Thursday, November 18, 2010

Letter to Ruby

In the midst of all the darkness, there is light - a bright shining light of life. So while I grieve for my mum, I must remember to celebrate my new daughter.

Dear Ruby Rose,

You are 8 weeks old and glorious in gorgeousness. You've had a hectic beginning being looked after by so many people while I see your Nanna in hospital, but you cling to me and look so bright-eyed you convince me it's all ok.

I am meant to be your teacher, your protector, your guide, but it is you who is keeping me grounded, secure and in the moment. It is you who pulls be back over and over again from the edge of darkness when my mind and heart wander to my loss and grief. And while my heart aches for my mum, it soars for you.

Every baudacious burp, every satisfying suckle, every cheerful chortle and every gratifying grin; every little squeak like a mouse, every stretch like a little frog, every mew like a kitten, you push away the shadows. And my mum loves you, even in her absence. When I dry your chubby little legs after each bath, my mum's voice whispers over my shoulder,"dry her properly, get all those little creases in her arms and legs." When I sing you a lullaby at night, the song she taught me floats in the air. When I throw my arms up in despair when I can't work out why you are screaming while trying to get the girl's tea, her voice laughs beside me, "well, you did choose to have three!" You are loved not just by me, but also by those who have loved me.

I hold you close in the darkness of night, alone while the house snores quietly. I smell your head and know that while my world might be shaking, I will keep steady for you. You are beautiful. You are perfect. You are mine. And even though this is the saddest time of my life, I am the happiest woman alive.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Why did I wait so long?

I've lost my mum when I need her most. She's still alive, but her life is over. She lies in a bed, trapped in her body, confused by her thoughts. I still have her, but I've lost her guidance, her support, her love, her ability to walk into my house and see the pile of ironing, the person who would have helped me bring up my three young children. My beautiful new daughter is seven weeks old and I found out this week that she has inherited my chromosome disorder that was responsible for all my miscarriages. And what devastates me more than anything now that I've lost my best supporter, is that I might not be around when she needs me most. Even if she waits till she's 30 (which is early by modern standards) I will be 70. If she waits until she is 40 like me, I will be 80. Will I be around when she needs me most? When she needs me to help her through possible grief and upsets as her fertility issues arise? When she needs me to hold her hand through her first pregnancy and help her with the housework? When she needs me to tell her her baby is the most beautiful child in the world and she is the best mum? To babysit, to councel, to listen, to share her joy, and share the burden. Why did I wait so long?

I thought I had to live my life before I had children.... that they somehow represented the end of something. I never realised of course, that they are the beginning. Why did I waste so much time? Why didn't I give my mum many more years to enjoy her grandchildren?

My generation thought we were having it all by pushing motherhood later and later...... but I'm beginning to fear that we made a huge mistake. Now I think our generation will be left with nothing - no support systems, no guidance and no energy to help our children when they need us most.

Why did I wait so long? And another huge thank you to my blog-brethren - your support is so lovely at this time....... xx