April 8, 2013
Dads. Complicated issue. Maybe it takes a generation of bad fathers to make the next generation ten times better. I hope that’s the case most of the time. It is in my husband’s case and my brothers. Yes, things were different back then, but some things remain the same. Being a parent isn’t something you can skip out on, although plenty of fathers do. It takes work. Lot’s of work. A life long job. I wish we could revoke the “father” name to those that don’t deserve it, make it all legal like a divorce.
What is it about having a baby that makes people feel like they have a right to be in our life?
What is it about divorcing with kids that makes a father feel like he no longer needs to support his kids financially and emotionally?
After a grueling weekend with my father in law I’ve come to realize a couple of things. We don’t owe our absentee fathers anything.
But at the end of the day, actions always speak louder than words.
So I give credit to the fathers that come around in their own way and make an effort (my father in law is one). That goes a long way in my book. Still, it’s not a perfect system because those fathers, who were not there as fathers should be growing up, become strangers. And although I can stand back and applauded the effort and appreciate the sentiment that some fathers take late in life- trying to be better and all-it doesn’t guarantee that we will like you. The penalty of not being there when we were young is that we will not be there for when you are old. Being there is what family does, blood or not.
April 6, 2013
Like a storm coming in at a distance I felt uneasy about a situation I was involved in, and like a thunderbolt it came to me. I don’t want to do this. I guess the nice thing about turning 35 and having a baby is that I really do feel like an adult and as an adult it’s my prerogative to make my own decisions. As I came to this realization I got nervous, like I was caught cheating on a test or something. The kind of nervousness where my voice starts to quiver and I start talking fast, and in my minds eye the upcoming confrontation ends in a fight. I knew I had to deal with it. The longer I sat on it the longer it was going to eat away at me.
So I called the person to tell her I could no longer work with her. I wish I had the guts to have mentioned something earlier and leave my son as an excuse out of it. But I hadn’t. And to be fair, I just came to this absolute conclusion. Sometimes it’s hard to say no to something that in all actuality seems O.K. But I knew. Deep down I dreaded it when she called, I pretended to enjoy the projects that I worked on but in all honesty they just made me stressed out. I felt like a phony in her realm even though we are both artists I somehow always felt that my aesthetic was inferior to hers. My feelings on this subject are a complicated web- sometimes resentful of being used by her and sometimes thankful for how insightful she can be. She could be so giving and yet so demanding in the same sentence. I felt that I was boxed in from the beginning, and I hate that feeling, something similar to being on a pedestal. Not much room for personal movement of freedom.
So it’s done. Ripped it off like a band aide- and it feels good. Even though I kind of feel like I should have handled this situation earlier, or at least have been more honest with how I felt- I’m glad that I’ve reached the end of the road with her. At least for now, I never know if the partnership will branch off in the future. And let me be clear, it’s not the ending of the friendship- at least I think not even though I do believe that the main reason she came to me was a means to her end- that or cheap labor. See, complicated feelings.
I don’t ever want to feel like I’m not as good as an artist as someone else, or that my opinion doesn’t matter because of my lack of degree, money, experience, or what not. And if that means avoiding people who make me feel that way, then that’s what I must do. Gosh dangit! I’m an adult…right? I wish I had done this with my last job. Recognizing when it was time to leave for the sake of my own happiness and my own personal growth. Instead I stayed there and molded on the counter like rotten fruit. A little dramatic, I know, but it’s the truth.
When you are an adult 6 months age difference is nothing to think about between two people, but when you hold up a newborn and a 6-month-old baby, there is a world of difference. It is amazing how quickly they grow, but it’s just not only that, it is watching life unfold before you. It like watching one of those PBS nature show where you see a flower grow from seed in speed up time.
In the beginning (a whole 7 months ago- ha!) I felt as though every waking moment I had to somehow educate my baby. I was worried that I just wasn’t doing enough. (Even though now I have come to know that by just observing where my baby is at I can gauge what challenges he is up to.) Everything that I had doubts about I was double and triple checking on the Internet and researching with books. I could only hope that I was doing everything right and not traumatizing my baby. All this researching often led to more confusion and uncertainty.
