There. Then Here. Nine.

Dear Lyric,

And so the sands of time have shifted.  The thin, wispy curtain of Transition has lifted on us.   For nine months you grew within me – sprouting limbs and a penis!  And for nine months you have inhaled and exhaled the breath of Earth.

An hour old. Photo by Jeanette LeBlanc.

On the day you were born, my dear friend Sarah came to meet you.     Only nine months prior, I had witnessed the powerful entry of her son Max.    With Max in her arms, she sat on the edge of the bed as I cradled your hours-young body to mine.  You still smelled of birth – an elixir too elusive for words.     I smiled up at her, high from the adventure of your birth, and my face softened to give way to “that look”.    The look that has bittersweet written all over it.   I sighed, staring at Max, and nodding her way whispered “It’s just that….ooohhhh….”. She stopped me in m tracks – somehow intuiting what I was going to say,  Shaking her head slowly she breathed out the reminder: “No, THIS is a long time from now.  Enjoy him.”

But, THAT time…is now.  Already.  And I can come back again and again in my mind to that moment as if it were literally yesterday.  And part of me wants to shed tears and whimper.    But then I look down at your crinkly eyes smiling up at me and I am blown wide open with love the color of prisms.

Here you are, with us now.    Your ear lands softly on my chest and hears the same heart that beat its rhythm in my womb.     I run my fingers across your chubby elbows, the same ones that I gently poked and prodded while trying to guess your position in my belly.    You suck on your binky and I viscerally recall the feeling of you sucking your thumb in utero.  You are indeed wholly here and yet there are translucent moments when together we slip once again into that deep physical connectedness that mamas and babies hold sacred.

You are here, held in the safe haven of my arms.   You are here, exchanging gummy smiles and coos and giggles.   You are here, already scooting across floors towards mischief and exploration.   The world you knew a mere nine months ago is imprinted deep in your cellular memory.       That world seems but a few blinks away to me.   It was a sweet time, my boy.   A time of mystery and awe and heart-swelling gratitude.

40 Weeks. Nine Months In...
40 Weeks. Nine months out...

But for now, I focus on savoring this. Because you – the son we could only dream of – are the little baby who has made our family rounder, and sillier, and softer, and more bodacious.       You are my moon rise and sun set.     You are the warmest rain and coolest sea breeze.    You fit.    Right here.  Right now.  With us.

Nine Months Out...

Before you and beside you, I am humbled.

I love you, my nine month old child.   May every nine months grant us just as many moments of frolicking sweetness.



8 Comments Add yours

  1. Ms. Smoochy says:

    Yes. Truly, what a sweet boy. All these fleeting seconds are so so sweet.

  2. Rachel says:

    That was so beautiful. You are a powerful woman, Leigh Steele! A bittersweet hug at this milestones in your lives.

  3. Valerie (Murray) Meredith says:

    Absolutely beautiful!! I love to read your “Blogs”!!

  4. Karen says:

    I have a picture of my Sophie (middle kid) at nine months crawling around the belly cast made when I was pregnant with her. I call it Nine In-Nine Out. Little did I know…I was just about to make her sister around that same time!

  5. Sarah says:

    Yes, that moment, so vivid in my memory too. But I’ve seen you enjoy him and soak up every moment, every breath, every-thing! And, it has gone quickly for sure but, that ADORABLE picture of your crinkly, smiling boy shows 9 months of utter joy and sweet momma devotion. I love you and him so much! And 9 months from now…well, you know…

  6. brooke says:

    9 is so sweet. and smiley! especially him…what a dollbaby!
    love you so.

  7. I cried while reading through this. Wow, you can write! You had me there, in my own memories, of my own moments of the births of my three children. You made me FEEL it all over again. Amazing.

  8. Sarah-Anne K. says:

    I wanted to thank you for the lovely picture of yourself nine months out. Too often we are so critical of our bodies once our babies are outside of them, and yet you so peacefully and lovingly show THIS is my nine-month-out body, and THIS is my baby snuggled next to me. Thanks for not sucking in for the camera, and for accepting and showing the beauty of now.

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