I sat in the garden a few weeks postpartum and felt the breeze. Holding my daughter close to my chest wrapped warm in her colorful quilt. My son played. I smiled. Even laughed. There was a lifting here. Happiness I could feel. The early postpartum fog rose half an inch.
I’m in the garden 6 months postpartum. The breeze is shifting from early spring to early fall. My daughter is stretched out on the same colorful quilt. I’m watering the flowers. I glance over, catch her eye, and she grins. Wide as the ocean. My son plays. There is a light-heartedness here. Happiness felt everywhere. Half a year postpartum finds me well. Finds all of us well. Time can be beautiful.
My husband and I were talking about Heidi’s birth recently and his experience of her birth confirms the word I use to describe it–powerful.
I remember hearing the firm words and controlled intensity of my doctor urging Heidi to cry. Really cry. The hearty infant cry you want to hear for every birth. The cord had been wrapped around Heidi’s neck and the final moments of her delivery were difficult for her. I knew from my doctor’s tone that something wasn’t fully the way it should be after she was born, but I also didn’t feel alarming chaos since she gave care so succinctly and swiftly. All truly was well, and I rememeber asking “Is she okay?” They were effusive in their reply. Yes, she is!! AND SHE WAS!! But when my husband relays the story there’s a bit more intensity to what happened. No emergency, but some uneasy moments to be sure.
Life is so precious and the gift of a baby, a live birth, and a healthy mom is cause for worldwide celebration every single time. I told her birth story already, and it’s a good one. But anyway, Heidi was born! And even in the intensity, the turning blue post-birth, the “MAKE HER CRY” commands, there she was.
Healthy. Whole. Strong. Spring after winter. Spring the whole time. My wonderful doctor saying more to herself than anyone else, “Congratulations. That was a beautiful, beautiful thing.”
Indeed it was. Still is.
There’s more to this story. And it’s remarkable! But it’s also not really my story to tell on the internet. I just know that every single detail of Heidi’s birth was a powerful display of our God.
Still in the days following Heidi’s birth I would cry over my midwife not being there. I would struggle deeply through the fog. Days would feel like sandpaper. . .scraping, depleting. Growing pains galore. But the garden bloomed and so did I, eventually. And wowza, it’s worth the time it took!
I’ve spent plenty of October afternoons side-by-side with my daughter. Being a mother, but feeling so free and light. Seeing butterflies at the zinnias taking there sweet time.
[Admittedly] sighing at the lovely autumn breeze making it difficult to photograph flowers. Just stop for a second. (But you can resume your breeziness soon!! I do love it, promise!😅) Enjoying the last warm afternoons and anticipating everything cozy and holiday.
Always gathering up the baby toys, that same colorful quilt, that enthusiastic Heidi o’ mine in awkward armfuls! My son toddling with us, sometimes ever so slowly!
It’s a season rich in its routine. Filled with chatter, “I got chu, Mommy,” overwhelm, laughter, and learning. Heidi’s birth story is 7 months in the past, still stunning us with how it turned out, how God weaved every detail and moment, how we experienced His protection and power.
Life is poignant, brilliant!
Excuse my big bold letters, but the garden knows it too.
I wrote a poem about 6 weeks into my postpartum season having been inspired by a spring bird whistling through a rainstorm. This poem, Weather, touches on the complex journey of deepening into motherhood and staying in life, of experiencing wonder & joy alongside the fog and absolute heaviness that occur during motherhood. While the heavy, indiscernable postpartum fog lifted soon after birth, the growing pains in the last 6 (now 7!) months have been intense. But I am more settled than ever. A happy mom. Loving it. Height of joy these days, but I know there will be more to weather. Impossible to avoid, but the sun abides and the bird flies. And so do I.
in a rainstorm.
into a mother.
a damp, hard thing,
but a rhythm
this bird and I
for we’ve learned to
Welcome to the garden, November. It’s lovely to see you. Happy 7 months, Heidi. You’re radiant! Happy memories flood of finding out about Shasta. I love you more than ever, son! We’re flying. We’re anchored. We’re weathering. And it’s fall, but it’s spring. What a season.