my eldest son, to discover his being, to uncover what makes him whole – seeing M hugging Winnie I see him unfolding so slowly, so surely, so securely right in from of my eyes and I recall Winnie’s words: “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.”
First time round, our hospital bags were planned and packed weeks in advance; the contents compiled with idealism of the experience we hoped to have. This time round, the bags are not as yet zipped shut, and the contents not so neatly planned out. This time round prioritised packing means M’s favourite toys inside his blanket in his own overnight bag, his favourite book with my hospital stuff. This time round, it’s not the packing and the using I’m looking forward to; it’s the unpacking of these bags still not quite composed, to holding not one baby but two together and of sitting as four yet just all still as one.
Clarity may elude me right now as emotions overwhelm every space in my heart, but as I tiptoe back to tuck a Pooh bear in next to M, certainty of it all is found in love.