Blossom Bomb

March 28, 2012

I have a tree outside my window. Big Nectarine. I watch it from where I sit most of the day. I watch it as the seasons pass. It shades us in summer and shrivels up in winter. And at the end of every winter, I wait. I wait for those buds to burst through. They curl out and stretch to the sun. They sense the warm spring breezes are on their way. When they blossom, it is like fairy floss. Pink. Delicate. Soft. Heralding the sweet fruit to come.

Before he was conceived, I longed for him. Our second child. He was desperately wanted. I thought he would complete me, complete us.

And then he arrived, 16 months ago, bursting through on a cool spring morning at our home. Beautiful blossom. I inhaled all his freshness. He was divine.

Weeks later I looked outside my window. The tree was luscious green and bearing summery fruit. But  inside the window we were descending into a bleak winter. It was dark. A haze of screams and cries that lingered for months and months. My much longed for baby had turned into something I didn’t recognise. Brute strength all twisted up in a mass of pain. My poor boy. My poor baby boy.

I couldn’t keep up. I started to shrivel like that tree. He didn’t sleep during the day. Just cries and whimpers. And hours of screaming. To this day I can’t cope with the sound of a screaming baby. Like nails down a chalkboard. I wince. I have to cover my ears. It brings it all back.

When he was 10 months old he finally napped for the first time in his life. A solid 40 minutes. I thought I was in heaven. I had a cup of tea. I actually started typing at the computer for the first time unhindered by a baby on my lap. And I started dreaming. I wondered if I was on the cusp of a normal life again. Perhaps soon I could move freely around the house? Perhaps I could even cook dinner and do housework like normal mothers?

But it wasn’t that simple. There was a debt. And my body paid it. It took the brunt of it all. All those months of carrying him. Months of holding him as he writhed in my lap. The steep exhaustion of the constant watch. My body was aching and creaking like a rotting ship. I was sinking.

A few months ago someone threw me a lifeline. Slowly my body has gotten stronger. Small tiny steps. And with that my head has started unfogging too. Out of the darkness, I’m starting to see sunlight.

And then one day last week I saw him. My boy. Clearly, like it was the first time. He was so happy. So bright. Out of that winter, a beaming child has emerged. He is chirpy. He is sharp. He is affectionate. He is funny. And he laughs. My goodness, he laughs! He is stretching up like those buds, towards the sun.

And I am inhaling the blossom all over again.

I’m sure he was beaming all along. I’m sure deep down I knew he was getting better and growing. I never stopped loving him. I never gave up. But the winter, it was just too dark to see.

I’m looking outside my window now. The big tree is shedding it’s leaves.  The tree and I, we have different seasons. Some longer, some shorter. But I look to the tree to remind me of my own. To remind me that there are rhythms to every living thing.

The boy, the Blossom, is in full bloom. I’m nourishing myself and holding steady. Preparing for any weather. There may be a long winter ahead. But there will also be the promise of a spring.

Another chance to bloom again.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Lee March 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm

And in your darkness your boy was okay, thriving even. So pleased you are recovering from what sounds like such a hard time. What a gorgeous little fellow he is!
Miss A was my dreadful sleeper. It cost me a lot, like the debt that you write about. I am almost there, but not quite.
Looking forward to comparing more notes very soon. xx
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Deb March 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Lee, I’m sure we have many notes to compare! Thank you for your comment. Can’t wait to meet you soon! x

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Naomi Bulger March 28, 2012 at 10:06 pm

I love this beautifully told story. And I’m so happy for all of you that baby J is blossoming so well. He is bright AND precious.
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Deb March 28, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Thank you dear Naomi. So happy that he is blossoming too. xxx

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Sara March 29, 2012 at 9:11 am

This has me in tears Deb. So beautifully written, so poetic, and lots of hope for the future spring. What a tough time you had. I know well the need to cover your ears when there’s another screaming or crying baby. I am so happy to hear you are now seeing the blossoms :)
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Deb March 29, 2012 at 10:25 am

Thanks Sara. xx

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Mary Arch March 29, 2012 at 9:18 am

Love it!!!!!! I have two blossoms too and I often look at them in thee same way you described. I’m glad you’re coming through. It has been long and hard. xxx

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Deb March 29, 2012 at 10:25 am

Your two blossoms are so beautiful, Mary. xx

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Grace March 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

I think we first met around that difficult phase. But look at you now ! Time for celebration, I think. Starting off with giving you a big bear hug when I see you tomorrow xx
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Deb March 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Good idea Grace! Can’t wait to see you tomorrow! xx

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Sharon @ Funken Wagnel March 31, 2012 at 7:47 pm

My youngest child is now three, but I remember all too well these seasons you mention. At the time, there’s no promise of any end in sight, but when you keep on truckin’, you get there. So glad you’re out of that stage.
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Deb April 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Thanks, Sharon. When you’re in the thick of it, the promise that ‘it will pass’ seems like cold comfort because no-one can tell you when. ‘Keep on truckin’ is the excruciating part! So glad you’re out of that stage too!

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Sharon @ Funken Wagnel April 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Oh yeah. And somedays you forget the promise, and just survive it. Then one day you wake up and realise you’re there
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Happylan April 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Beautiful. The blossom, your boy, this post. xx
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Deb April 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Thank you Alana! xx

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therhythmmethod April 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Isn’t funny how clarity alludes us, even where our children are right in front of us … even as close as our own laps. Sometimes clarity comes only when they step away from us, and we realise we’re separate.
Beautiful imagery. And so lovely to have met this precious boy you’re writing about. x
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Deb April 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Absolutely, Karen. You describe that so well. In fact, that is my blog post in 3 lines! – Nice one! Was so lovely spending time with you. Loved our chats. x

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Jenni Chiu May 6, 2012 at 7:21 am

Lovely, vivid images as I read this.
I so very much understand it, too. Our house is recovering from the endless crying, the reflux, the sleepless months. My body will be starting physical therapy from never being able to put my baby down.
We are on the brink of the bloom… I can’t wait.
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Deb May 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

Thank you, Jenni. I hear you too. I hope you enjoy your bloom.

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edenland June 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

Oh Deb.

Crying from your words. And my recognition of the truth behind your words.

XXXXX
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Deb August 15, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Have I really not replied to this comment yet? Eden, I read it months ago, but THANK YOU. Love love love that you feel and know truth. xx

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Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions December 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Such beautifully descriptive words. I hope 2013 brings your life a glorious spring and summer!
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Deb April 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Thank you so much, Kylie! (I only just noticed your comment here – so sorry!) xx

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Trish May 12, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I thought I commented before . Your words are so poignant and your resilience shines.
I know you are in a better place a year or more later.I hope winter is kind to you this year.
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Deb May 12, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Thank you so much, Trish. It’s amazing what a year can do. Really appreciate your comment. xx

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