six months in a hot air balloon


February 11, 2012 * 2 days old


March 31, 2012 * 7 weeks old


July 12, 2012 * 5 months old

It’s hard not to cringe at the sight of some things. Things like hot air balloons, bendy straws, and green dish soap. Things that remind me she has been taken apart and put back together.

Nothing has challenged me quite like this before. I can almost brush her hair backward and forward with my hand again. I can almost stop catching myself when she wants comfort and I reach out to stroke her head. Not being able to trace her hairline with my fingers has been difficult. Muscle memory says to cradle and soothe – while a not-quite-healed  incision warns of trauma, infection and pain.

Socked hands and chicken pox. I long to scratch the itch. It is a mothers nature to press her hand, her pursed lips, her breast, her bare skin against the soft temples and forehead of her babe.

I have been robbed of simple, necessary acts since the moment of her birth. My womb, I can still feel, begging her back inside.

In my other hand – more blessing than any mother can contain. A beautiful girl with a big, bright smile. She soars by every milestone, babbles through my incessant prayers. This child, she is perfection, redefined. Every moment  I am with her (which is every moment) she betters me.

After her surgery, I was terrified that I could never hold her again. Never rest her on my hip and whip around the kitchen making dinner. Never splash her up and down in the bathtub. Never carry her barefoot, strapped to my back, down the winding road to Hana.

For I was certain that her head would slide apart in pieces. The imagination is wicked. No mother should ever visualize the things I have visualized. I cannot stop the images, or brush them aside as nothing, hard as I try – there they are. But three days after her surgery I picked her up in one, whole, beautiful  piece.

Her incision is almost healed. A stray suture poking through sent us in for an extra visit, but everything else has been even better than imagined. I am getting used to her look. The process has been slow, but I am beginning to accept the change.

I have a lot of catching up to do from the past month – so please disregard the chaos that may show through my blogs. I have many sweet moments to recreate and capture – and many more painful places in time to revisit and process.


3 responses to “six months in a hot air balloon”

  1. Renee Naslund Avatar
    Renee Naslund

    Just beautiful, Noelle! Your sweet little girl. Thanks for sharing–there are so many things that we take for granted, like being able to snuggle a baby without having to pause. I’m so glad to hear that she is recovering, and you can have more ease when reaching to soothe her precious little head. Wishing you lots of baby snuggle time, and smelling sweet baby shampoo on wispy little hairs. My love to you!
    Renee Naslund


  2. Kathie Avatar

    This picture is one of those that will remain in my heart forever…just like your words! Love you all!


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