considering my son's nose in the mirror, i see finally just how crooked it is, how the whole left side slants down, covering the nostril, leading down to the scar and the tightened, knotted lip, raised where it should not be, the two halves connecting incorrectly and i am overwhelmed by sadness and anger and the injustice of my life, the way my body failed me so... i am dying to try to have another baby just to prove that i can do it, that i can make a whole person and feed that person as i was intended to and nurture and cradle that person how i wanted to with alex, but was prohibited from. i am so jealous of all the perfect babies out in the world and the perfect mommies who can do so easily what i could not do at all. i remember when he was born, how i tried to nurse and couldn't and how he screamed at my chest. i remember how the two sides of his upper lip could move independently in ways that were not intended by upper lips to move. and now, i am reminded of this every time i brush his teeth and the inside of his upper lip is so tight from the forced connections of tissue that it is hard to reach his upper teeth, let alone see them. and at the moments that i do get a look at his teeth, there is a tooth that slants sideways and back because it is in the hole where nothing should be and just to the left of it, there are no teeth at all because there is no gum at all. every night at bedtime and every morning after breakfast as i say, "brush teeth" and he repeats and points towards the toothpaste and the toothbrush, "teeth, teeth," i am reminded that there are surgeries yet to come and orthodontics reminiscent of medieval devices employed by barber surgeons yet to come and rhinoplasties and implants and god knows what else all yet to come. all this tells my heart is that it takes but moments to set in motion pain and suffering enough for a lifetime...



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