Thursday, 20 March 2014

All has never been more found.

In preparation for Rukai's birth, I put together a great play list of songs on my iPod that I planned to listen to during labor to keep my mind occupied. As luck would have it, a few weeks before I went off on maternity leave I dropped my iPod down in the Tube tracks and even though it was in plain sight they wouldn't retrieve it during operational hours. Naturally it had been stolen by the next morning, so I had to buy a new one and tried very hard to replicate that play list. I also bought an iPod dock to plug it into so I had a mini sound system with me. I had it all mapped out. The night before he was born, I thought the exercise to turn him may fail and I could very well end up having a baby the next day, so I downloaded Adele '21' and Tina Turner's greatest hits, thinking I may want to hear the odd song on one or the other if I was going to be there for a while.

(It is only - literally - just now that I can see how very ironic it was to have downloaded an album called '21' on that occasion.)

Anyway, as history directed us, so he was born that day indeed, by cesarean. In my quiet private room, with my docile sleeping angel beside me, as I lay stitched up and unable to do much more than push buttons and drink water, I docked that new iPod and played overandoverandover that Adele album. It was about as perfect a backing track for that experience as I could have chosen.

To this day when I hear that album, every emotion comes back and I am straight back in that room. I can smell it. I remember fear, and sorrow and anger but more than anything else, love.  I adored Rukai from the minute I knew he WAS, way way back on Father's Day 2011, in my Chicago hotel room, visiting Dad.  But that couldn't hold a candle to how much I was bowled over with the most astounding love I have ever known from the minute I saw his face.

Clenched fists. He was PISSED off. I will never un-see that. I was proud of him immediately.

And Adele sang 'finally I can see you crystal clear...' all through the first night, and the second. I did not allow a third.  I wanted to be home with my son, and my husband and my mother.  In our house, not in the house of those doctors, those people who didn't care, didn't want to know.

I wanted to turn my back to them and let them watch us leave with our heads high and our hearts full.

'There's a fire starting in my heart,
Reaching a fever pitch, it's bringing me out the dark...'

Fast forward two years and some days. I continue to do this 100 happy days exercise. I am finding more joy in my life than I realized I had, far, far more so now that I've eliminated the negatives from it, each and every one. No love lost. My love lives under the same roof as I, and the remainder over an ocean.

'Don't underestimate the things that I will do...'

I am driving to work now, in a vehicle that has no iPod dock, just a CD player. I am listening to 20 year old music and so am reminded of 20 year old memories, when it's those from these past two years that I'd much rather have to keep me company along that gridlocked journey.

So I went to go find my portable iPod dock, unused since those early days of comforting that fragile new person at stupid o'clock in the morning. And find it I did, beneath a stack of other 'pregnancy stuff' in a box that had been carelessly and hastily stuffed with all the scattered detritus of life we had to hide in order to better show our house to its next owners. I unburied it, and hoped the batteries hadn't done the dirty in their spring loaded hold. But sure enough, I popped the lid and found that white crusted gunk that usually kills electronics.

'Ahhhhh, hope it's ok -' says I, and it dawned on me there and then that I'd said that thing before, I'd whispered those words before.

After that scan.
After those tests.

'Ahhhhh, hope it's ok.'
'Ahhhhh, hope HE'S ok.'

There was something which should've been a huge problem.
(Hope it's ok)
A deal breaker.
(Hope it's ok)
A game changer.
(Hope it's ok)

But in the same way that a doctor long ago got our son out, polished him all clean, dressed him in new clothes -

I got those crusted batteries out. Those batteries which looked for all intents and purposes as if they'd ruined, destroyed, damaged everything around them, because that is what was supposed to happen, right?

I got those crusted batteries out, wiped down the innards of that iPod dock, popped a few new batteries in and wot hey, would you know it...

It works just fine. I popped that iPod on and pressed play and then Adele was rolling in the deep again, and that dock was working just fine.

And I know someone else who works just fine. That crust of fear scraped away by two years of simply BEING. When we had been set up to think that all was lost, as we stand here with the past...PAST, we know that really, all has never been more found.

That someone else who works just fine looked up at me, thrust his arms out in expectation, and I scooped him up. I scooped him up exactly like I had dreamed I would scoop him up. I scooped him up just that same way and I wrapped one arm around his waist, and took his hand with my other and we danced.  We danced just like I'd swayed around the kitchen cradling that bump and all its possibilities.  And here the wonder who was that bump held my hand and grinned at me and we danced to that song that we'd heard on that first night overandoverandover.  That night when it was just him and me in that cold room, lying there, breathing, wondering what was next.

But here, now (scraaaaape) we were smiling, we were laughing, we were dancing.

'Turn my sorrow into treasured gold...'

We were rolling.

Day 37: #100happydays

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