Saturday, January 21, 2017



I was thinking today about something I’ve written about before. These little newborns. This stage of utter newness is just almost ridiculously fleeting. Everything about it – the bowed legs that so easily still curl into a ball up next to their diaper, the slight fuzz on the tips of their ears and on their shoulders, their floppiness and the way they just scrunch and mold into you, their skin all red and warm and soft, their puffy eyelids (I LOVE the puffy under eyelids of newborns!), the way they will sleep whenever you want to nap so long as you let them fall asleep next to you nursing. Even their smell and sounds and that unmistakably newborn cry. I’ve thought before that maybe it is such a tiny speck of time that they exist this way simply because it is sacred. They do feel all swathed in heaven, and the not-quite-rational emotions that accompany this time – while many of them are overwhelming – seem to lend our souls an ability to recognize things beyond mortal logic more easily. They way it races away, I think, doesn’t allow us the chance to wave any part of them existing away as common place or to feel anything is ordinary about it. About them.


I have been more than usual in awe at the “miracle” of it all. I just keep thinking how nine months ago this body was nothing more than a rapidly dividing ball of cells. How is it really possible for our genes – our DNA – to truly get it right? To move those cells about and direct their placement and instruct them each to specialize in such a way that I have grown in me, in such a short time, this perfect body! With toes, and skin, and eyes, and a heart, perfect tiny lips, and muscles all connected properly to bones, and blood vessels, and kidneys, and fingernails and the tiny bones of the inner ear. It’s just astounding to me! I can’t get over it.


I wish this time wouldn’t fly by so fast. Though, as it does, I must admit, it’s always OK because each new thing compensates so well – smiles and coos and holding toys and laughing. It’s just never wanting to lose the very moment I am in. Which, I suppose, in general is good for me to think on – to enjoy the moment I am in (because it is here and it is miraculous), but not to fret so much about the fact that it is soon going to change because new joys keep coming. Still. This phase? Right now? For these very few weeks? It’s hard. And wild. And amazing. And truly it feels sacred.



Marilyn said...

I was reading something about the period of purification for Israelite women after childbirth---oh, I can't remember and I'm going to mess it all up, I'm sure. But a lot of times we see something like that and feel like it's so unfair, like, "What? they just had a baby, they aren't UNCLEAN!" But this thing I was reading talked about these time periods--I think it was forty days. And how forty days meant a symbolic time of growth and sacredness, like Christ fasting in the wilderness before his ministry began. And how after mothers give birth, that forty days (which works out to like six weeks, which is the traditional "postpartum" time, right? like you and your baby have a 6-week doctor checkup) is a really important time for bonding and growing and establishing. And the Israelite women spent that time set apart, with other women, and their babies, experiencing the holiness. A time for the mother and baby to share this sacredness together, as you were talking about. And of course most of us, especially with other kids!, can't really take the entire 40 days to just snuggle and rest and nurse and enjoy the baby. But it would be ideal if we could, and we should at least try to slow down during that time and recognize that it is a powerful time. Try to eliminate everything else we CAN, and let the time be special.

ANYWAY, it just reminded me of it, reading this post. Almost like the time after birth is a holy period. Like "the Christmas season" or something. Baby Season. :) Because it really does feel like that, and I think it's supposed to. It's a reaching for or an approximation of something eternal, I think. Like you said. Sacred.

Kara said...

Absolutely agree. Well said.

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