Angela Jane Lavender
You Inhale, I Exhale
Oils on Canvas
12" x 9"
This is a portrait of me and the moment I met my second born, Clifford.
This is the letter I wrote him after he healed my heart with his entrance into this world and now I have the painting to go along with it...
I owe you one. I am an emotional person, and your older brother put me through the ringer when he made his entrance into the world. As well as the first year that followed. In trying to conceive you and in carrying you inside my womb, I was petrified. I worried that I would lose you, and I held my breath, desperate to surpass 33 weeks. Eager to keep you belly-side until you were fully cooked. And we did!
I had four core goals for my pregnancy and delivery of you:
1. Go full term.
2. Feel a contraction.
3. Have a VBAC.
4. Hold you immediately after you were born.
All things that I didn’t have with Henry. I am elated and eternally grateful to you, and to the cosmos for allowing that unfolding of events. Not only did I accomplish those major points on my wish list; but I got a couple bonuses as well. My OB, Dr Chanda, whom I absolutely adore, was the one to deliver you, and in the moment after my final push she told me to grab you, and I did! I pulled your slippery squished body out of my sore, torn aching body, onto my chest and into my arms...
And I bawled my eyes out,
And you screamed your head off,
And as they wiped your body,
I cleansed my heart.
I let go of all of that anxiety and fear of not having you whole and safe,
And I held you,
And I cried some more, because I was feeling everything. Every peaceful emotion, all at once. I felt relief from the physical pain of pushing and the emotional pain of the past, a flood of pride and joy; bursting with love for you and that moment that I had longed for for what felt like an eternity. It was incredible and overwhelming. I am elated; and vulnerable, and raw. And I am so happy I got to meet you in such picture perfect circumstances.
I love you. 💙