An early assignment, look at this!
I thought I'd better post this a couple of days early, since my schedule has been so overwhelming these days. Reading though your work this week, I was inspired to offer this topic, "After the Baby" with a focus on the post-partum adjustment period.
Please take a moment to reflect on a single event of your post partum period, or period after your baby/child joined you. Keep it short, 700 words or less, and focus on the single event, though it may evoke a wider scope of meaning than the single event. Use your sense memory, especially heightened if you had your child by birth, to rekindle details you might have forgotten.
I was shopping tonight as I thought about what I would contribute and when this memory hit me, I noticed that I was crying in the juice aisle. The childbearing year is so rich with emotion and fodder for great writing, but it sure can be overwhelming.
Take care, beautiful ones. I hope to have more time to "chat" with you soon. Keep up building your community of writing mamas here. You're doing good, thoughtful work all the time.
After the baby came, I walk through the room noticing the details. Peri bottles and chux pads, empty film containers and laundry here and there accent the happy space. It is mostly clean, just a little cluttered.
I hear my oldest daughter call me from downstairs. "One minute, I'm coming," I respond. Then I see it. My midwife has left her scarf in my room. I know before my hands touch the soft velvet that it will smell of jasmine. With a sudden rush of tears, I bring the scarf to my nose and drink in her earthy, sweet smell. In that instant, I can see and feel her next to me. Gentle hands, encouraging voice. She's my moment-to-moment sister, she's my rock. With her I have opened like with no other woman, with her I have been raw and exposed. In her I know for an instant what mother is and how daughter feels. Because of her, I am reminded of what I do not have and what I wish I did.
I wrap the scarf around my neck. Tonight I'll pretend I am the daughter who has just given birth to her mother's third grandchild. Tonight I'll pretend my mother is coming and she is everything I need.
And I will cry silent tears as I go to bed, once again left with unsatisfied expectation.