Sometimes the part of my mind that juggles everyday knowledge shuts up for a moment, and I'm suddenly awash in disbelief: I have a baby.
The fact that I have a baby usually occupies the same headspace as the fact that I have legs. Then awe strikes like lightning, and I say it over and over again inside myself—and sometimes out loud to Rob, who gently rolls his eyes at me for seeming so out of touch with reality—I have a baby.
Today I caught myself staring at Ivy, just staring and completely lost in the realness of her. (I did this with Westley, too, over and over again, until eventually the disbelief stopped feeling like a rip current yanking me out to sea.) In my closet, I have a picture from one of the dozen or so ultrasounds I had while pregnant with Ivy, and every time I see it I can't believe—but I can't not believe—that the little electric ghost profile is my daughter's face.
I don't know what to do with this information. It doesn't make sense. I can wrap my head around the whole sperm-egg-cell-division-new-human thing (sort of), but where did this baby come from? How is it that this very real thing—reproduction, the biology of why we're all here—can shift so easily into the surreal?
I have a baby. It's like holding an abalone shell. One side looks like boring old beach rock. The other side is the aurora borealis.