The Swell.

A swell of self-pity swallowed me whole as my husband shut the door behind them. He took our girls shopping and left me alone in a silent home with our baby clung to my chest. 

Helpless, I lied still like a mattress staring out the window. The pressure from the swell burst through the damn behind my eyes. And I spiraled down 32 years to the root of my needs. I need. And I need. And I need. I knew, I always would. 

I cried and I wondered, who will come hold me? I cried and I thought, I can’t do this. I need more arms to hold us, to hold me, to help lift this weight off my chest. 

Before the panic could fully set in, I shook my head in refusal. I knew what to do. I remembered I knew how to breathe and give thanks. I recited, I’m thankful for…

I’m thankful for my baby, my family, our health and home, helpful hands and sunny days. Time. Life. Love. Smiles.

It could be worse. I’ve seen it. I’ve heard it. I’ve read it. It could be worse. I could be worse. I reminded myself. And I picked up a book and dove into someone else’s story. 

Minutes later, there was a knock on the door. A key turned the lock and it opened. A mother appeared. She took the baby into her arms, oohing and awwing over him. 

I was relieved. And so, I went to bathe in warmth and let my insecurities dissipate into steam. It felt easier to breathe. 

Again, I was thankful. I had what I needed. And I didn’t have to do it alone. 

Author: AshleyKagaoan

Ashley Kagaoan: wife, mother, writer, Libra, human. She currently resides in Southern California with her family.