Life with a newborn

The first few weeks with my baby have been exhausting; even though I love my child beyond every living creature on this planet. Yes; friends and family have told me that life with a newborn is difficult, but somehow they all made it seem so easy to be parents. Whenever I entered their homes, their little baby was quietly looking around the perfectly arranged and cleaned room, the mothers wore makeup and had freshly washed hair and the fathers greeted me with such enthusiasm that it seemed they had slept more than enough.

My babyboy is almost seven weeks old now, weights 11 pounds and is a crybaby. If he is not sleeping or getting food, he is crying. It doesn’t make it easier for me that I am alone with him most of the time. The first few days after leaving the hospital; I stayed there a week because of complications during birth – I didn’t even have time to go to the bathroom. As soon as I dropped my son he started crying as loud as he possibly could. Only when I carried him in my arms he seemed a little more relaxed. So, as you can imagine, sleeping was only a vivid dream of mine. The most I have slept until today have been six hours, thanks to my mother. I carry my baby day and night, he sleeps upon my chest and I give to him all the love I have. To be honest, I imagined my life with a newborn a lot easier. It did not cross my mind that he would not sleep in his own bed, that he would cry this much or that I’d have to carry him 24 hours. I saw all these women with their babies and they all seemed so relaxed; and to this day I do not know how they do it.

My home is a mess; I haven’t had time to wash any clothes or to properly clean the house in these seven weeks. I consider myself lucky if I get enough time to eat something and to brush my teeth. I wake up in the same cloths I go to bed to; there is simply not enough time to change. And I do not want to leave my babyboy crying at any time, eventhough he does cry when I hold him too, but at least he knows that his mother is there.

As the days passed by, I started to think that maybe I am not a good mother. Not nearly good enough. All the other women seem to handle their babies; and my poor babyboy cries all the time. I started to feel guilty for his sorrow, to feel helpless and powerless; I started to feel hate towards myself. Yes; I was exhausted. But while my little angel slept upon my chest one day, I started to think about my feelings. Why was I feeling this way? What made me think I was a bad mother, when I give all the love I have within me to my baby?

Today I am feeling better, eventhough there are still days where my baby pushes me to my limits, despite the love I feel towards him. But I came to understand that I had set my expectations way too high. Before my son was born I had this image of the perfect mother in my head. I thought that with the energy I have I will manage to keep my house clean, to cook for my husband and myself, to get in shape AND to nourish my baby with love. Maybe it were the naive thoughts of a twentyone years old woman, but to be honest, I really did not think it could be this hard. And with friends telling me their baby slept all night from day one, my expectations grew bigger and bigger.

There is no such thing as a perfect mother. And I came to realize that each baby is an individual and so different from other babies that it makes it impossible to compare yourself to other mothers. I did; and it almost broke me.

Today I know better, at least most of the times. I know that I am doing my best in keeping my angel happy and that should be enough. He needs my warmth, maybe more than I imagined, and I am willing to give to him all I have. This little angel may cry more than the average baby, he may not sleep more than two hours at a time and he may need me more than other babies need their mothers; but that does not make me a bad mother.

And when a little smile comes across his chubby cheeks I am sure that I am doing good. I am tired, but so happy to have my angel so close.

Jehona Thaqi© And if you ask yourself how I found time to write this; he is quietly sleeping upon my chest

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Tulip

image

Tulips grow out of my skin
with roots tangling around this body I once called prison.
To this day, whenever I despise my beating heart,
I remind myself that flowers grow within the cracks of my skin,
inbetween dark and hollow spots,
where once was nothing but grief.
I remind myself that bleeding is healing
and that the tears I cried have been the cleaning rain for my soul.
I remind myself that tulips do not grow
without the cold breeze of winter;
and so do I.
For I have been growing out of pain,
and I will survive each winter to bloom again.

Jehona Thaqi© you will not destroy me

Do not cry, my boy

Dearest son; 

you are the greatest gift of all,

despite sleepless nights

and the times you cry 

– seemingly without reason; 

or reasons I do yet not understand,

when I feel so helpless and sad

and my silent tears fall upon your soft cheeks.

Do not cry, my boy,

for your mother is holding you tight

to the body that suddenly became strong;

within the arms that do not hide behind the back anymore;

caressing your head with the finger that once danced upon falling hopes.

Do not cry, my boy,

for your mother is here to protect you,

the way you protect your mother from sorrow and heart break; 

you – this small little boy – are the greatest gift of all,

and if this world falls apart

and all my hopes are shattered,

I will hold on to the memories we are creating.

Do not cry, my boy;

but if you do,

even fifty years from now,

come running to your mother

so I can hold you

and mend your soft beating heart.

– Jehona Thaqi© I love you Noar

Black, bitter coffee

Black, bitter coffee on a sunday morning,
or was it monday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I sit silently in the corner of our living room,
my spine curled and pressed against the wall;
so much space upon the couch we bought,
but I am afraid of not being able to fill the spaces you have left empty.

Black, bitter coffe on a friday night,
or was it saturday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I weep into the freshly washed cussions of our bed,
they smell like lilies and honey,
they smell nothing like you, for I have washed them too many times since the last time you visited,
your scent has vanished out of this house,
yet it is present in everything I touch.