In my previous statements I had mentioned the feeling that I wouldn’t have made it as a mother back in the pioneer days. What I am realizing is that one, it doesn’t matter- and two; I am a pioneer in this modern age of information overload and baby product propaganda. We as mothers and fathers have to trudge through this overpopulated swamp of information and somehow find our way to dry land. We have to pick through the words and advice from every doctor, mother, grandparent and stranger and somehow filter it until it’s usable. And who is to say what the right way is when there is a book written from every angle, an opinion from every side? Let’s face it- there are as many ways as it takes. The goal is the same, no matter how many roads lead to it.
At the 6-month marker, I feel like I’ve finally got my sea legs on this mother ship. Everything that has led up to this point has guided me to my own personal mother’s artist statement. Granted, I’m still working on that statement, but I feel like I have a strong foundation to begin writing it down.
It’s a wonder I can write anything down, I feel like I’m behind because by the time I write something a thousand new things have happened. He’s crawling now, so I have one eye on the screen and one on him. He’s also looking a little hillbilly with two bottom teeth and one front tooth- I love it, yet it’s a reminder how quickly things are changing.
I feel like we are on the cusp of a new change. As of two days ago, nursing him to sleep isn’t doing it all the way- why with his new moving techniques he is simply rolling over and backing up on the whole sleep situation. Beep, beep… I am aware that I had to cross this bridge eventually; I was just hoping that it would last a little longer, because it has been working so efficiently. Now I must face that we need some new tools for sleep. It takes two to tango for this dance.
Until I became a parent I thought linear about the whole parenting thing. Like a math equation you think that the answer would be simple a + b = c. But no, there is personality involved in this equation and we’re not just talking about the baby. This is where the drama happens. This is why for one parenting question; there are many different answers that work. The real question is finding the answer that works for my baby and me.
January 22, 2013
Such thrashing, such fuss as though sleeping was such a battle to be fought. I was almost laughing out loud last night while I was putting my son to bed. After all his fussing and tossing and turning he finally settled down, but not before he moaned like 5 times. So theatrical I tried to stifle my laughter. It reminded me of When Harry Met Sally when Harry practices moaning on the phone to Sally. It reminded me of something I would do in my twenties when I was really tired and on the border of being silly.
This kid, he cracks me up.
I’m surprised I know the date, truth be told, actually I’m not too sure I do. I have lost account of what day of the month it is, although I’m still good at knowing what day of the week it is. I can’t believe it; Weston is on my back right now taking a nap. What good fortune has befallen me? He has been leading the resistance of napping, and seems to have dropped his late afternoon nap- that on top of his mid afternoon nap taking an hour cut from his normal routine. Normal routine, ha! Like that really exists. On the recommendation of a friend I splurged and bought a woven wrap. These things are pricey! Hand woven in Guatemala, I thought maybe I could make one, and there happens to be a fabric store that sells hand woven fabric by the yard, but it turns out that it’s just about the same cost as buying one. So taking the path of lest resistance, I searched on line and found one.
You wouldn’t think that a long piece of fabric could be so complicated. But baby wrapping takes some practice. I was a little scared trying the ruck sac position (back position), but now when I place Weston in it and fling him over my shoulder, he laughs- well more like he giggles! Granted I’m on my knees when I do this, just in case something goes wrong the fall would be minimal. But I love it. It’s a little long, but I’m getting good at wrapping him fairly quickly. He even smiles when he see’s me putting it on. I go on walks with him around the block, I pop him on my back when I want to do light yard work or chores. I wrap him on the front when he’s tired and crabby, but not sleepy enough to go to sleep. I’m determined to get my monies worth of this thing.
