Two pink lines

Two pink lines
Laughter and tears
Baby showers and gifts
Nausea and ginger and peppermint
Checking your belly in the mirror for a sign of growth

Your body swells with life and fluid
You waddle
You dream
You toil and push and cry
Or feel pressure and pain and fear and relief behind a thick blue curtain

You look down at your chest and see a brand new face
A person you get to discover and know before anyone else
A person who has spoken to you for months through kicks and jabs and swirls

You wake at night
You stumble
You reach for paci’s and wipes
You rock and cry
You rock and smile
Your heart and your breasts swell beyond capacity
You rock and sing

You lend fingers to chubby hands that need support as they take their first steps
You freeze ice packs for swollen gums as teeth make their painful entrance
You clap and sing
You say no and pop hands away from danger
You cry behind closed bathroom doors
You marvel at growth

A sigh of relief as your child puts on their shoes and clicks their seat belt unassisted
“We made it” you whisper as you feel a slight release in the boulder of responsibility on your shoulders
You sing together
You answer questions
You fix snacks
You answer more questions

You watch arms and legs once rippled with rolls now long and lean
You buy them bigger shoes and longer pants
You sometimes sing together
You sometimes sing alone
You buy them bigger shoes again

The realization sinks in slowly
The skin of your stomach loose and stretched but empty
Your arms and shoulder ache
Missing the rhythmic breathing of an infant
Why does your heart hurt so badly?

“Enjoy every moment” they say
“It goes by so fast!”
“You will miss this!”
Words that used to irritate
Words that meant well but never helped you get more sleep or soothe a toddler tantrum
Words you now realize are the grieving song of women who’s wombs are empty like yours

Why does no one tell you how much it hurts
This unnatural feeling that your body will never bring life into the world again
Why does no one talk about the sobbing that shakes your body
The regret that you should have heeded their words and enjoyed it more
The always wondering if someone else should have been born into your arms

How does a season go so slow you almost can’t bear it?
How does a season move so quickly you sit in shock, eyes wide that it has ended?

I didn’t know
I swear I didn’t know
How fast it would be done

So I sit
And I cry
And I let myself grieve
The wonder and beauty
The pain and agony
The blessing and privilege
Of my childbearing years.

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thecarolinafarmhouse

Wife to my sweetheart. Mother to four blessings. Keeper of the place we call home.

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