Wednesday, October 26, 2011


When Ben was born I was quite sick. I was dehydrated, running a fever, some kind of virus was in charge. I went into labor two weeks early and even after several hours in the hospital on an IV the nurses weren't convinced that it was "time." Eventually, though, Mr. Ben made his appearance, and even though he was early he was a nice 8 pounds.

But, due to the distress in his last days inutero, for several weeks he wasn't able to maintain a stable body temperature, so we were sent to bed together to have skin-on-skin contact. I'd peel down my nightgown (and pray I wouldn't leak milk all over him) and we'd undress his little body. We'd wrap up together under flannel sheets and flannel blankies and a heavy down comforter and nap...and nurse...and nap. I mean, what better to do? He was a sleepy new baby and I, a sleepy mom. Now that I think about it, of course all mamas and babies should be so, tucked away in warmth and safety, sharing the heat they shared for the first nine months. But, at the time, not being quite so earthy-crunchy (or informed...or evolved) as I am now, it was a prescription for a fragile time, for a fragile baby.

Last night, as I lay in bed trying to sleep, heart racing, thinking of my baby across the continent, laying in his bed trying to sleep, my mind paused on that memory and I was struck by the significance. Because, really, in all I do as a mother, it's that, absolutely. Even though he is 3000 miles away from me, I held him to my skin and I gave him the warmth, and security, and stability he needed to know that I, his mama, was there to keep him safe.

And when, at 3 am, I awoke, my body aware that 3000 miles away he was awake, and sitting in a cab on his way to the hospital, I began our two hour text-versation with these words: "I'm here."

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Update: Ben is out of surgery. All went well. He has a new 17" rod installed. He's resting, eating ice chips, and watching TV. It's not his best day, but I can also tell you, it's not his worst! More later...



this is wonderful :)

Mindy said...

Beautiful post, Susie. Thank you for sharing your journey.