[E]ight weeks ago, I missed my blog post assignment with Ruminate
when my son, Beckett, decided to make an early appearance, being born six weeks early. He has been home now for six weeks and is healthy and thriving, but the initial weeks of his life were hectic. Being an early baby, I saw Beckett for about five seconds after he was born before he was taken to the neonatal ICU, and he stayed in the NICU while I stayed down the hall. I could make trips to visit him and attempt feedings, but unlike with my two older kids who roomed with me at the hospital and hardly left my sight, we were separated. The physical separation grew after I was discharged and had to leave Beckett in the hospital (which was 20 minutes from our house but felt like the other side of the world). During Beckett’s birth and my time in the hospital, I remained pretty calm, taking each step as it came, able to stay in the moment. I never panicked and cried less than I'd expected. But when I told the NICU nurses I was being discharged, all calmness left. I turned to my husband and out right balled on his shoulder. I knew Beckett would be well taken care of, but it felt completely wrong to leave him. Beckett stayed in the hospital for two weeks after I was discharged, and we made daily trips to see him and help with his feedings. Even though he and I were separated right after his birth, he still seemed to know that I was his mom, becoming calmer when I was there, making progress at breastfeeding, and being soothed when I held him. While there are hormones involved in the mother-child bonding process, there was also something spiritual in our bond, something beyond the physical ties we had. He knew me. And I felt a strong bond to him. I cried most of the morning that Beckett was discharged, feeling the sadness of our separation and the joy that it was at an end. Experiencing the parent-child bond in this way, I started thinking on one of my drives home from the hospital about God as our Father and our bond with Him. How strong the bond must be! Though we can only know a portion of this bond, He feels it fully and even more fully feels our reciprocation or rejection of His love. I could feel God drawing me close, soothing me as I soothed Beckett. Life is a whole new kind of hectic now that Beckett is home, as we balance three kids, survived a crazy feeding and pumping schedule, and maintain work and family life, but some things are easier. I am enjoying the time at home with Beckett, possibly more so than with the other two kids because of our separation, and strengthening our bond. For all three of my kids, I pray that they also know and love their bond with God.
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Also in The Waking
Like many writers, she wondered if she shouldn’t give up. Why were we squandering time and money on art that few, if any, would read? The answer, as always, is because we have to.
By now, however—as I approach my eightieth birthday—I am reconciled to the reality that I might never learn the answer to my question about the authorship of the lyrics. There are just so many questions, and so few answers, and so little time.
I knelt with strangers around a circular rail, and a living hand came and deliberately placed bread into my open palm, eyes met mine, and a voice assured me that this, the body of Christ, was for me. It was intimate and humbling and for the first time I had the sensation of actually being fed.