It’s easy for me to become obsessed with these baby carriers and slings. I’ve tried many and so far Weston likes the Bjorn front carrier (even though there is a group of baby wearing people that poo-poo these) and the woven wrap. I found a used Maya ring sling on Craigslist, but I have to say, after the other two, side slings just don’t feel “right”. I like the even quality of the top two as well as being able to be hands free. The Bjorn I leave in the car and just pop him into it for quick runs into stores. The woven wrap I use for everything else. What I need to be is content with what I have and stop searching for the even better product.
So besides wraps being awesome- the other tool in my arsenal is the Kindle. When I go to breast feed my baby- I have my kindle there loaded with books. It’s my reading time. I’m content only reading during the feeding times. In fact, regular ole’ books just wont do for me at this stage of my life. I would need one extra arm to be able to pull off reading a normal book and breastfeeding Weston at the same time.
Geeze Louise. He’s creeping up on his one-year birthday, I just can’t believe it. Spring is in the air today, and it makes me happy with a squeeze of nostalgia. This is the time to venture outside and get away from the house. I’m looking forward to the big family vacation where Weston gets to meet his Uncle Josh and his family for the first time. The only thing I’m slightly nervous/curious about is the flight over. Even though it will be highly unlikely that Weston will remember, I am excited to make new memories for myself with the family. I really lose track of how time goes by until I see how quickly my niece is growing, and now the same goes for my son.
My head is swimming with ideas and my hands are itching to make things (such is the inspiration of spring). In my minds eye I have a big white board in which I am constantly writing down ideas and thoughts and problem solving solutions. Everyday I look at this board and am reminded of what I need to do to progress and keep going. I think to myself I should really get a big board for the house so I can execute what my mind has been thinking of doing. But I don’t. Maybe I will happen upon one day, maybe not, but for now scrap paper will have to do- although it doesn’t seem as impressive or inspiring as a big board.
March 5, 2013
First trip to the ER this morning. Nothing major, although I always think about the worst-case scenario. He spat up all his milk that I just breastfed him, and then he pooped and then he spat up yellow bile. Well, checking in with the nurse from our pediatrician she said that anytime there is yellow or green bile, they recommend an E.R. visit. Even though he didn’t cry or seem out of sorts, the nurse urged me to take him. Well, of course I took him- how could I not take him on the off chance something was seriously wrong. So we mosey on over there in no particular rush, and not exactly taking our time either. We got admitted right away, and I thought, wow, no ones here, this should go fast.
I’m not going to go into all the details, but I’m going to vent that doctors need to be a bit clearer on things. After seeing Weston and telling us that we need to give him 5 cc’s of Pedialyte every five minutes and to only be concerned if he spits up green bile or blood- I took a look at the bottle they gave us which was green colored Pedialyte. So….if he spits up this green liquid I should be concerned? Oh, good point let me have the nurse get you a different color. I was a little confused when the doctor left. I thought, well that’s it, right? We go home and shove this drink down his throat. But she had said before she was leaving that she will be back to check on us. Hmm.
Well by the time the nurse comes in with a new drink, Weston has fallen asleep. As she bangs through the door- she informs us that we need to wake him up and give him the drink. Shortly thereafter the doctor follows in to see how things are going. Well- he’s been asleep. I figured that was good, because he was exhausted and a rested baby is more likely to be well. It was then that she informed us that in order for us to leave he would have to take at least 3 more doses of the drink to insure that he’s holding it down. Ohhh. Well why didn’t you say so to begin with. I had thought that it was our homework to do, not a pop quiz. At that point we set our timer and dosed him. I wasn’t playing around- I was sick of being in this room and was pretty sure that Weston was going to be O.K.
From talking with the doctor I came to understand that yellow bile wasn’t as problematic as green bile. So keeping the baby hydrated, hence the baby Gatorade, is numero uno- but in small doses. This is basically what the nurse had told me on the phone, however the only difference was that she mentioned anytime there is green or yellow bile, they recommend going to the ER.
So was it a waste of time and money? Part of me says yes, and part of me says no. I learned something new and if this were to happen again, I wouldn’t go to the ER. I mean $125 co-pay should teach me something, right?
