I looked at the clock at 11:31 this morning and remembered four weeks ago when I felt the whole pain of the birth of this child. No drugs, no intravenous tubes, nothing but me and Avery pushing through the pain.
Today, after getting the others settled for lunch, I rushed to rescue her from her red-faced sweaty cries. I love how she instantly quiets when I do that, perhaps letting out a leftover wimper. I rested her heavy head on my shoulder and she tried to suck the skin on my neck. She knows the smell of my skin and it means, to her, a chance at satiation. We sit down together and she eats. I use the moment to rest my own heavy head on the pillow propped behind my back as she begins to suck on my still-cracked nipples and I push through the pain.
At 4:30, the hour that bewitches, everyone was tired of everyone else and we needed to get out. I'm unusually lonely in the car with four other bodies. Lucy is tormenting Hazel who invented the scream and has perfected it's mind-shattering capabilities. Seth is a bit mopey--a reflection certainly of his mother's mood. Avery's hungry cries are cuing me to nurse again. We are sitting in the parking lot outside of the Urgent Care where the Daddy "moonlights" hoping he'll come down and show us his friendly, albeit tired, face. I look in the rear view mirror at my four lovely babies and notice the suddenly noticeable dark circles under my eyes and feel their source in the ache in my back and a throb in my head. And I push through the pain that is parenting.
Like childbirth. It's joy. Parenting. Absolutely joy and marvelous and a miracle. It is also pain and suffering and even anger (like when the doctor's late and they tell you to "wait!"). None of us are special, even though we want to be. We all want to stick out somehow. But we're all the same. We all experience the same pain and the same joy.
I'm learning to push through the pain so the joy can come. Like it did four weeks ago today at 11:31 am.