Friday, April 16, 2010


I should be asleep right now.  LuLu is sleeping on my chest.  I just fed her, and tried to put her down, but she was crying from an endless bout of gas.  So after listening to her grunt, struggle and cry alone for too long I picked her up.  Dutch is breathing at my side and I can hear my mom sawing logs in the other room.  Its magical.  Listening to my mom's familiar breathing takes me back to when I was little, seeking solace in her bosom, and now here we are, the next generation, breathing together.  LuLu's upset has ebbed away.  I should probably return her to her baby house.  Her little fuzzy head under my chin makes me so happy.  Her body rises and falls with my breath.  I am so big compared to her, I could be a small hill the she napping on.

When she was at the ICN, her breathing rate noticably slowed when I held her.  Even when she was breathing impossibly fast because of her heart murmur.  The nurse said she instinctively tried to match her breathing with mine.  I remember cuddling with mom and doing the same thing.  My mom's chest seemed to contain a cavernous space, strong and sure.  Her deep slow rhythm seemed impossible to match. 

Breathing was such a big part of my childbirth preparation.  I spent a lot of time practicing my labor breathing and visualizations.  Now its hard to think of one without the other.  I inhale and imagine the love filling both our bodies.  I exhale the fear and sadness.  When I was in labor, I had a blood pressure cuff on my arm and it would automatically take my pressure every ten minutes.  It sounded like it was breathing, and if I could concentrate on my own, the numbers were always lower.  It was the tangible evidence of my own power.

I breathed for the both of us for such a long time.  Because LuLu stopped breathing moments after she was born, she was whisked away from me.  When things are quiet I listen for the sound of her breath.  Now we are breathing together.  My breath reassures her and hers comforts me.


M. L. Benedict said...

I love this.

H said...

I think you have touched on something here that many of us feel, but can't quite figure out the words to describe. I remember sitting in my mom's lap, laying on her chest and loving the sound of her voice resonating in her chest-- it didn't matter what she was talking about it was the sound that I liked. It's weird to think about it now... probably the same way I can identify her laugh 2 aisles away in the grocery store.

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