Great with Child

From "Great with Child," Beth Ann Fennelly

From “Great with Child,” Beth Ann Fennelly

‘Great with Child,’ Beth Ann Fennelly. Sometimes, I’m afraid to really start writing again because my heart has changed so much, feels as Fennelly says ‘endangered’ and I’m still trying to navigate the new terrain. I feel more acutely than I ever have before and I’m a poet, so that’s a hell of a lot more than I’m used to. I can only crack the door right now. She’s right. There is absolutely no way to contain it. I feel as if I’m putting up a barrier when I try. I’m scared to dig in. And I know in my head that the fear or when you are scared in writing (I suppose life, too) that you jump in. But I guess I’m not ready yet.
Another poet also said that there are observation phases, but I sometimes feel that’s a cop-out for not writing, even though I would say I’m in that phase. I go through spells. A year or two of hibernation and then a year or so of intense writing. The years are long in that regard. The guilt is there. Though sometimes I’m too tired to feel guilty. And not that you need to be in a sad state to write, but there needs to be some sort of churning, I think, at least for me and right now, I’m really happy. I feel the pull around the edges, which I suppose is a reminder that it’s still there. And then as I write that another voice in my head says I’m making excuses and I probably am.

I was listening to an NPR interview with Alan Alda this morning. He was talking about a moment he almost died in Chile when he had to have an emergency operation. He said the event made him appreciate life more, not that he didn’t before, but it gave him a new sense or life, a new love and drive for it. I feel motherhood is exactly that – before you’re a mother you know how to love, know what love is and what it feels like, but after the moment your baby is born it’s a whole new level, the colors seem brighter, you love on an entirely new plane.
Alda also said something which is not really related, but I liked. A friend of his said about our distance with death: We all know it’s going to happen, just not in our lifetime.

Also, Jack is almost one. In three months, he’s turning one and I honestly can’t account for the time. I honestly can’t wrap my head around how that happened. “I can’t wait for him to be a little boy,” Pat said. “He’s going to be a two-year old little boy and then a three year old little boy and then a four…” “And then he’s going to be a 30-year old little boy and we’ll be old as balls.” Seriously. That’s how time is happening. Warming up my bagel this morning, 20 seconds just flew. It’s strange when you see time winding down like that. It makes it tangible. I know it’s seconds, but they add up. And almost a whole year of them has passed us.
We transitioned Jack to his crib full time. I took it harder than he did. I was actually pretty sad about it. I still am a little. He’s getting bigger is what it means to me. He already skipped his nursing session this morning. I’m being replaced by a banana. It’s good. It’s all good. Just the passage of time and it’s so much more obvious with a little person when ever day is a huge milestone. I was updating his baby book last night and looking at picture of him in the past months. It’s still him. His face was always there, never smooshed or awkward. He’s always been our beautiful boy. And I know I’ll always see him for who he was and who he will be.

Happy 8 months, Jack! He's obviously very cooperative, loves Tula (he's growing on her), still loves trees, laughing, eating, wiping food on my arms. He's learning to clap and says da-da even though I'm his favorite. He's in 6-12 month clothes because every company does whatever the hell they want as far as sizes. Oh and he's getting his fourth tooth, ate his first piece of cat food and is still the happiest boy on the block.

Happy 8 months, Jack! He’s obviously very cooperative, loves Tula (he’s growing on her), still loves trees, laughing, eating, wiping food on my arms. He’s learning to clap and says da-da even though I’m his favorite. He’s in 6-12 month clothes because every company does whatever the hell they want as far as sizes. Oh and he’s getting his fourth tooth, ate his first piece of cat food and is still the happiest boy on the block.

Teeth!

Teeth!

Father's Day

Father’s Day

My 31st birthday selfie

My 31st birthday selfie

Trip to Portland last week

Trip to Portland last week

jackhaircurl

Cannon Beach, OR.

Cannon Beach, OR.

Greatest American. Happy 4th of July!

Greatest American. Happy 4th of July!

Fam photo on Cannon Beach, OR.

Fam photo on Cannon Beach, OR.

Happy 9 months, Jack-O! Still the happiest baby alive. I woke up about 8x last night while Jack slept in his crib all night and got up once. His 6 teeth are really sharp. Motherhood makes you cry during Jurassic World. Took his second airplane ride to Portland. Owned it in his fedora. Loves to smear his food all over mom, clap, bang on stuff, crawl into inaccessible places, pull himself up. Preferred pooping position: on his stomach with his head down. About 28 in. And 20lbs. Kill in' it! So loved!

Happy 9 months, Jack-O! Still the happiest baby alive. I woke up about 8x last night while Jack slept in his crib all night and got up once. His 6 teeth are really sharp. Motherhood makes you cry during Jurassic World. Took his second airplane ride to Portland. Owned it in his fedora. Loves to smear his food all over mom, clap, bang on stuff, crawl into inaccessible places, pull himself up. Preferred pooping position: on his stomach with his head down. About 28 in. And 20lbs. Kill in’ it! So loved!

Dig in!

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4 Responses to Great with Child

  1. Angella says:

    So a beautiful meditation on new motherhood. Should I point out that this is exquisite writing, or will that spook you?

    But no guilt, okay? Deal? Honey, there will be years in this motherhood journey when all you can do to get through them is write. So yeah, no guilt. Just be. And enjoy.

    Gosh, but he is joyful and gorgeous. Your photos of him are wonderful, too.

    • rachelvb says:

      It doesn’t spook me, Angella =) Thank you for saying so. And thank you for the kind words. The guilt is pretty faint and far between, but I’ll work on it being non-existent. Sorry it took me so long to respond!

  2. Ms. Moon says:

    My mother-heart broke open again at this tender and true post. Everything you said, I can relate to, even now that my “babies” range in age from 39 down to 26. Yes. I am old as balls but that part of my heart is as young as a baby’s first breath.
    And let me warn you- it is that growing up of your babe as he reaches new milestones and becomes less baby and more boy that makes you think, “Oh…maybe another one?”
    Mother Nature is a wily bitch.
    Your child is gorgeous.

    • rachelvb says:

      Mary, I think our hearts change age every day. Some days it feels older, some it feels younger. And I think however we feel that day is our true age =)
      I’ve heard that! It’s still way too soon, but we do want more. Maybe when we forget how sleep deprived we are? hahaha, yeah right!
      He is the sweetest boy. Thank you. xoxo

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