Black, bitter coffee on a wednesday afternoon,
or was it tuesday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I sit at our dining table and read about wars far from home,
I read of homes destroyed, and people buried underneath them,
I cry;
you used to say that there are people dying, 
when I told you that I could not breathe at night, you said that I am fine,
when the lights turned off and my body was shaking in agony of losing the war against my mind, you said that I am egoistic;
I feel the guilt within my tears drown the last hope of winning the wars within me,
I can see people dying, somewhere far,
yet so close.

Black, bitter coffee;
I drink to stay awake,
for the nights scare me,
and there are dreams lurking in the corners of this house,
dreams I do not want to have,
for my dreams have been shattered too many times.

Black, bitter coffee;
I do not sleep anymore
and I have forgotten the days,
just as the days have forgotten me.

Jehona Thaqi©

Ribeira

I wonder how many names you had to forget

in order to remember your own,

dear friend;

for you were a masterpiece to this world,

as colorful and historic as the buildings of Porto’s ribeira;

yet broken, for I could see the cracks upon walls

and dying lightbulbs underneath blank ceilings.

I wonder how many heartbreaks you had to live through

in order to love yourself first,

for you thought your heart could hold all of them,

like within this part of the city;

too many temporary visitors dancing through its streets, leaving nothing but footprints behind

and too few lovers who stay to renovate the abandoned homes.

I believe

that your heart is more than a port for desire;

dear friend.

Jehona Thaqi©

An open letter

I sit silently upon our bed
the clock ticking  in the corner of our room,
birds twittering to the melody of a late summer evening
and while the last sunrays enter our small house
I think of your soft hands and mellow lips;
I think of how you used to hold my jaw
as if it was the greatest you have ever held.

Time passes; the clock still ticking,
until its sound diminishes within the blurred pictures of my mind,
skies turn grey and birds fall silent
and I sit there, dry eyes and empty heart,
I sit in order to remember
how you said love would never be forgotten
and how quickly you forgot to call it love.

Sometimes I do not know why I write letters to you
again and again,
unread stories and untold secrets,
floating within the space of your fingers and my desk.

Maybe one day you will have the time to read
what has taken me too long to witness.

Jehona Thaqi©

Oblivious

I was oblivious of life;
for too many heart-breaks had marked my body,
and I speak of the heart-breaks of a woman; a warrior,
who protected her soul with silence
but whose silence has been broken by understanding
that a woman’s tongue will not be tied to the dreams of men.

I was oblivious of happiness,
for too many tears had drowned my laughter,
the tears of a losing warrior,
but war will not be over unless this soul flees my body,
and even then, when I rest underneath the earth,
I will leave the tomb as dust 
and remind you of the power a woman carries within;
a woman who has been opressed
but never silenced.

I was oblivious of my strength,
the strenght of a woman;
I was a prisoner to my fears,
but today I will destroy the chains tied among my soul,
I will be free,
and concious of everything I have.

Jehona Thaqi©

Too much

I talked too much,
for whenever I was quiet
you said something was wrong,
as if my existence was bound to my words
and to the little spaces
between breathing and speaking.

I laughed too much,
for whenever I was quiet
you said something was wrong,
as if I was a puppet of happiness
and I danced to the rythm
of everyone’s well-being.

I cried too much,
for whenever I was quiet
you said something was wrong,
as if my tears were the only proof of a crying heart,
and the way I grasped for air
was my way to say sorry.

But sometimes,
silence became the only language
I knew how to speak.
Sometimes, when you were far,
I forgot that there were words to say,
and stories to laugh at,
and songs to cry to.

Sometimes my heart ached
for you to call
and say that something was wrong.

Jehona Thaqi ©

If I should die

If I should die
bury me in a field of nothingness,
where flowers do not bloom
and the earth is dry.

If I should die
do not cry,
for death is nothing but part of this life.

If I should die
tell my mother I loved her
and my father, too,
tell my brother I loved him
beyond all the greatness of this world.

If I should die
tell yourself
that you were all I ever wished for.

If I should die
forgive me for my wrongs,
I had the dreams of a child
but dreams last only until they’re shattered,
broken,
forgotten like the dead.

If I should die
forget.

Forget that I lived for your love
and that you filled my lungs with air,
forget the sound of my voice
at night; when I said hold me, but you were too far,
forget my writings, all of them,
for I signed everything with your name,
forget the tears I cried
and the memories you broke.

But remember to visit me,
once
after ten years,
and see how I turned nothingness into everything you have ever dreamed of,
see how there are flowers sprouting out of my grave,
and witness how your tongue falls silent for the first time in your life.

Remember
that you can bury not only dead bodies,
but dead souls, too.

Jehona Thaqi©

Privileged tears

The weather has been good, lately,
you say,
while the shy sun enters our home,
frankly, the weather has been good,
but so have we, for the last few years,
and I say years,
for I do not remember the last tear you have shed.

You leave for work,
kissing me goodbye, like within the movies, swiftly, yet lovely,
and I watch you leave as the sun rises,
until you disappear within the bright light of this morning.

The weather has been good, lately,
I think,
while washing the dishes,
and so have we, for the last few years,
yes, years,
for I do not remember the last time you cried.

Tears fall down the sink,
I like to call them my privileged tears;
the weather has been good, lately,
and there is nothing to worry about,
we have been good, too,
for you have not cried in years,
and I have neither,
only on mornings that shone too brightly
against the façade of our home.

Jehona Thaqi©