This morning Kathleen woke up early. I fed her, changed her, and handed her to Brian while I made coffee. And she fell back asleep. The house was wonderfully quiet, and I sat at the kitchen table with my coffee and warm muffins and finished reading Vicki Forman's This Lovely Life. I almost got online right away to tell you to go get a copy and read it, but I need to sit with it for a bit.
So here I am, some 12+ hours later telling you to get a copy and read it. It is not easy reading: I made myself read something else for a few nights, though I wanted to continue, because my mind and emotions got worked up and I couldn't sleep. Vicki's experience was far from my own, but her descriptions brought me back to the hospital, to the fearful days at home of oxygen and complex med schedules, to a world where "okay" and "normal" shifts each time you think you almost have your footing in the new world.
Before I started reading This Lovely Life I expected a book about parenting a child with a disability. I knew Vicki's son, Evan, had special needs and that Vicki had written on the subject elsewhere. The subtitle of the book, A Memoir of Premature Motherhood, gave me a different expectation. And then I started reading this book about being a mother and about figuring out what that means when you don't get the expected 9 months = healthy baby scenario. I read about a journey from grief to self-forgiveness, from the nightmare of this can't be happening to the still challenging and heartbreaking, but lovely, life.
You can read more about the book here.