Monday, May 19, 2008

I Feel For You -- I Think I Love You.

Early in the morning of the day I found out I was pregnant with Bean, a few short hours before I'd done any calendar-related math in my head, before I experienced the inexplicable soft, velvety stirring of her inside myself, I drove myself to work in the cold, bright February dawn, and heard this song by Elton John:

Hey you, you're a child in my head
You haven't walked yet
Your first words have yet to be said
But I swear you'll be blessed

I know you're still just a dream
your eyes might be green
Or the bluest that I've ever seen
Anyway you'll be blessed

And you, you'll be blessed
You'll have the best
I promise you that
I'll pick a star from the sky
Pull your name from a hat
I promise you that, promise you that, promise you that
You'll be blessed

I need you before I'm too old
To have and to hold
To walk with you and watch you grow
And know that you're blessed

-- Lyrics by Bernie Taupin

And I cried. Huge, welling tears of joy and wonder. With no idea where they'd come from or what they meant, I cried my first Mama tears for the beautiful daughter I'd begin to suspect I was carrying just a few hours later. And in that moment, I bonded with Bean - she and I became who we still are today. I absolutely cherish that moment and all the ethereal months of my pregnancy with her. The song remains my anthem of sorts for Bean.

Fast forward to the equally cold bright days of last November -- the days leading up to the moment we found our Peanut. Crazy busy with Thanksgiving festivities, having the house painted, and kicking into high gear with Christmas preparations, my mind and body pulled in a million different directions, I'd little chance of recognizing a similar set of stirrings within myself. The day Peanut's presence finally dawned on me I was running around frantically, keeping Bean out of the neon red kitchen paint, addressing Christmas cards and ticking a million other little tasks off my holiday to-do list. By the time I actually slowed down long enough to take a test it was past bedtime on a Sunday night, and within an hour of discovering his little budding self in those two pink lines, I'd heralded the arrival of Vomitfest 2007 by being the first member of the family to sound the almighty porcelain gong.

And since those moments, everything about Peanut's pregnancy has been almost a 180° flip-flop of Bean's. I've been sick and distracted, tired and reclusive as I've carried Peanut. And those of you who've labored through my pregnancy blog with me know I've also struggled with pre-natal depression. I've missed the peaceful, blissed-out moments of bonding with him - the instant connection and overwhelming rightness of his new self growing to perfection right here inside me.

Saturday morning, I began my twenty ninth week of this pregnancy. For twenty-eight weeks now I've carried this tiny but very active child. Always wondering when he, himself would dawn on me. When I would feel for him what I felt for Bean that crystalline morning more than four years ago. Not feeling it scared and unsettled me, and I prayed and pleaded with God to make it happen. But it wouldn't. It didn't. And so while intellectually I've known that at least at the moment of Peanut's birth, my seemingly closed eyes and soul would open to him and I'd feel myself flooded with maternal love, emotionally I've struggled and twisted and feared.

Until Saturday morning. A rare moment by myself in that same car, racing along prairie highways under the brilliant sunshine and clear blue sky of a spring that's waited much too long -- seemingly forever -- to arrive. Me, alone with my thoughts and some music. Except not alone, because there was Peanut, rolling and kicking and prodding with his usual strength and urgency. As I settled in for the 15 minute drive, I felt a gentle unwinding of my busy, frantic mind, and a calmness replaced the tension I've grappled with for months. And the most unlikely song began playing on the radio, one I hadn't heard or thought of in years.

Chaka Khan, singing I Feel for You. Yes, that one.

And right then, I knew I had my anthem for Peanut.

I suddenly realize now the mistake I've made for 7 months. I've expected everything about my experiences with Peanut to mirror those I had with Bean, and been disappointed and afraid when they didn't. But in an instant, with Chaka Khan and Rufus blaring in the background, the beautiful, clear explanation hit me.

Peanut isn't Bean. He won't BE Bean. He is already himself, created for his own unique role in God's world, and already stubbornly refusing to follow in his sister's footsteps. And you know what? Go for it, Peanut. Show your old predictability-lovin', gotta-have-it-all-planned-out-and-know-what's-around-every-corner Mama a thing or two. She needs it, and you're just the little man to do it.

