Thursday, December 16, 2010

Loving Eliza, Specifically

I remember when I wanted to be pregnant and I wasn’t yet.  I felt a kind of aching then.  A longing for a baby.  I just wanted a baby.  Any old baby would do.  Boy or girl, didn’t matter.  Just a healthy baby.  David and I would talk seriously about adoption.  Biological or heart-grown, didn’t matter.  We just wanted a baby. 

It didn't take us all that long to get pregnant, but it felt like an eternity.  My idea of what it would be like to be pregnant, to become a mom was still totally vague.  I just wanted a dream baby one day.  And if that day could hurry up, please.  Hurry up and bring me a baby—any baby will do.

And now?

Now I only want my baby.

No other baby will do.

Am I jealous of other mothers who have babies?  Sort of.  I envy the ones who have never had to go through this experience.  I will never forget lying in that hospital bed, hearing the cry of a newborn baby in the next room and thinking about Eliza's silence.  But I am not jealous.  I do not want their babies.  I want my baby.

I want Eliza.

And it blows my mind how, having only been able to hold her for a few hours, having just precious minutes to stroke her soft little cheek and hold her tiny perfect hands, not how much I love her (because that seems obvious), but how specifically I love her.

People talk about loving their newborns instantly and other people admit that it takes a little while to be overwhelmed by that fierce mother-love.  You have to get to know them, and you only love them more.

Perhaps that should make it easier?  That I never knew her alive?  That she would always be a dream, a figment, a should-have-been?

But...  No.  She was so real.  Flesh and bones and blood.  Pain and agony and exhaustion.  Tangible and fragile and perfect.  Soft and powder-scented and feather-light.  Not a figment at all.

I know Eliza.  I know her because she was a part of me.  A piece of me.  A piece of David, too. 
 
I love her so specifically.

Nothing else will do.

And that makes me think of another song.  Sung, appropriately enough, by The Weepies.



"Gotta Have You"

Gray, quiet and tired and mean
Picking at a worried seam
I try to make you mad at me over the phone.
Red eyes and fire and signs
I'm taken by a nursery rhyme
I want to make a ray of sunshine and never leave home

No amount of coffee, no amount of crying
No amount of whiskey, no amount of wine
No, no, no, no, no, nothing else will do
I've gotta have you, I've gotta have you.

The road gets cold, there's no spring in the middle this year
I'm the new chicken clucking open hearts and ears
Oh, such a prima donna, sorry for myself
But green, it is also summer
And I won't be warm till I'm lying in your arms

No amount of coffee, no amount of crying
No amount of whiskey, no amount of wine
No, no, no, no, no, nothing else will do
I've gotta have you, I've gotta have you.

I see it all through a telescope: guitar, suitcase, and a warm coat
Lying in the back of the blue boat, humming a tune...

No amount of coffee, no amount of crying
No amount of whiskey, no amount of wine
No, no, no, no, no, nothing else will do
I've gotta have you, I've gotta have you.

No amount of coffee, no amount of crying
No amount of whiskey, no amount of wine
No, no, no, no, no, nothing else will do
I've gotta have you, I've gotta have you, I've gotta have you.



8 comments:

  1. She'll always be your daughter.

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  2. You did know her alive. You did.

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  3. And she will always be a part of you.

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  4. Quite right. She is a piece of you, and now you'll always be longing for that piece.

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  5. I have just come across your blog today and read about your terrible loss. It's such a shock to read about your pain. I can only hope time will ease your agony and in time you will have another daughter to love. Thank you for sharing your story. God Bless you and your husband.

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  6. I think that each child digs their own special burrow in our hearts...and that burrow cannot be filled with any other person or child or thing. Of course, other burrows can be made and filled...but not Eliza's.

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  7. I'm always heartbroken to read new stories of mothers that have lost their babies. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I've been reading your entries and they are heartbreaking and beautiful. I'm so sorry you have to endure this pain and didn''t get to spend more time with Eliza. Our children will always be known by us and as you so beautifully said they were and are always a part of us. That longing will always be there. Thinking of you.

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  8. Yep. This captures it.

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