⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

April 12, 2012

My mama.



Colette's birth and the post-birth experience have been denaturing for me. I mean, I've been changed - down to a cellular level. I guess that is it - a baby changes you fundamentally and being changed like that is incomprehensible until a head is coming out of your body and then the thing that was inside of you is suddenly a creature in your arms. (She is a creature - almost a baby, but not quite yet. No one really made that clear about newborns before she came). This creature made me cry every time I looked at her the first week (= love so fierce I couldn't take it). The second week, she made me worry with every grimace and howl. I have always been a care-free person - to the max, but I suddenly found myself hunting online for the disease that must be afflicting my little baby (= gas) and calling my pediatrician for her opinion (= baby Colette does not have colic or any deadly diseases).

My mom arrived and brought me assurance and confidence that has healed me. I was still dealing with the emotional pain of a traumatic delivery and my baby dismay was probably the expulsion of some of that. When she says Colette is perfect, I believe her and not just because she had eight babies. She looked at her, took her in her arms, and I knew she knew exactly what happened to me when Colette came and changed me.

17 comments:

Anne said...

Lovely.

Sara said...

This is so touching. You and Colette and your mama will always share a special bond!

Marnie said...

Becoming a mother not only alters us forever, but also how we see own own mothers. We start to truly understand them and their motives and sometimes the realisations are a bit horrific (when we remember what we may have put them through, knowing NOW how they must have felt about us), but mostly awe inspiring.

The Crebs Family said...

Love your Mom. She is an amazing women. You are doing great, and little Colette is beautiful.

Jill said...

Moms are the best, and you have a particularly good and beautiful one. She is a comforting person. I'm so glad she and Colette have officially met.

Rebekah V. said...

I remember my mom telling me that motherhood is a series of birthing experiences. Waves of labor pains that give birth to our new selves over and over. I have found it to be true. I really appreciate you sharing your experience.

Xtreme English said...

Welcome to the club, of which your mom (and mine) are honored members! And congratulations. Your mom is right: she's perfect! BTW, Colette is one BIG baby. Ouch??

Miss M. said...

This post really touced me and I wish you all the best. This little poem helped me through the dark hours after the birth of my daughter, perhaps it's helpful to you too:

God be with the mother.
As she carried her child may she carry her soul.
As her child was born, may she give birth and life and form to her own, higher truth.
As she nourished and protected her child, may she nourish and protect her inner life and her independence.
For her soul shall be her most painful birth, her most difficult child and the dearest sister to her other children.

Amen.

By Michael Leunig

Jano-Fred said...

Eh oui Émilie, être mère nous change. Pour moi, la maternité est une sorte d'aboutissement de ce que nous sommes, dès notre naissance, en germe. J'ai l'impression que je n'aurais pas été complète si je n'avais pas eu d'enfants. Ces petits êtres que nous portons, quand ils émergent au jour, c'est tellement leur place qu'on a l'impression qu'ils ont toujours été là. Fascinant. On se demande même comment on a fait pour n'en avoir pas plus tôt.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutly right Emily : motherhood is a fantastic experience of life. Giving birth is a "Renaissance" - painful sometimes (always). And the anguish, the fear for this little and so fragile, so vulnerable, human being who count only on you for the survival.
Courage, Emily. Your mum looks wonderful :)

Anonymous said...

Me again... Can I suggest you to read Marie Darrieussecq's book "Le bébé" ? It's about her first year after the birth of her first child. I don't know if the book has been translated in english but I know your french is perfect :)

RebeccaNYC said...

Now I'm weeping.

Terri said...

Beautiful picture of your Mom. We all love Rosie. Baby Colette is so darling! Congrats to you all.

Amber said...

Emilie, it's so fun to be going through this time of life with you in a parallel experience. I love reading your observations. The intensity of emotions accompanying birth cannot ever be described, only felt. And it happens anew with each child. Lacking more descriptive language, my older girls now always comment on how "cute" our little Elliott is; but I glance at Nate and we both agree it's more akin to the discovery of a new sun in our universe.

Gaby Munoz said...

Such a beautiful post. Many people say that a baby is this creature that you get to help mold into a person. I feel like motherhood, especially in the first moments, is an experience that molds you into a different person. Your essence is the same, but your person is changed forever.

Tip for colic or just a bad fit of gas: In Peru and in other parts of South America, we boil anise seeds and then feed the tea it produces to the baby (completely cooled, of course). It's safe to give at any age and works like a charm.

Natalie Cook-Paredes said...

This is a beautiful post. Thank you for putting in words what I hadn't yet been able to describe about how organic a change motherhood produces within oneself. Wonderful, touching photos of your mom and baby Colette.

Kathy said...

Emilie,
You make me cry. I love your thoughts and you goodness. I'm sure Colette has changed your mom as well. Love you Rosie,
Kathy

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