I feel like I need to apologize to all the babies whose births I am not as enthusiastic about as I feel I should be. That sounds a little strange. It's not like I am upset at a baby's birth, it's that I know how happy I used to be about hearing of a wee one being born, even from parents I knew distantly. There used to be this feeling of excitement in my heart when somebody would report a birth or when I would get wind of it electronically.
Of course, since October 1st, 2009 that enthusiasm in my heart has dampened.
I probably owe a bigger apology to all my pregnant friends whose pregnancies I have had difficulty getting excited about. I must admit, I have to limit my time with pregnant friends because it is too painful. It's a very strange thing to parcel out. I want to spend time with a friend, but the aversive nature of having to, in each moment I spend with her, be reminded of what is not likely to happen for me, well, it's difficult. And sometimes I can't really tolerate it for too long, before I want to physically leave or before I mentally vacate the premises.
But back to the babies. I held a 2-day old baby this morning. Little Nathan was born on Wednesday and I went to visit him and his mom briefly this morning. It was wonderful to hold him and I did let that sink into my hear to some extent. The perfection of a newborn is really awe-inspiring. I saw 11-week old Finn on the weekend and 5-week old Norah this afternoon as well. Such beautiful little ones. I can say that there was a discrepancy between hearing of these babies' births (through facebook or email) and the way I felt when I saw them. I think it was easier to dismiss the miracle when hearing of the births, and fold myself in on my own pain. But when you get to hold a baby, it's a different story. It's not really about my pain anymore, but about their arrival on earth and my wanting to welcome them.
So this is why I want to openly apologize for not showing much enthusiasm about the pregnancies and births going on all around me. I feel left out of this important life cycle and it's excruciatingly painful. And my retreat is simply a crude attempt at protecting myself. But I need to say that I welcome all babies, even if they did not come from me.
And maybe there will be a baby who is mine in the end.