There is a little more to this story, like how our pediatrician’s nurse told us not to give him milk for 24 hours, I found this out when Andy hand scribbled a note while I was breastfeeding Weston. No way was I going to do that- and it contradicted what the ER doctor had told me. But I have to say at this point of my motherhood journey, although I had a moment of hesitation and worry- I was confident on how I handled Weston’s recovery. Sometimes you have to filter what the doctors and nurses say to fit the needs and temperament of your child. And that is what I did.
The same day Andy got sick. I have to tell you at this point, I didn’t have much to give. Dealing with a recovering baby and then having the daddy sick as well… he was on his own sorry to say. I had enough on my plate and just couldn’t muster up any reserve for my husband. I wish I could, but my well was dry.
March 14, 2013
I did a bad thing and looked at my High School yearbooks. I wanted to flip through them and see if I still wanted to hold on to them. My short answer to that is No, but that is not what this is about.
It’s about reliving that solitary feeling I had growing up in small town Prescott. Feeling like I never got the whole picture of things and like I was always missing out on something. So when I looked through my yearbooks that feeling washed over me again. Seeing all these people that I never knew, activities I never joined in, boyfriends I never had, I get this creepy lonely feeling. This was not my story of high school. My story didn’t make the pages of the yearbook.
I always felt that Prescott was a town in which you leave in search for the better. Maybe this was jaded by the fact that my family moved away from Prescott slowly one by one until it was just me and the dog left behind. But no, I felt this way even before that happened- perhaps that feeling was enhanced by them leaving.
I never understood my friends that stayed behind, didn’t go to college, or got married and had babies or some combination of all three.
I never understood the wanting to get married, or the wanting to have babies at so young of an age. Even after I finished college, this sentiment was alien to me.
But there are those that know early on and they do it. They have families and go forward. And there are people like me that need more time to come to that understanding. And of course there are those who want families, but finding the right person may take longer than expected.
It wasn’t until my trip to Italy, right after I graduated from college that I came to understand something about this lonely sentiment I had. Fate was in my hands, not those around me. If I wanted something, it was me who was going to have to work for it. It was there in Italy where I was expecting the trip to carry me like a big wave from here to there that I realized that my own happiness was something I would have to work for. Not something someone else could give me. There was no one there to take my hand and lead the way, it was time to grow up and realize that I had to carry myself.
This may not seem like it connects to my small town lonely feeling, but it does. That feeling of missing out on things persisted until Italy where I discovered that it was up to me to control my future, my fate. It doesn’t matter whom so and so is doing these days. Besides the slight curiosity that I might have, it doesn’t change my life. And that’s what it comes down to- my life. My decisions, my choices, my life.
It’s still something that I have to remind myself about. When I feel like things are passing me by I remember. Remember the lessons it took so long for me to come to understand.
After a month of trying to figure out this whole sleep thing, I’ve kind of folded my hand and have had to give in to what it is and what I’m not. I’m not going to let him “cry it out” as so many books and people, recommended. I don’t care what you think of me, when my baby cries, I’m going to respond. That is what feels the most natural thing for me to do. He’s only a baby and he only knows how to communicate one way. What does he learn if I don’t listen to him? So after much mental debate and confusion, I’m sticking with what I’m doing, because what I’m doing is the best I can do.
So yeah, he doesn’t sleep through the night. He has once or twice, but on average he doesn’t. When he does wake up I will hold him until he falls asleep and put him back in the crib. Sometimes that doesn’t work, and then I will plop him down in our bed, and it becomes a family bed for the rest of the night. My body has to learn how to sleep a different way, and that’s O.K. because I really like the family bed. There is something so satisfying seeing my baby boy and husband asleep, and it is so much easier to meet his needs when he’s right next to me. I’m getting addicted to it, I know because when he sleeps longer in his own bed I’m awake waiting for him to wake up because I miss him. Think what you will, for the first time I actually feel like I’m doing something natural and right.
