Happy 1st birthday, Liam Miguel Pérez!
Today our little boy, Liam Miguel, turns ONE YEAR OLD. He is still just as astonishing and wonderful as when they first laid him on my chest and he looked up at us with this crazy one-eye-open pirate stare.
One thing I never realized about birthdays before being a mother is that–in addition to being a special day for my child–this day will forever be the anniverary of a birth, which is both a triumph and a trauma. I promise not to delve into details so as to protect the innocent. Even if I wanted to, though, I don’t think I could produce a description that would capture the pain.
I remember being terrified and also the disbelief once things actually started happening (“How is this going to work again? Can I back out?”). I remember my shock at the pain. I even remember being in pain. But all this is brain memory, not body memory. You know how when you think about vomiting, you can almost feel the sensation? As though you were remembering with your esophagus? Well, that’s exactly what I can’t do when I think about the birth. I can’t remember it in my body.
Not that I’m complaining. But I do marvel at how that text of trauma has been written over with a year’s worth of smiles and laughs and poopy diapers and tears and first words (the very first = ma-ma).
This is, I think, biology’s way of making sure that every woman’s first baby is not also her last.
Happy birthday, Liam Miguel. We are so glad you are here.