C-Section, See-Section, My Sea-Section
One of my favorite poets Arthur Rimbaud wrote, “I’ve found it Eternity. It’s the sun mingled with the sea.” If I may so humbly add, ”I’ve found it, Eternity. It’s the sun mingled with the Hamptons Sea.” On March 9, 2015 I gave birth to my first and only child – Chloe Rose Rena Molton. I spent most of my pregnancy with my mother, at my summer home in Southampton. My husband and I had been in the middle of a huge home renovation in Manhattan; and while our new home was in its third trimester of germination, I was in my first trimester of pregnancy. He lived in a small apartment we rented in Hell’s Kitchen during the work-week and came out to Southampton on the weekends. I made my way into the city for monthly doctors’ appointments and other family obligations.
The Hamptons has always been a part of my soul. I have been coming out with my parents and two brothers since I was a child and long before it was the “it” place to be. For many of my childhood years, my parents rented small homes right on the beach in Montauk and Southampton. I remember one home in particular, in Montauk, the brown paneled walls framing the windows, which looked out onto the white expansive sand and brilliant blue ocean. Since I’ve been cognizant of my existence, I knew that my parents, like that wild Hamptons ocean, had a very tumultuous relationship. When I close my eyes, I can so clearly see my two brothers and me running and playing on the beach. I can feel the warm sun caressing my back and hear my father’s anger piercing through the violet-colored sky. And that’s the way it always was.
And here we are now. I’m 41 and my parents recently divorced after 43 years of marriage. The end result resembled the ravaged beauty of the Hamptons beaches after a spectacular storm. For me, these visual masterpieces, my Hamptons Seas, are intrinsically laced with the varying tides of life. So as my parents’ wave danced its final dance, moved and crashed, I found out that I was pregnant. Life, the ironies, beginnings and endings — always watering our lives. The great magnitude of these two events colliding and overlapping truly felt as though I was being pulled into one of those powerful currents during a daring swim in my Hamptons Sea. The only sight, the only See, the only Sea that gave me some semblance of peace was looking at this magnificent Hamptons ocean, in its different moods and seasons as this special life was growing inside of me. And as the months rolled on, September, October, November, my belly took shape, its own ocean giving life and breath to my coming child.
In January I was told by my doctors that I should stay close to the shores of the city as my due date approached. So I bid adieu to my other wild lover, my sensuous Hamptons Sea. As I swam into my final few weeks of pregnancy, I encountered some dangerous waters; extreme fatigue, swelling and soaring high blood pressure. Inducing me did not work. Natural childbirth was not going to happen. So on March 9th, my cheerleader obstetrician Dr. M. informed me that I was having a C-Section. With the same instantaneous power of a wave splashing its salty water on my face, I was on the operating table surrounded by masked men and women. I recognized my husband David only by his twinkling, smiling eyes. I could hear Dr. M. say, “Here we go,” as my legs disappeared into a sea of numbness. Beneath the shore of semi-paralysis, I could feel tugging and pulling, as if the current of the Hamptons sea was pushing me out – only it was pushing my daughter out. In those surreal, urgent moments I thought about my parents and those gorgeous lonely Montauk dunes, and how now there was an ocean between my mother and father. I thought about my husband and me, the two of us walking on Flying Point Beach and in just a few minutes, we would be three. And finally, the moment came. In my anesthetized awareness, I could see the blood palette of birth: blues, yellows, reds, greens, all meshing together in a sea of extraordinary beauty.
There it is Mr. Rimbaud, my Eternity revised…looking into the eyes of my daughter, hearing her soulful cry and seeing her dive into the ocean of life.
So here I am back at Flying Point Beach. My beautiful six -week old daughter in my arms, my husband by my side. My mother is going to be alright. My father is part of my history. And a tear streams down my face; it is one of joy, pain, and overwhelming emotions…parallel to the depth and mystery of this great ocean before me…C-Section, See-Section, My Sea-Section.