I have to back up a little bit and share what he used to do before I decided to bring him into the bed. When he would wake up and I would hold him, with his eyes closed and his little hand he would reach up and brush my face and hair with his hand. It was as though he was blind and was searching for my face. How can that not touch your heart? It was then that I had this feeling that he needed to be closer to me, why else would he be searching for me?
Babies grow so fast that this thing he did with his hand only advanced to slapping my face and grabbing my hair. Even still, I find it endearing. Now he stretches across the bed one hand touching me and one hand or foot touching Andy. We are all adjusting trying to find our own bed space, but I love it. I love seeing my baby sleep soundly.
Did I say I enjoyed sleeping all together? I’m not too sure. Things keep changing and it’s hard to keep adjusting. I think I’m creating a bed monster, but I’m not sure. He keeps waking up earlier and won’t take a pacifier, only me. I don’t know why he keeps waking up, I swear I’m doing everything right, but he does and continues to do so. Part of me is not longer enamored by his cuteness when he sleeps next to me, but annoyed that I have to keep reaching my boob out to him to get him back to sleep. He’s been doing this thing to where he reaches for me but moves his head down so I keep moving down to adjust to him moving down. I swear a couple of weeks and we can take this show on the road. But by then he will have learned a new thing that keeps me awake and guessing.
Despite his diabolical need to take over the bed, I find that I am sleeping better with him next to me then if he were in the other room. And I’m constantly amazed when I wake from a deep slumber to find him next to me alive and un-smothered.
I love the little independence that he is learning to do. He can sit up by him self, most of the time- I still try to surround him with pillows because he will teeter totter and fall. I love how he smiles and giggles every time he sees Lucy our cat, and she in return has been daring to get closer and closer to him. His death grip has occasionally taken ahold of her fur, but she’s a trooper, I think cats get the whole baby thing and how they can’t help being babies.
Some days he hums when I feed him. He will do it all day, as though he’s testing the microphone on stage. Testing testing, one two… We can take him to restaurants now and he sits in those high chairs with a purse or a sweater stuffed behind his back. I’m a little worried about how dirty things are and how often he will put his mouth on the side of the table and suck it like a Slurpee from Circle K. I’m thinking about buying those cleaning wipes and just having it in my diaper bag. But then I think about him sucking on those chemicals, so who wins? There’s no way of getting around a diaper bag. It’s a must. The day you leave the house without it, well you know what happens, shit happens.
I laugh when I think how much baby crap we bring when we go visit grandma for a weekend. Is this all really necessary? Apparently cause I can’t seem to not bring it. Let’s face it; modern technology and ideas have really made a lot of things easier. I mean that little foldable bath chair is genius! My mind still backs up and tries to be a pioneer about everything, keeping it simple and rugged, but who am I kidding? Really? I need to embrace this modern age yet I keep wondering if I would have ever made it as a mother back when none of this baby crap ever existed? I have this lingering doubt that I wouldn’t have made the cut especially considering what kind of labor I had, or lack of.
Where to start? I was pregnant and now I have a son. There wasn’t much of an in-between for me due to the emergency C- section that took place. I did have a little time of experiencing contractions, but I don’t know if being induced carries the same feeling as if I were to have gone into labor naturally. I have moments of feeling that I was cheated out of the whole experience. I feel a little tinge of jealousy when I hear about a labor gone natural. I know that harboring these feelings can be a little unhealthy, but I’m just being honest. I can share this and at the same time be incredibly thankful for the experience that I did have.
All the months preparing for a natural birth did not prepare me for the opposite- although I was always aware of the possibility in the back of my head- I knew there was always a what if- just never thought it would happen to Me. I find it cosmically funny and ironic, that everything that I did not want to happen happened. Yet it all turned out O.K. And more than O.K. I realize what a blessing it was to have capable and caring nurses around me and doctors who responded in record time to the crisis that played out before me. My fear of having a hospital birth worked for me rather than against me.
