Tuesday, June 30, 2015


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One of the first things I remember thinking after Riel was born was that I wanted to live forever.

There was this beautifully terrifying moment where I held her against my skin, trying to soothe her as we both cried, and I remember hearing my inner monologue actually say: "I want to live forever..."  

It was in that second, in all of my joy, that I came to the sober realization of my own mortality.

My daughter's birth set into motion the circle of life. Her birth and life showed me that my universe would no longer end at me. It made me realize that one day, hopefully far, far away, I will die and she will live. It gave me faith that there has to be more than this life, because I never want to stop loving her, even after this life is over. And that has to be enough to believe there is something more. It scared me to think of her in a world without me in it to protect her. Others could try, but nobody else will ever be able to love and protect her like I can.

In all of my happiness the night she was born, there was a sadness knowing there would be parts of her that I would never know or see.

I think that's the part that really enlightened me, the intense mix of emotions that come along with having a baby. I didn't expect this, because It's not just love, or if it is, this was a new kind of love that I was never capable of feeling before. 

I can't really explain it except to say that meeting Riel opened up parts of me-- my mind,  my soul and my heart-- that I didn't know existed. It made me see this new symmetry of life-- this beautiful centre of the universe, where she was just entering and I am partway done. Our time together, though it was just beginning, wasn't ever going to be enough. It was profound and beautiful to love as much as I loved.

I knew I would love my baby with all my heart, but I didn't expect to feel all the other feelings.

Ten weeks in, I am still trying to articulate these feelings. They have become even more real in the fact that time seems to be racing by, and that both Riel and I (more so Riel) are changing and evolving so rapidly. It's hard to keep up and absorb every second. Combine that with the fact that these new emotions and thoughts are fierce and confusing. I can understand why having a baby can lead to postpartum depression and baby blues... I don't think I am afflicted with either of those conditions, but I have a new empathy for others who may suffer.

Having a baby is so many things. It's wonderful and terrifying and it sure makes you aware of time and how quickly is passes by.

I'm not trying to be morbid, any time with my girl is special. I just never ever want it to end.

That old Robert Munsch book kind of sums it up; I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be... I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my mommy you'll be...

I love you Riel. I'm still trying to figure out forever.

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