In the last 10 days, I've developed a new appreciation for time. It's easy, I believe, to dismiss it as a simple measurement of progress... a gauge of what's now and what's to come. But such an outlook probably denies the ability of time to slow down... and speed up, depending on the events of one's life.
For example, for nine months, a woman counts down to the day when she'll actually end her pregnancy with the arrival of her new baby. During that period, she's likely to enjoy several "delightful moments" of inquiry - questions about the child or... ahem, children... she's carrying and when they'll arrive. She watches and waits as she slowly becomes gigantic, from the obvious belly right down to the swelling toes.
But then there comes the time when all that ends with an ideally short, sometimes painfully long, labor. That's when time stands still... until it speeds up again to a new pace, a pace that marks the beginning of a new life.
For me, time is now broken down into two periods: BG and AG, "Before Grace" and "After Grace." Grace being our baby girl who arrived just ten days ago.
As you might recall, Grace was due to arrive on May 9. She had different plans. Early on April 30, we started a 27-hour journey to Grace's arrival. Mind you, I know every mother has her labor "battle tale" - and I firmly believe mine does not rank among the worst. After all, at points during those 27 hours, I was able to comfortably chat with visiting family, even watch parts of Slumdog Millionaire. But despite those lulls, I do also recall the peaks of the event: the hours leading up to a delayed epidural and then the failure of that very epidural to work just as the contractions were at their peak and boosted by contraction-inducing drugs. (I was curious about going through labor "au naturel" - I guess you could say now I know, and then some).
But all of those hours blur together... paled by the one moment that vividly stands out in my mind: the moment when Grace finally appeared. Yep, there's something to that famed "mother's amnesia," that phenomenon that allows a woman to mostly forget the pain and instead focus on the final reward of her efforts. You could say I - like so many mothers out there - suffers from that hearty form of amnesia.
So now I am a mom. And like so many new moms, I find myself just staring at my daughter with amazement. As cliche as it reads, I just can't get enough of her. I already love so much about her: the milk-drunk, old-man, furrowed-brow look on her face when she finishes her latest meal; her high-pitched cry when things aren't going "exactly" as she wants and needs at that moment; and those rare moments when she's wide-eyed and scanning... checking out her new world and family.
It is because of how quickly I've fallen for her that I know time will never be the same for me, for Gracie or my husband. It's not unique to us, I know, it's just the beautiful transformation every family goes through with the arrival of a new member. But that's not to minimize its impact: because it's downright amazing and a true blessing.
Thank you to all those who have sent such kind notes of congratulations and welcome to Gracie. Between those greetings and that of my colleagues on-air, Grace will be so humbled when she realizes the warm welcome she received. And because I am such a proud parent already, please feel free to check out the pictures of Gracie, when she was all of two days old.
I will do my best to stay in touch during these next months of my leave. In the meantime, I wish everyone the best... Enjoy this time of a new season. And in the words of Mike Wallace, "do well and do good."
(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)