She came back to her nest today. Her mate was with her. (I envied her that.) I was heading out the side door on my way to prenatal class and they both flew over my head to the maple tree until I was gone. My due date is exactly one month away. Tears fill my eyes to see her finally. Last spring, she had five little robins. They all lived. I’d climbed a ladder to take a peek and my shadow made their little heads pop up and their beaks open, expecting food.
It was July when she returned to nest a second time. She hasn’t done that every year, but last year she did. She laid only two eggs then. One I’d found by the beginning of August on the stones, broken into bits in front of the door. The other remained in the nest, blue and perfect, though clearly not alive since she’d abandoned the nest altogether. I took the remaining egg indoors. This was around the time I began injecting my belly with infertility drugs. That robin egg became my little talisman. It sits on an antique hutch in another abandoned nest I’d found on the driveway. Neither of her two eggs survived, but when I look back now, what happened proved so ominous. In Celtic mythology, birds act as messengers. One egg had broken and the other had remained whole. This happened the month before I conceived twins through IVF. By the 12th week ultrasound, I would lose one baby. One baby would remain intact. So I have a thing about this robin. I feel a strange bond with her. It’s so good to see her back nesting again while I prepare my own. We are in synch.
I love that her nest sits on the beam outside the room that you and I will share; the room where I intend to birth you. When she’s nested the last four years in this same spot above my side door, she flies over my head each morning I leave my old farmhouse. She’s been kind enough never to shit on my head while doing this. It’s a brief flit to the maple tree and then back to the nest once I’m in my car. Eventually, by the end of each spring, she gets used to me and flies a shorter distance to the post sometimes, secure in the knowledge that I will leave her and her eggs alone. I gain her trust gradually.
The Weepies sing as I write this. I am thinking about the peak night of the Perseids last August. All those falling stars as I sent prayers up to the heavens for you. My body is wide to hold all the promise of blue-velvet dark and stars. You are that promise. In a month, perhaps less, but no more than 6 weeks from now, I will finally be holding you in my arms. My soul will weep and sing at the sight of you being pulled from between my legs. My heart will burst like fireworks all over the bloodied sheets beside this window below her nest. You will take your first breath and take away mine. The pulse of the cord will slow as your heart beats on its own and mine skips. I will be gazing into your eyes in disbelief, awe, gratitude, Unconditional Love, as you suck at my own red breast. I swear I’ll try to prevent tears falling from my dark lashes upon your sweet little face, your own dark locks, but I can’t make any promises, kay?
Here’s one promise I will keep: when those little robins break open from their greenish-blue eggs, I will swaddle you and climb two steps on my ladder when you are a month or so old and I’ll hold you up so our shadows will prompt their tiny, feathery heads to pop up and they will each open their mouths to sing you a proper welcome, my baby, to the planet.
For now, Mama Robin and I prepare our nests. We clean the dirt out. We put fresh straw and twigs in. We sing. We begin to hunker down. We watch the sky for falling stars. We count the days. And we await patiently the Joy that flies toward us…
Maternity Photography: Mattitude Photography
Music: Stars, The Weepies