Okay, my sweet, crazy boy. I get it now. Praise God and thank you both very much, I get it. And it's our little miracle, yours and mine. And now, finally, the Mama tears come, especially for you. Unpredictably, rather bizarrely, to the strains of Chaka Khan, but also right on the money and perfect in every way, just like you.

I have a feeling we're all in for quite a life together, my little wild child.

Do y'all have special songs that symbolize the bond between you and your kids? Your "anthems" for them?


  1. This is a beautiful post. I'm so glad you had this moment and this realization. I never had a song for my kids, but they did have their pregnancy names. Guess what Laura's was? It was Peanut!

  2. Great post!

    I have four, and each pregnancy and journey to loving them has been different. Some longer than others (due to my own pregnancy related depression issues), but each one has given me that glorious moment of recognition of the sheer bliss of them being. Just being there, being who they are.

    As far as songs go, I am just a huge cry-baby now that I am a mom. Almost every song makes me think of the babes, but each one does have their own. For Fiver: "Danny's Song" (Kenny Loggins), although his real name isn't Danny; for Sally: "Isn't She Lovely?" (Stevie Wonder); I'm not going to name the songs for Francie and Bun because their real names are in the titles, but they are perfect for them.

  3. Well, as far as pregnancy anthems go, I know I always end up digging out Nichole Nordeman's Woven and Spun CD. I've had it for every one of my pregnancies and those songs are poignant. Plus, my kids came out of the womb knowing all the words to those songs. That album is all that got me through 16 weeks of bed rest, NICU stays, and other trials of pregnancy.

    For each of my kids, yea, they've got a song. I've made my boys and my girls mix tapes for their first birthdays. My twins share "L.O.V.E" by Nat King Cole and "You Got Looks." Adam gets "Summertime" by Gershwin, because he was my summertime baby. And Ellen gets "Just the Way You Look Tonight" because she's my girl and she's sweet when she's sleepy and cuddly.

  4. Not fair...totally making me cry today :)

    I distinctly remember bawling my eyes out to Aerosmith's "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" when my oldest was born.

    I could stay awake just to hear you you smile while you are sleeping...while you're far away and dreaming. *Sigh*

  5. Aw Megan, I'm so happy you've reached this moment. I didn't realise you were expecting the pregnancy to be the same, I could have told you how differant they can be.

    It is so lovely that you have songs for your little ones. I didn't have seperate songs whilst pregnant with my two, I had the one song which summed up how I felt about the great leap of faith of having children and changing our lives which is "While you see a chance" by Stevie Winwood.

    Instead of songs whilst pregnant, at each of their births what was playing on the radio has come to represent them to me and as their personalities have developed in each case it has surprised me how appropriate it was for each of them.

    Jaya was born to "Hey ya" by Outkast which (whilst the lyrics aren't exactly right) is perfect for my no nonsense, tell it like it is, find her own path in life, dancing girl.

    Jove was born during the BBC Radio 2 comedy hour, which is just perfect for my jovial little chap who is able to make even strangers laugh.

    "I feel for you" is one of my favourite songs and so I for one can't wait to meet this funky wild child of yours!

  6. Wish mine were so poetic and lovely.

    James Bond movie theme music made him kick wildly. Dum-du-du-dum-duuum, du-du-du-dum-du-du-du-duuum,do-do-do-...

    Yeah, no poetry there.

    Nate's Mom

  7. God Speed by Dixie Chicks is the anthem for my little man.

  8. I don't have pregnancy songs, but each of my children has their own baby song, that I made up for them when they were little, based on their name.

    I consider each song a gift from God, since I'm not the songwriter type. (And I'm only half-joking about that.)

  9. Lovely post! I'm glad to hear that you've discovered the joy that you were needing. Different joy, but joy! With Nathan, we started the song before he was even conceived - just keep swimmin, just keep swimmin, just keep swiimmin, duh duh duh! Then it became: just keep growin, just keep growin, just keep growin, duh duh duh! It still is with him. With Ava not so much. She isn't interested in me singing to her. My two are quite the opposites you know! Try to enjoy all those movements inside of you. He will be out soon and most likely you won't have them ever again.

  10. You already know how I feel about this post... :)

    As far as theme songs for my kids, I've never had them. I was, however, extremely emotional during all three pregnancies.

