The OTHER OTTER

I birthed my younger son at home. Labor had started at 10 pm, but I went to bed anyway, exhausted from canning tomatoes all day.

I awoke with a bang at 3 am, though, and somehow, as daddy went to get the midwife, I clambered clumsily and carefully down our loft ladder and crawled over – in between intense, doubled-over contractions – my huge belly in the way all the way – to the bedding we had set up by the wood stove. I climbed onto the mattress, got ready, and waited for daddy and doula.

Within 45 minutes, this precious gift from the divine exploded out of my body into his daddy’s hands. What a surprise! Instead of the Isaiah I had expected, it was Isaac! What a surprise!

I almost said it out loud, that this was the wrong baby, but one look in his deep blue eyes and I knew this was the one meant for us in this lifetime.

I know most mothers who read this will relate – there is such profound magick in the mother-child gaze – it’s as if there’s an invisible ten-foot-thick cable that binds heart to heart, as we connect eye-to-eye. In the next days and weeks, we spent hour upon hour just gazing, feeling, gazing some more.

This was so different from my first one, who had been born in a traumatic, hospital-rush-rush situation. That one was like a shock wave shattering the peace of only-dad-and-me and inserting now-we-are-three.

Some mothers don’t bond to their babies at first, some never. I had a hard time of it – I was in shock, and it took me a while to let this new being into my life, beautiful and dear as he was.

This one though, this one was immediately precious, the love a bottomless, rooted connection that felt centuries old.

I wondered many times how our individual and combined lives had played out in those other lifetimes, that we had such a strong bond so instantaneously.

text and image © Angela Treat Lyon 2022
LyonArtandDesign.com – prints & originals


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