re-birth (somerlea contreras)

I am sitting here unwinding on this Friday evening with a delicious bowl of cereal, watching Parenthood (for the second time) and bawling my eyes out. A regular occurrence ever since Ev was born, the tears have been flowing and it feels so good to feel again.

10 years ago (holy crap how has it been 10 years!), the worst possible thing I could imagine happened and our family will never be the same. Immediately after my baby sister left this world, all the feelings and tears my body contained exploded out of me. Night and day. Every morning, the moment I woke, I would relive the trauma as the realization that she was gone would wash over me again and the tears would pour till there were none left. It was the kind of crying that does not leave you feeling better after, it was not cathartic but rather it drained all the life out of me.

After this period of constant emotion, the dry spell came. There was nothing left, I felt empty inside. Cold and disconnected. This somehow felt even worse. When I would find myself in a situation where I had to tell someone what happened, it was like an out of body experience. It was as if I was telling someone else’s story and not my own. There were no tears, no sign of emotion on my face conveying how deeply this impacted me or how much I love her. It felt so strange, isolating and frustrating.

This permeated into all areas of my life, it was as if a switch had been flipped and no matter how much it meant to me, the emotion contained within me was no longer able to flow out of me. I made jokes about being an ice queen, the grinch and heartless. Even on the day I became one with the love of my life, I watched as my soul mate, friends and family and even the photographer had raw beautiful emotions flowing down their cheeks and I so badly longed for this. For my outsides to match my insides. But it just wouldn’t come in public or on a regular basis. Instead it built up for months and then would come in full fury in private.

It was especially ironic as I was always someone who was very in touch with their emotions. You can ask Jessalayne Bartel Massinon, it was very easy to get me to cry. One time, in the middle of a fight, at just the right moment she said “What ya going to do about it, cry?” and I did.

I had heard about the effect that pregnancy hormones can have on a person and had thought this might be when I returned to my sensitive ways however while I definitely had my moments of being irrational, my hormones brought out the rage in me instead of the tears.

But that all changed, the moment it all became real. The moment the worst pain in the whole world was replaced by the best feeling in the whole world. After labouring for 8 hours, I reached out and caught the warmest, squishiest, sweetest little thing I had ever seen. I immediately began ugly crying as wave after wave of intense emotion washed over me, I was literally feeling all the feels. Evan Levi, you have changed everything.

To my baby sister, who is all heart, I love you again and again and again.
To my son, who has given me back my heart, I love you love you long time.



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