my first rainbow

Three of my friends had babies recently. All of them gave birth to their second-borns. Seeing these newbies reminds me of so much. Memories of Melody's first year blur together, forming a colorful timeline in my mind.

When she was brand new I'd panic at the end of each day. Being up with her in the night was tedious. I dreaded the solitary task. The minutes clicked by so slowly as her needs kept my heavy eyelids from rest. Those difficult nights are the blue and purple memories.

Complementing them are brighter colors. These times are numerous and hold angelic hues of yellow and orange. Each day around 10:00am I'd marvel at how wonderful it was to be at home with my baby instead of at work. After working full time for 6 years, being home each day was a surreal change. We would lay side-by-side on the queen size bed. She nursed and I stared at her tiny body so close and warm and light. Occasionally I'd wake up to realize we'd both been asleep for hours, perhaps after one of the hard nights mentioned above. We shared baths, read Jane Austen, went for walks, danced slowly to Sinead O'Connor's, Thank You For Hearing Me, and stared at each other all the time.

I cannot leave out the vague grey memories. These come from foggy, tearful hours of confusion and unrest. It took four months for me to fully accept and realize I was depressed. The magnitude didn't dawn on me until an antidepressant began working. Here is where the greenest, happiest memory lies. Melody was late in her fourth month. One morning I bathed and dressed her. Then, as I held my clean fresh baby close, I sang to her. Somewhere in the middle of the song it came to me; it was the first time I'd ever sung to her. It was in that bright green moment that I knew taking the antidepressant was the right thing to do.

When Melody was nine months, we stopped breast feeding. Although I had misgivings about weaning before 12 months, it was a relief to stop wondering if my milk was enough for her. With this relief, came times of red and pink. I had new energy. My cycle returned and I lost the rest of the pregnancy weight. Melody and I played together more as she grew into an active infant. She loved the bucket swings at the park. String cheese became her favorite snack. She learned to say, "boo!" just like I did. It was also in during this time that I began to rock her to sleep each night. I'd sing and she'd nuzzle close, her head under my chin and her fingers in her mouth. I'd sing, Were You There. At the end of the song I'd add a stanza and sing,

Were you there when He gave me Melody?
Were you there when He gave me Melody?
Oh-oh-oh-oh, sometimes...
It causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when He gave me Melody?

Now she is 13 months old. The other day I started putting sparkly clips in her wispy hair. She wears regular shirts instead of onsies. She shows us news personality traits everyday. Sometimes sneaky. Other times shy. She's even been known to flirt on occasion!

As I am introduced to my friends' newborns, something inside me stirs. I think, "Ahh, so tiny and amazing and perfect," and I wonder if I'm ready for another. I remember the rainbow of Melody's first year. Part of me wants to remain with only one child for another year; to spend each day fully with her. Another part longs and hopes for a new baby to come and bring a new rainbow to my life.


Rose said...

SO Beautiful it brings tears to my eyes.

m'lis said...

I can't believe she's already 13 months! It seems like yesterday that we were buying that dart board and having pizza the night before she came. I miss you, Pumpkin. I'm glad to see you adjusting to rural life as I am trying desperately to adjust to urban life. This was a really beautiful post, my friend.