Friday, July 11, 2014

#TBF: LOVE in the Pages of a Diary



December 28, 1996

Dear Baby,

I went into labor today. Doctor sent me home and told me to return when the labor pains get closer. I don't know what I'm doing. Presumably they do. See you soon.


December 30, 1996

Dear Baby,

We've returned to the hospital. Labor pains have gotten stronger, but not much closer. Doctors won't induce or break my water until your actual due date of January 2. They gave me Demerol instead. It doesn't help. So far I've only seen two of the three doctors in my group practice. They are both stupid, old men. "I've done this many times, little girl." That's what the white-haired one said. Here's hoping the woman doctor will be in soon.

If I don't die first, see you soon.


January 1, 1997

Dear Baby,

The doctor gave me morphine. It doesn't seem to help.

I wish my mom were here. She would know what to do. I feel very alone. And scared. And OW.

Please hurry.



January 2, 1997

Dear Baby Girl,

Today you made me a mom, way sooner than I ever expected to be. I'm not sure yet how I feel about things.

You are so much tinier than I expected.

And so fragile. So, so breakable.

And this world is so big and heavy. It weighs on me so hard I am all but flattened by it. And I am so much bigger than you. But small yet. I worry I'm too small to protect you from it.

Nobody told me about the worry. How it will begin to consume you the moment you look into your newborn's eyes. For the first time ever, it's not a worry for yourself, but for another being, and that makes it somehow far more terrifying. You check the fingers and toes. The creases in the neck and the space behind the ears. You touch the bottoms of the feet and watch the toes curl. You slide fingers into the fists and feel the grasp of tiny hugs and never-letting-go. And then you think about germs and skinned knees and drowning water and betrayal and bullies and gossip and lies and people that hurt.

I want to believe I'm big enough, smart enough, wise enough to keep you safe. But I know better. I'm just a stupid kid. Everybody has let me know it, just in case I didn't already.

So there's this fear. As in, FEAR.

The nurse has left me to rest. Your dad went home to sleep. We're alone now. Just you and me, and you're sleeping in my arm, breathing softly, your tiny lips moving just slightly, just lying here totally trusting me, because you don't know better.

Just you and me, alone.

So, yeah FEAR.

But there's something else, something immense, and I'm only just starting to really figure it out. The thing is, I've felt love before. So many happy moments, where love seems to have filled me up. And it's made me weep when my heart has broken. When my dad left. When Johnny **** smashed the baby pumpkins in my mom's garden during my 13th birthday party. When my mom lost her job. When Dave **** broke up with me right before my Biology class with Mrs. ********, possibly the worst teacher in the history of ever, who told me to stop crying or she'd send me to the office.

In all the moments of joy and all the broken heart moments, I thought I knew what love was.

But now you. And now I know the truth.

This is love. LOVE. It is bigger than my swollen heart, bigger than me. Bigger than this awful world. Bigger than fear. You don't love me, yet or maybe never, but I love you.

I. Love. You.

I'm just a stupid kid, but I'm capable of LOVE. That makes me feel really strong. Maybe not smart enough. Or wise enough. But damn it, it makes me big enough.


January 4, 1997

My Dearest Girl,

I was nursing you today, just you and me on the daybed in your nursery. We finally seem to have gotten a hang of this feeding thing. You wrapped your little fist around my finger and looked up at me wide-eyed over my breast, with little droplets of tears at the corner of your eyes, and something broke inside me. Just shattered. You don't care how old I am or how much I don't know. In your eyes, I saw that you know how much I love you. You feel it. I know you do. And I realized today I am wholly and unconditionally yours. I made a promise to you in that moment. I swear to you I will never break it. I will love you as if our lives depended on it.


July 11, 2014

I still love you as if our lives depended on it.





24 comments:

  1. You write beautifully, Carolina. You made me all teary-eyed. Virtual hugs to you and your daughter.

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    1. Thank you, Dawn. That's very kind. Hugs back at you <3

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  2. This is so beautiful. I can feel it, wholeheartedly, how deeply you love her. Thank you, Carol, for sharing this with us.

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    1. You always know what to say. Thank you, Matt, my beautiful friend.

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  3. Beautiful. You are an amazing mother, and a gifted writer. <3

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    1. That's especially encouraging to hear from you, my dear. I would say the same of you times ten. Thank you, lovely.

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  4. Carol, you brought tears to my eyes. We all feel your powerful love, and your words make us feel the love we have for our own children. It's unexplainable and yet so real and strong. You are such a gorgeous person, mother, and writer. Seriously, have you ever considered writing women's fiction? You write about these emotions so powerfully. I'm dying to read one of your novels! xo

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    1. Aw, my dear friend, how you do make me feel special. I'm touched. Thank you for that. And yes, I have considered writing women's fiction, actually! I enjoy reading it, and a lot of my stories tip in that direction already. Maybe I'll sit down someday soon and try out something more intentional. Thank you for the inspiration <3

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    1. There have certainly been times where I'm positive of this, Tom. Truly.

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  6. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. <3

    Love,
    Lola

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  7. Carolina, that was so sweet. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome! I've actually been wanting to post this a long time. But it made me nervous, something so personal... Thank you for your kindness.

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  8. So lovely. I didn't start journaling until my daughter was a few months old. So wonderful that you recorded those very first emotions. I seems like I'll never forget those moments, but I should write it down now, even after the fact, so I remember.

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    1. It didn't start out as an intentional thing, really. I have journaled since I was a kid, and one day I just started addressing my entries to the baby. I told myself someday I might give them all to my daughter, but I don't know. It's in a way too intense and personal. She would probably have to be very old before I passed them on. But yes! I'm grateful for having recorded those early memories. They drop me right back into those moments. Thanks so much for your kind comment, Kristin <3

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  9. I thought I commented on this last night. Then I came back to read it again. No comment. So here is what I say the second time around. This is breathtaking. You have written just how it is. Written emotion with words so we readers feel it again, or still. Oh, gosh. It is JUST so...marvelous. I assume...and offer happy birthday wishes to your lovely daughter.

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    1. Aw, well thank you for returning, dear Liza. It's always a treat to communicate with you in any way. Your words are always so uplifting. How I do miss our regular exchanges and your beautiful blog posts. I need to get back to the blogging world. Thank you, as always, for your kind words. I treasure them.

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  10. This is amazing. I don't have proper words with which to comment. Simply, this is one of the loveliest tributes I have read.

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    1. Ah well, that's very kind of you. I'm touched...thank you so much, Kim <3

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  11. My baby girl turned 15 today. I decided I wouldn't read any blog posts or spend a minute on the internet today - that I would just be with her. But her friends are over right now and I hopped on to find a new post in my inbox from you.

    I couldn't resist because I've loved your words for four years running.

    This was just what I needed to read.
    Love like no other. Forever and ever.

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    1. First, happy birthday to your baby!! Fifteen is such a remarkable turning point for a child. I know it must feel like a breathtaking event for you. Savor every moment of this next year.

      It means a lot to me that you stopped by. You're a beautiful writer and an amazing person, and I'm especially touched to have you read. And to leave such kind words behind. Thank you for that. It's precisely what I needed to read.

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  12. So beautiful. Your writing can touch souls. Please don't ever stop. Love the pic too. Love you <333

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    1. You've been such a dear friend to me, Erica. How I do love you and miss you. Thank you for always being there with such encouragement and the breath of fresh air you are. I'm blessed to have you in my life. <3 <3

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