    One "epiphany" I remember having comes from when I lived in Alaska and was 7 months pregnant with my oldest daughter. I was going through a painful divorce and was driving to work at 9:30 am in a blinding snowstorm when "Dust in the Wind" came on. You'd have thought I was a total hippie or something, because I had to pull over when I realized that "all we are is dust in the wind" - the tears were streaming and I was an emotional wreck in the span of 30 seconds.

    A police officer actually stopped to assist me and ask me if I was okay and all I could say was "I'm so sorry...I'm pregnant."

  11. This post is so beautiful, so beautiful, but so very, very painful and makes me cry.

    But that's okay, I am so happy you have your connection with your little son. Each day your connection will continue to grow. And I am so grateful to know you.

    My love to you.

  12. No, I don't, and reading your post makes me wish I did! But I'm so happy that YOU do have those special anthems that symbolise the bond between you and your little loves! I'm so very glad you've had this epiphany of sorts! I feel so relieved, somehow. Thank you for writing so beautifully about it.

    And Beth, you don't know me in the slightest, but HOW I wish I could give you a massive hug. My heart just aches for you. xxx

  13. Susan@stopcallingmethat.blogspot.comMay 19, 2008 at 4:58 PM

    With my first, (the one they actually pulled from my body), it never even occurred to me and now I wish I had a song to commemorate his time in my belly. Wow, how I still miss those silent communications 13 years later. My second two children I adopted and, oddly enough, there were two songs that I attached to my yet-to-be-seen daughter. One was, "She", by Elvis Costello and the other was, "When You Say Nothing At All," recorded by Alison Krauss. Oddly enough, my precious girl has some significant speech difficulties. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways. I can get so frustrated with her but sometimes in the midst of difficulty the lyrics just float through my head. What a blessing. Congratulations on your connection to Peanut. And what a lovely nickname that is. Ours was Lothar if it was a boy and Pandora if it was a girl. Are we cruel parents or what??

  14. I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
    You get your fill to eat
    But always keep that hunger
    May you never take one single breath for granted
    God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
    I hope you still feel small
    When you stand by the ocean
    Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
    Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

    And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
    I hope you dance
    I hope you dance

  15. I don't have an anthem, really, for either girl, but I know exactly what you are talking about. I can relate in every sense of the word. And to this day - eight and a half months later - I am STILL so surprised by the determination set forth by AJ to not be like her sister - at all.

    Wow - what a gorgeous moment for you and Little Man. Thank you, God, for clarity. Just beautiful.

  16. Oh Megan, I'm so glad you had that moment with God & Peanut...what a blessing!
    Your momma heart is shining girl!!

  17. What a wonderful post. For me, the moment of "dawning" just keeps happening over and over again with Baby Bunting. It's like I forget in-between each twist, roll, kick.

    I only have a song for one of the kids - the first one. It came out just after she was born and made me sniffle every time. Butterfly Kisses -
    Yeah, I'm not the daddy, but it's still touching.

  18. Life is so different once you have a child - everything is. Even another pregnancy. You will never forget that revelation you had, I'm sure - moments like that help grow us up and make us better parents. I'm not worried about you one whit, Megan - you are going to fall head over heels over this boy. Trust me. And so will Bean - and they will be best friends. Your love for them both will be the tie that binds them together.

    It will happen - but it's good to remember that time is our friend, not our enemy. You can take it, all you need. :) All good things grow with time, after all! You don't have to feel everything at once, and you're not "weird" if you don't. Love grows, our understanding grows, just like our babies grow.

    But you know that already, don't you? :)

    Love to you, Megan.


  19. Don't laugh... I really don't have a song for each of my children, but we have a family song...

    We're All In This Together... High School Musical.... hey! it was a rough patch of our life... i needed the kids to help me clean, i blared it, said "you know what guys? this is about us." and it stuck.

    Although, any time Dancing Queen comes on I think of my daughter, because she's the only person at 3 who knew who Abba was... and LOVED the song.

    Awesome post!

  20. OMGosh. as soon as I read your title I started singing that song.

    This is such a beautifull post. Each child is very different and unique. To have their own anthem, a song that will remind you in years to come of you precious gifts- snif- a very sweet gift in itself.