Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Trouble with Love

Child was 10 days late. He was scheduled to make his appearance on Saturday after Thanksgiving, but instead we celebrate his birthday in the second week of December. My water broke at home, and the midwife on call suggested that we wait to go to the hospital until the contractions got more frequent and powerful. For some reason, I imagined it would be a mad rush to the hospital when I went into labor. That’s how it is in the movies, right? Instead, we stayed at the house for about six hours, with nothing to do. The bag was already packed. The car seat was installed. What else was there to do? Thus, I chose to spend that time having a major breakdown. Leaning over the exercise ball to help with back labor as I watched reruns of the old Saturday Night Live, I realized that after today, after we walk out the door this evening, my life would never be the same. And I suddenly decided that I very much liked my life the way it was and very much wanted it to remain the same. I didn’t need a change. I was not ready for this baby. Who did he think he was, to just barge into my life and turn it upside down? I already had someone whom I loved more than the world itself. I could not imagine loving anyone—anyone—more than I loved Husband. My heart was full, there were no vacancies. And despite feeling absolutely in love with this little being inside my belly for months and months, despite waiting for his arrival with such excited anticipation, at that very moment, I did not know if I could love this baby as much as he deserved. And so I cried.

By the time we got to the hospital, labor was taking over my body and mind, so I could no longer continue thinking about any of this. I had a task at hand—to deliver the baby.

When they put him on my belly, so long and so big, I could not believe he fit inside me. They cleaned him and swaddled him and gave him to me to hold. He was all mine. With those plump cheeks and red lips and squished nose. I was in awe. He was all mine, and I could not imagine loving anyone more.

There is no question that I want everything to be OK with this baby, the one who is currently swooshing around in my belly. I have wanted him so much and for so long. I absolutely can not wait to meet him, to hold him, to watch him grow. But I have to admit that there are rare moments when I feel just as I did that evening almost four years ago—that everything in my life is perfect just the way it is. I have an amazing husband and a perfect little boy who makes my heart melt. And I wonder if I could ever love this baby as much as I love them. And the guilt of these thoughts is completely overwhelming.