Three Years Ago Today
I remember a new house, unpacked boxes, a newly painted nursery, and a hand me down crib.
I remember feeling overwhelmed.
I remember feeling big and uncomfortable.
I remember fear, loneliness, and isolation.
I remember having support and love, unconditional love.
I remember taking pictures and timing contractions at Julia’s end-of-the-year Kindergarten party.
I remember resting on the couch, quite and calm, alone in my house while my family celebrated at a graduation party.
I remember knowing it was almost time.
I remember shuffling Julia off to her grandparents house knowing that the next time we would see her it would be to introduce her to her baby sister.
I remember it felt very surreal.
I remember feeling much older than I did five years prior when I had Julia.
I remember waiting in the hallway of the labor wing for over an hour before being checked in.
I remember it being strangely still and desolate in the hospital.
I remember the room where I labored and not feeling at home there.
I remember pain.
I remember using the bed rail to grab onto as I labored on my side.
I remember being angry and short-tempered.
I remember refusing an epidural.
I remember more pain.
I remember knowing when it was time to push.
I remember using my anger to my advantage in pushing.
I remember my determination was unlike any I had ever known.
I remember fear, anxiety, and exhaustion.
I remember being in so much pain after Iris was born that I couldn’t even see her.
I remember the doctor cutting the cord without asking my husband, to his heartbreaking disappointment.
I remember seeing him with Iris as they weighed her and wrapped her.
I remember him holding her, talking to her, adoring her.
I remember whimpering and crying because of the intense and continual pain.
I remember my mother coming in and demanding someone to attend to me.
I remember me not understanding why I was still in pain.
I remember hearing the doctor comment I was full of blood clots and being scared.
I remember finally holding my tiny daughter with a knowing; a calmness and quiet, recognizing her somehow.
I remember being wheeled down the hall to my room, cradling her, not feeling like she was new to me, but as if I had held her before.
I remember sleeping in the hospital bed and waking to her stirring, confident in knowing what she needed from me and how to give it to her.
I remember nurses and pediatricians and lactation consultants.
I remember the congestion in her tiny nostrils that made her snort and snore.
I remember being a tireless mother despite my exhaustion.
I remember feeling drained, fatigued, weary, old, relieved, blessed, calm, and deeply in love with my daughter and although she was merely hours old, I remember feeling as if I had always known her.
Happy Third Birthday Iris.
I love you more than I can say.
  • Claddyjack
    Posted at 22:57h, 12 June Reply

    This is beautiful Trace. Happy Birthday Iris! I miss you.

  • one smarmy mama
    Posted at 00:00h, 13 June Reply

    aw. that’s so sweet!

    happy birthday, pretty girl!

  • mothergoosemouse
    Posted at 02:56h, 13 June Reply

    So beautiful. I loved reading all the memories leading up to (and through) her birth. Happy birthday to your little(r) girl.

    (And gorgeous pic too. Wow.)

  • la vie en rose
    Posted at 04:50h, 13 June Reply

    awwwww…*sniff, sniff*….

  • Tere
    Posted at 14:18h, 13 June Reply

    This is so beautiful, yet so sad… I hate that you felt the way you did in the hospital, it sounds like such a shitty thing at a time you should be your most comfortable, relaxed and safest.

  • Left-handed Trees...
    Posted at 14:25h, 13 June Reply

    Your writing here really goes deep into the subterranean levels of birthing and motherhood. Happy birthday to your little one…

  • Her Bad Mother
    Posted at 17:13h, 13 June Reply

    I wish that I could say something more interesting, but… SO BEAUTIFUL.

    And the photo, so, so lovely.

  • Busy Mom
    Posted at 18:54h, 13 June Reply

    What a beautiful picture! Happy Birthday, Iris!

  • Jen
    Posted at 19:13h, 13 June Reply

    Beautiful entry – it brought tears to my eyes!

    Happy B-day!

  • Jessica New
    Posted at 19:41h, 13 June Reply

    I am now unable to swallow, due to the alarmingly large lump in my throat….
    Excuse me, I have to go get some water now.

    Happy Birthday IRIS!!!!!!!!!! You are loved beyond anything you could ever measure….

    So you’re turming 3, not 2???
    LOL! What a weenie i am!!!

  • amy
    Posted at 00:43h, 14 June Reply

    beautiful, bittersweet, lovely and amazing… the story, your iris, and you!!! i love it! happy happy birthday, my little fellow gemini.
    kisses on those cupid lips…

  • Mamacita Tina
    Posted at 12:00h, 14 June Reply

    Your reflections are absolutely beautiful! The picture…sweet.

  • urban child bride
    Posted at 16:05h, 14 June Reply

    Ohh…*sniff, sniff, wipe*… Can you excuse me a minute? I seem to have something in my eye…

    How sweet and sad and dear, Tracey! And that picture! Good heavens, what a beautiful girl. I can hardly stand it.

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