photograph by Erin O’Neil

The soft snowy afternoon light streams in through the window as I read to my two girls, one under each arm.  We stop reading to watch the baby move, the shape of my belly taking on strange forms, like some alien being inhabiting my body. We laugh as tears fill my eyes.

Under layers of skin, this new life, who we will soon know and love, is shrouded in mystery.  This moment is soon to pass, soon to become a fading memory.  I know all too well how quickly these moments fade in the time banks of our minds.

There is a life under there, pulsing and pushing, in that warm and watery world, and she is mostly alone.  Though she has the comforts of being inside my warm body, my steady heartbeat, the constant bubbles and gurgles of my stomach, she doesn’t yet have the comfort of my arms holding her when she cries.  We are not supposed to feel saddened by this, but somehow it pulls at my heart.  What if she needs me in there?  How would I know?  I can do nothing, I am helpless and have no control over any of it.  More tears.  I am left again to deal with my emotions, here among my two young daughters, who watch me and how I handle these feelings, their mother, their female guide in their small world.

I am brought to my knees.

I know that there is little I can do in this moment but wait with a curious heart.  Wait with open arms for my child to be born, as the world spins on around us.  I have no control of my own to impose, all I can do is to wait in wonder and awe.  Knowing this is my last pregnancy in this life, I fear I will never again know this depth, this sanctity, the intangibility of something so miraculous.  I feel surrounded by the poignancy and pure light of these last moments before my child’s birth.

My fear that nothing again will move me so deeply scares me.  I know I will be moved deeply again in this life, by something else, someone else.  But, never again like this. Never this moment again.

Why are we given these gifts of children?  I have few answers.  I do know that these mysterious lives are here to teach us, if we so choose to learn from them.  Each soul born to us is an extraordinary blessing, which we must handle with tender hands. With an ache in my heart, I feel the weight of this blessing called life.  Such a weight I am inviting in again, my third child, holding on with trembling hands.  Knowing the depth with which this new child will pull me in.  I surrender to her pull.


*visit my frined Erin O’Neill’s webpage to view more of her wonderful photography:





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