This was typed up Friday evening while the thoughts were fresh. They’re not fresh anymore–most of the paradoxical feelings have been forgotten, so please forgive the rambling nature and abrupt leave-off. I will leave it in its woefully unrefined state for authenticity’s sake.
It’s movie night, and almost everyone is downstairs watching Return of the Jedi. Beatrice is in bed; I am in bed (or, sitting on top of it.) Aurick is in his basket in the “baby closet” I prepared for him.
This is his first night at home. We arrived from the hospital this afternoon, made all the introductions, passed Aurick around, ate dinner, gave baths, put some to bed and some to watching the movie. I tried to watch, but my right hip is still hurting too much. I came upstairs to put Aurick down and to try to ease those sore joints with the massager. They’ve been sore for months now–I am not sure how long the easing will take.
The postpartum period is rife with contradictions and nonsensical emotions. Here tonight I am finally home, which I have been looking forward to being for two days, yet packing up from the hospital always feels very melancholy to me. I think this is because it is the first place I am together with the baby, and it always feels like the close of a chapter that no one saw but me. The feeling of driving home is very surreal–like nothing has changed except the baby and myself. It’s hard to explain.
There is also the stark relief of not being pregnant anymore, and then the slight sadness of not being pregnant anymore. I use the massager on my hip, glad that I don’t have to worry anymore about it somehow hurting the baby when I do. I use the massager on my hip, a little sad that he’s on the outside and not the inside anymore. Why both?
For weeks I dreaded (dreaded) going into labor, giving birth. I almost would have chosen to be pregnant for another month. Then I finally face it, and it’s fine like it always is, and the memory of it stands out starkly in my mind–the pain, the smells, the sounds, everyone in the room. I lie here and I think I would not go through the pregnancy again for anything, but I would repeat the birth. Why?
I always try very hard to put things in order before a baby comes. Cleaning, organizing, decorating. This time I was in so much physical pain that I left most things be. I remembered that I won’t really care so much once he’s here how organized things are. (It’s true.) Now we’re home, and the desire to totally order things looms still in the back of my mind. This is “The Machine” that I fought against with Beatrice. Aurick is the Seventh, the Day of Rest. I have made him swaddling blankets with the edges fringed to remind myself to leave margin and not exhaust myself with ordering everything, which consistently renders me unable to see people as anything but tasks. I am a little concerned I will not be able to remember very easily.