In our beginning…

by mssinglemama on September 21, 2008

My pregnancy, minus the 80 pounds I’d gained, was perfect.

I loved the idea that I was creating a human being. And all the while, working full-time. Not to inconvenience myself, my body chose 6:00 p.m. on a Friday night, to start my labor. Just one hour before I’d left the office after finishing a major event I’d planned.

The anticipation was killing me. I couldn’t wait to meet him, my first baby, my first son. His name had come to me in Target of all places. I’d just found out he was a boy. And as I ran my fingers across a bundled cluster of blue outfits, so small, so unreal, the name echoed in my mind. I still can’t explain it. But I knew it would be Benjamin. I later found out that my great-grandfather, a Cherokee Indian, was named Benjamin.

I day dreamed constantly about him. About the moment when I would finally get to hold him in my arms and the moments when he would become a boy and then a man. I couldn’t stop patting my belly, feeling for a foot or an elbow, trying to create a bond before he even arrived.

The dreams intensified in the last few months of my pregnancy and once, in a night dream, I saw his face. He was above me, perhaps I was holding him up in the air, or maybe he was about to jump on me because he was older. His long dark hair surrounding his saucer eyes and his contagious smile. It was him.

Between dreaming I filled my nights and weekends with every baby show on television. I would cry at the end of every one and I tried to imagine what it would feel like for me. And when my moment came, when I felt him pressed against my chest, I buried my face in his hair and his skin and inhaled him. But, too quickly, the nurses took him back to measure him, weigh him and check for any defects. It was the first time in nine months we had been apart. I wanted him back desperately but they wouldn’t listen.

I will never give birth in a hospital again.

The next night Benjamin and I were alone in the cold hospital with the cold walls and the cold nurses. Everyone was gone, even his father. We had been alone all day and Benjamin wasn’t eating. He started to cry fiercely. I couldn’t move – no energy. I hadn’t slept in 24 hours and my body was still recovering. If I moved I would bleed.

In my desperation to sooth my child, I suddenly became a mother. My animal instincts possessed me and I just started kissing him. Over and over and over again. I smothered his face in kisses. His little nose, his eyes, his cheeks, his ears. Every inch. Like a mother cat licking her kitten, I couldn’t stop. After several minutes of these kisses, his cries slowed to sobs and then vanished as he slipped into a deep sleep.

For the next two years, when Benjamin screamed in the night, I would kiss his little face just as I had that night in the hospital. And like magic, he would calm down and slip into sleep. It’s been months now since I’ve needed to kiss him to sleep. I’m not sure if I’ll ever need to again because now my little baby is a boy.

The moments are happening.

My dreams are coming true.

But I’ll never forget those first few moments, in the beginning.

It was the beginning of his life but also the beginning of my life as a mother. Now we are still alone. Just Benjamin and I. Every once in a while I let him sleep in my bed and listen to his soft breaths. I’ll run my hands over his face and in the dark, I still see my newborn baby beside me. Then I’ll pull him tight, up against my chest and dream about the past – about those first few months – the most painfully trying yet most incredibly magical moments of my life.

This is, in a way, still the beginning. But every beginning has an end. So enjoy it! Enjoy every moment of those little feet and little toes. And when in doubt, let the kisses fly!

[Photo: Benjamin at 3 months]

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

jonb September 21, 2008 at 12:05 pm

That is so touchng Alaina. I think being men we never fully comprehend that connection. I think perhaps it is supposed to be that, that mother’s and father’s are meant to have different relationships with children, but I must say at times I am jealous. When Noah cried for mommy a part of me would get jealous, because I wanted to help him, to soothe him. I think a lot of that is the age, but he and Courtney have a bond that is almost tangible.

In the times I kept him or we played together we made some of those moments. I remember the look on her face when he hit his head after falling out of her mom’s suv and he reached for me. As I held him I felt every ounce of love pour out of me into him(i believe you can give of yourself to others, but that’s a blog all its own) and I was touched and moved by his dependence on me for that security and love. He counted on me to let him know the pain would stop and that soon enough we would be swinging and playing again.

I think of one night when he was having bad dreams and slept between us. They were on their sides. I watched as they breathed, seemingly in unison, her arms around his as he clutched his blanky. His left arm flopped down as he fell asleep, and for some reason I reached out and laid my hand by his, dwarfing it. As if he knew my hand was close, his little fingers curled around my fore finger. I took his whole hand in mine and watched as he calmed down further, and I saw the two people I loved the most(along with mom and dad of course) fall asleep, safe, and secure.

Kids….whew, they change everything.


Anna September 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm

That was a BEAUTIFUL entry. Your son is lucky to have ended up in such capable, loving arms. I hope you do well in the Shower Contest! ๐Ÿ˜‰


melcol September 21, 2008 at 1:36 pm

That was really beautiful!

Just wait till he’s a man…he’ll be a heart breaker ;).


single mommy September 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm

I was one of those moms who loved being pregnant. This was a touching post. It really hits home. Just last night I had Will in my bed with me and I cuddled up next to him and wished he stay little forever.


GirlsGoneChild September 21, 2008 at 5:29 pm

First of all, THANK YOU so much for picking up my book and for enjoying it! And for being a fan of GGC. Thank you! Thank you! Second, did we have the same pregnancy? I could have wrote this, verbatim. (Including the crazy not-fair weight gain.) Thank you so much for sharing and participating and writing something so beautiful. You have a gorgeous voice. Your son is a lucky dude.


T September 21, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Perfect, Alaina. Perfectly awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚


Kitkat4real (SOLO dot MOM) September 22, 2008 at 6:08 am

This was such a beautiful account of his birth! You are such a talented writer… but I am sure you have heard that before.

Love this, I just love this!


Andrea February 4, 2015 at 3:49 am

Short, sweet, to the point, FREtcexa-Ely as information should be!


Writebrite September 22, 2008 at 12:56 pm

That brought a tear to my eye for the memories of my own. I loved being pregnant. I “enjoyed” childbirth dispite all the pain and chaos. I love my kids everyday and would still shower them with kisses, if only they’d sit still long enough.

Thank-you for the memory jog!


mssinglemama September 22, 2008 at 8:34 pm

I’m so glad you guys enjoyed this… I didn’t win (random drawing!!! Darn it).

The rest of the entries to the contest are here if you want more new baby stories:


pisceshanna September 23, 2008 at 11:26 am

Eh so what if you didn’t get randomly picked. This post is still a winner! ๐Ÿ™‚


Heather September 23, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Beautiful. I watched the baby shows for hours each day and bawled my eyes out also. Even after I’d given birth, I would park it in front of the TV and watch those shows while nursing the new baby and cry and long to experience it all again. Crazy hormones! ๐Ÿ™‚
Really, I can relate to a lot of this and you expressed it so beautifully.
“My dreams are coming true.”
I’m so there.


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