Last night and the night before I couldn’t sleep. I don’t have insomnia and I hadn’t had any caffeine. Funny enough, two days ago, right before the sleeplessness began, I started the candida diet based on the advice of my doctor. So, I’d had no chai tea, no green tea, no decaf, no nothin’, but I felt lying in bed like I often to when I’ve over-caffeinated myself in the afternoon: pinned. Was it hunger? Sugar withdrawals?
But since I was just lying there I did start thinking about a few things.
Like Boston. Harlan will be hearing soon about the job in Boston and either way I will have very mixed emotions. If he doesn’t get it, he will be crushed and I will be crushed for him—and a little relieved. If he does get it, I will also be relieved. I’ll be overjoyed, so, so proud of my husband, excited—and terrified. And heartbroken.
And then there’s this pain in my side. It’s been there for a few days, an acute pain located on my left side, buried somewhere under my ribs. Every time I lay on my left side, I feel like some hidden part of my anatomy is being crushed or bruised. I wondered if it was a punctured lung, a bruised rib…cancer. Then last night it hurt less under my ribs than in my abdomen, still on the left side. So I started thinking appendicitis and wondering if my appendix would burst and if we’d have to rush me to the hospital and if I would make it. It’s insane how much more I worry about dying since I had a baby. My life is so much more precious now. The thought of leaving Aidan motherless makes me sadder than I can handle.
And how sad and horrible that he wouldn’t even remember me. I often think, just let me live until he’s old enough to remember me! (What an insane thought!) It’s so cruel that babies don’t retain memories from their early life. Here I’ve just had the best year of my life. I have spent everyday with my beautiful, fascinating son, learning everything about him, discovering more and more of him each day, loving him more deeply than I ever imagined loving, memorizing every smile, every syllable he utters, taking masses of photographs just in case I forget. Every day we get to know each other better, each other’s rhythms, what makes the other laugh. In a way I’m closer to him than I’ve been with anyone else. I nourish him with my breast. I sleep with him in my arms. I protect him and feed him and watch him sleep. I carried his body in mine for ten months, shaping him, forming him, giving him life and feeling his movements before I’d even seen him.
The idea that he could grow up not knowing me at all? The thought kills me: that he could be that kid with a picture of his mother on the wall—young, beautiful, maybe on her wedding day—that he carries with him from childhood home to college dorm, to apartment after apartment, and looks at when he goes to bed at night, missing her, wondering what she was like, and some friend goes, Wow, is that your mom? And he goes, Yeah, I don’t remember her at all. She died when I was a baby.