Monday, April 15, 2013

at the speed of you

Eve Adele, born 4.11.10
Baby girl, I know it's been your M.O. from the start, since the morning I went from happily working the Sunday crossword at 8:10am in that 8th floor triage room downtown - deciding to just "go ahead and stay" though the nurse offered to let us go home til things "progressed" - to grasping you outstretched and slippery on my chest at 8:53am, but I don't believe that the knowledge of your ability to keep things moving at obliterating speeds will ever save me from the experience of it.  Some people will think that (43 minutes minus check-in, minus grabbing our bags, minus a careful walk to the L&D room down the hall equals what? 30 minutes?) of active labor means the delivery wasn't all that bad, easy by comparison to most, but in reality it was more like packing every great cataclysm of birth into one neat and sharpened point shot straight into my belly.  Where I was at one moment steadily preparing to climb into a hospital bed I am now pierced, torn, tumbling, reaching, crying for help.  Suddenly I am St. Teresa at the mercy of this beautiful, terrible angel, his arrow's tip bearing the inescapable density of a black hole, my "easy" labor actually labor compressed, the universe in a marble, the full text and revelation of the Bible written on a single grain of rice.  My eyes are open but all I see is blind white light, volcanic lightning.  The voices multiply, calling orders, instructing me, they flood every space.  I am overwhelmed.  I fight for a grip in the landslide and then the atom splits and you are in my fumbling arms, your own beauty outshining the blinding white, banishing the angel.  But you are wet and writhing, slipping against my surprise, gurgling in your cries, so they pull you away to the far side of the room and crowd around you, eclipsing my sunlight, and they say it is too much gurgling but I cannot move to reach you, the great waves of the tsunami are still rocking through my hips, and my body quakes, it shudders, my teeth clatter aftershocks while the doctor finishes me up and Jimmy speaks to me in perfect proud and calm soothing joy until they bring you back and I can look you full in the face at last, and in all this memory of your birth I only remember one single thought capable of forming amid the total upheaval of me, capable only because it rose in utter instinctual panic, and it rang like churchbells in my head:   Too fast!  how is it over?  put her back!  again!  it happened too fast!  

And I knew you had set your pace for life.

Eve Adele,  4.11.13