Sunday, March 22, 2009

Baby Magic

We've just returned home from our journey to visit my brother, sister-in-law, nephew (23 mos) and my brand new niece (3 weeks old!). As many of you know, I approached this visit with trepidation. I have managed not to meet a single infant since I met Ezra. I have systematically avoided meeting infants, let alone brand new newborns. And ever since I received the call that my niece was born screaming into the world, I have had this sinking feeling...knowing that I wanted desparately to meet her, but doubting sincerely I could handle it. In the weeks since her birth I have studied her photo, tried to imagine myself holding her, and always, the lump in my throat grew and the tears welled in my eyes. Each time I tried to envision myself holding this little girl, all I could think of was holding Ezra, and how he's no longer here. I expected to melt into a puddle on the floor.

And then we went to visit. She's the pinkest, sweetest, roundest little girl I've ever seen. She nestled in my arms, peaceful, serene. It's no wonder her name is Dalia, which means 'gentle' in Hebrew. She is such a gentle presence and she did my heart and soul a world of good. I didn't cry once while holding her, just felt her snuggle against me and felt the deepest loving peace imaginable. Not only did I hold her, I couldn't put her down! Except for when she was feeding or when it was night time and I was sleeping, I pretty much held her every second I could of the three days we were there.

It wasn't obvious that this was how the visit would go. As recently as the day before we left, I was coming out of the coffee shop near my work, and ran into a law school classmate with a tiny newborn strapped to her chest -- her third child since we graduated 6 years ago. It was a particularly bad morning for me anyway - sleep deprived from insomnia, PMS, and running completely late - but the conversation went like this: Hi Sarah, how ARE you? Sarah: Hi SuzyQ. And I kept walking out that door. Took one look at that baby and ran away. Out on the street, tears in my eyes, I began to wonder how in the world I expected myself to handle sleeping under the same roof as a newborn when I can't even see one on the street!

But Dalia is different. Yes she's family, and I knew about her and looked forward to her arrival long before I lost Ezra. But that doesn't explain it all. I haven't met any of the new babies born to friends or family since Ezra died, I still don't want to. Dalia might just be a little bit magic. Little does she know that her tiny soul restored some of my faith in myself, my confidence. She brought me such peace.

David was certainly relieved that I didn't melt into a pool of tears, and he was pleasantly surprised that he too was at peace around Dalia. The first night we were there, as we were going to bed, David said to me that perhaps I needed to meet Dalia to open myself up enough to allow the spirit of our next little one to join us. I think he's absolutely right.

My nephew Evan also brought a lot of joy and fun to our visit. He is talking lots now and was thrilled to see that we arrived in a "blue car"...his "blue car" being one of his favorite toys these days.

Here's some photos from our visit.


erica said...

I'm so glad that the visit exceeded expectations and that little Dalia brought you some peace and joy.

Rach said...

How wonderful! You know that I am so pleased for you and so proud that you made this visit. And you look so genuinely relaxed and pleased to be there and to be with her. Such lovely photos. Bitter sweet but

aliza said...

i'm so glad the visit restored a little magic and hope for you. the pictures are beautiful. i'm so proud of you for going and being open and holding her in a sling!
much love

Hope's Mama said...

You look happy in those photos. And that in turn makes me happy. Hoping a bit of baby Dalia magic can rub off on me, too xoxo

Paige said...

So happy that you found some magic in your new little niece. You are so brave and loving, and it shows so clearly in the photos. xo

Gal aka SuperMommy said...

The photos are amazing, my favorite is the one of you holding Dalia and looking at her smiling. You look so at ease, and such a natural. I can feel the healing you felt holding her. :)

angie said...

Dalia is so very beautiful, and you look so peaceful. What an amazingly healing is incredible when we face our fears and fall in love. Abrazos y besos.

Lea said...

So happy for you. Sounds like a "magical" experience in more ways than one. Good for you.


Barbara said...

I could see the baby magic in your smile. And the photo of you with Dalia in the baby carrier brought a tear to my eye.

I love that name by the way, it was/is on my list of girls names.

Wishing more baby magic your way.


Berta Bustamante said...

What a gift you have given Dalia, even in spite of your ever-present pain. She will grow, and she will one day know that from the very beginning, her presence brought healing to the world. I continue to think a lot about you, Sarah. I continue to marvel at the many ways you do right by Ezra---the many ways you seek to understand the blessing of his life and the mystery of our collective lives here in this realm. Thank you for being a bright light in the dim world, even amid your grief. Always remember you have many friends who care for you and your family, and who keep you in daily prayers. Berta y Mares Bustamante