Sunday, September 8, 2019
I arrived from Cape Town yesterday. When you arrived with your dad and grandmother, you were sleeping. I was a little sad, but your gran tells me that you were rounding up the troops so that you could all come to the airport and pick me up. Apparently you were very excited. “Nanny let’s go car! Fetch mommy! Aeroplane!’
We went straight from the airport to Pretoria, the whole time my heart was bleeding because I knew you needed to nap, but I also knew I wanted to chat to you and see how much you have changed. Anyway, I talked to Granny and Daddy the whole way to Pretoria, to go and see mama Ot. I was caught in the middle of being so happy to be home, to be in the same car as you and of the need to cry, because I really wanted a hug and couldn’t get one just yet. Woe is me.
We stopped over at Woolies on our way to mama Ot, you were still fast asleep, I like to think the excitement was overwhelming. Daddy and I went out to get a few things for you to eat because you hadn’t eaten properly- again, I think it was excitement. I breathed a real breath of air when your dad reached out to take my hand as we walked to the store and asked how I was. It feels so good to be home. We chatted and laughed and swung our clasped hands like we were in a playground, finished up our little shopping and back to the car. It feels so good to be home.
You were stirring when we got back and by this time we were so close to Aunty Ot’s, the wait to hold you was less than 5 minutes. I don’t know if my heart was beating irregularly, but I was very aware of this being a first time reaction for us, I was not sure whether you would trust me after this or not. Whether your excitement with Granny and Daddy would be something only they would witness, and never me. We got to Aunty Ot’s and as she came out to greet us, as we all came out of the car, you finally opened your eyes fully to see that I was home.
I felt it a little unfair that you had slept the whole way and didn’t have enough time to have your mom home before you had two moms at at the same time (me and your mama OT and the added benefit of Gogo), and felt you might be overwhelmed. You were not. As soon as I got out of the car, everyone gave me the space they knew I wanted, I came around the car as you reached out for me and… It just feels so good to be home.
You looked at me as if you were trying to be sure it was me, but you clung to me as if to make sure I was not leaving. We all walked into mama Ot’s house and obviously- the talking ensued immediately. Gogo was there too because we were coming to see both of them. It really feels so good to be home. The first thing you wanted from me as soon as you were sure I was not leaving was of course, milk. It is a little different though. As though you only want it to be sure that I am here, not even for comfort any more. I guess we need to see how the days progress. Your Gogo tried to give me a strict instruction not to breast feed you, she knows that is not going to happen, I am sure. You are strong headed and willed and you will decide what happens to this milk. I know.
You did not leave me the whole day, you would not allow me to put you down, you did not allow anyone to hold you or feed you or even to say ‘Hi’. You played so close to me the whole afternoon, into the evening until we left mama OT’s and finally went home. you were asleep when we got home, but still quite clingy and I know now that you missed me. Which, as you know by now, was bitter sweet- making me feel like I have accomplished something but also so sad that I had to put you through that- especially with the knowledge that it will not bee the last time… And that it will probably get easier. I held you as you slept for about two hours before I finally put you in your cot. Which didn’t last very long, as you came into our bed a few minutes later just to cuddle.
I faced every one of my greatest fears while I was in Cape Town. Whether you would trust me, whether you would sleep well without breast milk, whether you would remember me when I came back, whether I had bonded enough with you to know that the connection I know we have created would never be broken. I cried, laughed and I feared. I prayed more than I have in a while. I mentioned you to everyone I met. I missed you terribly and I had a night or two of sleep. I faced my greatest fears and I do not know how to do that again. I had to stay strong and literally expect that you would be fine, not only for you to be fine, but for me to be fine too- I needed it for myself. Most experienced mothers will laugh and that’s ok, but I needed to write this so that I never forget that fear. I needed to write this so that I remember these moments where nothing else matters but you, not even me, because that to me is what my love for you is. Completely unconditional.
Mambo. I am glad I left to finally see what space would feel like, but I am still a little emotional about it- I cannot lie. I always want to have you around and I will never apologise for that, to you or anyone for that matter.
With my whole heart,