41 weeks and 6 days…
After 41 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, this little miracle came into the world- 41 weeks and 6 days ago. Today is her day of symmetry, as a dear friend remarked to me, like a tree with roots in the ground and branches reaching out into the air. Today is unique- it is the moment that marks equal balance between her time spent in utero and her time out in the world so far. Yesterday, another dear friend asked — what is your favorite part about being a mom?
It actually took me a moment to ponder this question- not because I couldn’t think of anything, but because there has been so much of the transition into motherhood and motherhood itself that has been transformative, uplifting, enlightening, energizing, challenging, instructive — it’s hard to pick one part.
My answer to her was, “love — I see the world now with much more love than I ever did. My heart has swelled in a way I never thought possible.” Every day, my daughter is a trigger for love. I use the word trigger here, with its considerably weighty nuances, because I have battled for over a decade to just be able to see the world as a place worth living in. Every day, I would face external and internal triggers that threatened to pull me back into dark and dangerous places. So I use trigger because I choose to change its nuance in my life- a trigger for love, a reminder of how much happiness is possible in a single moment, even if it is challenging. Especially if it is challenging.
41 weeks and 6 days.
It’s hard to fathom how much can change in 41 weeks and 6 days. In a previous post, I wrote about how I always thought pregnancy would just be normal life, just pregnant. I didn’t expect much to change beyond my body. So much did though- by the time Z was born, at 41 weeks and 6 days, my emotional, psychological, social, and professional landscapes had all changed. In some cases, the changes were so forceful that it was as though her spirit’s presence within me was commanding them.
“Mama, this and this and this has got to go to make space for the wonderful — wonder full- ness of me!”
Changes. Cleansing. Shifting. Sifting.
All of that within 41 weeks and 6 days of gestation. I’ve had a little bit of time over the last 24 hours to reflect over my friend’s question- with Z in daycare and me not starting work until next week , this week was the first time I got a taste of “life before…” Meaning- I had actual free time that I could use however I wanted. I saw friends, I walked around Manhattan, I exercised a lot more, I actually got some reading done. All the while- feeling like a piece of my heart was missing, and secretly counting down the hours until it was time for pickup.
When Z was born, my whole world filled with a light and love that I have never known before. It was as though her mere presence has been enough to eclipse even the most difficult of moments- and over the last 41 weeks and 6 days, there have been plenty. So much change in such little time.
Life happens. Deaths of many kinds happen. People drift away, and others drift back to shore. Changes. Shifts. Transitions. Time becomes valuable in a new way — its scarcity more and more poignant.
What is the best part about being a mom?
The fact that I get to be one — that I am blessed enough to be entrusted with the most sacred task of nurturing a human life. The fact that in 41 weeks and 6 days I have grown in more ways than I have in 30 years, 10 months, and 20 days. That I get to be patient, and kind, and empathetic, and uphold boundaries, and prioritize my time and energy, and productive, and supportive, and firm — sometimes within the span of 5 minutes. That when I look into her eyes, I see deep oceans and a vast universe.
41 weeks and 6 days. And her branches keep reaching up towards the sky, as her roots become more and more secure. And I marvel at the miracle that is each and every person.