I Was Scared

Entry by: catemarie

2nd January 2015
Your daddy is persuasive - orchestrating through pure personality and impressive skill
one brief gasping flash of consent. In one sweaty moment, a bridge is jumped
and all re-routed; connection suddenly occludes a complex network of tangled
doubts and hesitations; tracks to No and Later and Maybe closed for service. Things

start moving. By predictable, extraordinary linkages the morning sickness starts
two weeks later, and another sick lurching besides. Cold, hard fear nestles into the pit

of my stomach. Daughter, forgive me. Your brother screamed his first 12 months –
waking hourly to protest his existence. For a whole tortuous year we spoke the vain,
misguided language of science and control: mapping patterns, isolating variables,
eliminating allergens and exacerbating factors. In the end, exhausted and beaten,

we finally accepted that we were simply along for the ride – participants, not masters
of the laboratory. Our primary variable resolved itself independently, and lovely Jude
emerged from the mist, delightful. I can vouch for it: Life is good and full of sweetness
again. We are no more afloat. We revel in the small delights of sharing life as three.

But four? Sweet thing, it took months of living with you – of you living with me – as my belly
swelled, to forget and stop fearing the flood of incandescent rage of that first year. Drowning
in adrenal soup, your calm and slow to anger mother had rent her hands – beat the walls,
bludgeoned furniture, paced the halls. The sadness of sleep deprivation vaulted into

unexpected furies, laced with an icy edge of fear: who is this raging woman, and how
do we find a way back from here. Can you blame me, little bug, for crying when I saw
other swollen bellies on the street? Like signal flares: this too will be yours, like it or not.
The journey felt so long. So tiring to face forward again – both feet already out the door.

And then, one day, inexplicably, it all melted. The icy knot of fear shrunk, then bloomed
into wonder and warmth for you, little thing. Thank you for waiting it all out, quietly
kicking to make more space for yourself against a worn-out, not you narrative and fear,
biding your time until the seasons changed. I don’t know how you did it and Science, again,

fails me; the language of oxytocin falls short to explain the shift from dread to welcome, a change
in track from fear to love. Your heartbeat helped; your kicking helped; but mostly I thank
your loving, slow patience; your calm, steady presence lighting the path home.