The Friday before Weston was born we met up with the midwives to evaluate my condition, at that time I was a week and half past my due date. The midwife urged me to go to the hospital that night to be induced, but I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel yet. Everything looked good- my amniotic fluid was good and the baby’s heart rate was fine. I just wanted to believe that this would happen on its own, but the risks that could potentially happen after 1 ½ weeks overdue was a little scary to hear about. After some discussion and apprehension I came to a compromise. I would give it the weekend for this thing to happen. We waited this long, what is another 2 days?
Well nothing happened-not even a budge not even a drop. So come early Monday morning, Memorial Day, we headed to the maternity ward at the hospital. It was a slow start. We had to wait to talk things over with the midwife and in the mean time I was hooked up to an I.V. which filled my body with electrolytes, and I had two monitors that followed my contractions and the baby’s heart beat. My mobility at that point became very limited. After a discussion on what course to take as far as being induced, we got this thing started. It’s a weird feeling being induced. Not in the physical sense, but knowing that once I cross this threshold there is no going back. This is it.
Slowly the contractions came. My routine was limited to drinking water and going to and fro the bathroom- hooked up and all. I felt like a science project attached to so many cables with monitors near by and my nurse always near to check on things. The room seemed to become more confined as time went by with not much to look at except the monitor that showed the rise and fall of my contractions like a seismograph. There was a TV, but besides it being a slight distraction, my mind was focused on breathing to the waves of contractions that were coming and going.
I recall thinking to myself as the contractions came and went, that if this is what normal women feel when they go into labor, that this really sucks. No wonder women opt for drugs.
It had only been 6 hours or so since the beginning, and my progress was going well, surprisingly well. It was after a quick check to see how things were going, that the first warning bell rang its tune, only it was the off beat sound of the baby’s heart rate that drew the nurses attention. The sound was akin to a horse galloping in slow motion. She had me roll over on my side to see if that would help, and it did. Most likely the umbilical cord had gotten tangled around the baby and slowed the heartbeat.
It wasn’t too long before the heart beat once again slowed down. This time there wasn’t much hesitation. The nurse quickly called for a doctor to help remove the Cooks Catheter- (this was the given choice of inducement) and in came the doctor that Andy and I in the past has referred to as Dr. Doom.
The first time the heart rate slowed down, I didn’t think much of it. But it was the nurse’s behavior that clued me in that something wasn’t quite right the second time this occurred. And like dominoes falling one after another in succession so also the series of events that followed were quick to fall.
As Dr. Doom was pulling out the catheter she could feel the baby’s umbilical cord. She looked at me and told me in a plain voice that she was sorry, but this called for an emergency C-section. There was a moment when she thought she could push the cord back up, but no such luck. With her hand holding the cord in place I was going to have to have the operation. Suddenly multiple people surrounded me. Nurses and doctors appeared out of thin air and my midwife quickly came to my side and grasped my hand.
Trying to comprehend the situation was surreal. There I was lying naked from the waist down with Dr. Doom’s hand inside me being pushed out of the room- modesty be damned! I was thankful that someone suggested putting a sheet over me. I would have suggested it myself, but I was outside myself grasping at straws at how this could be happening to me.
As I was being wheeled out of my room a dark thought occurred to me; I may never see my son. After all this waiting there was this real possibility that it may not happen. It was then that I burst into tears, as I was being pushed toward the surgery room.
Picking out the voices that were talking to me was a challenge amongst the commotion of the situation. In all this organized chaos I was impressed and surprised at how these people were treating me. The surgeon looked me in the eye and introduced himself.
In all this havoc there was a sense of dignity.
There was Dr. Doom looking straight at me telling me that it was going to be O.K. There was someone who put oxygen over my mouth telling me to breath deep, which I was happy to oblige. And as we rolled into the surgery room I picked out a voice telling me that they needed my help transferring me from the bed to the operating table- which surprised me that I had to do anything physical with so many people around. But the best voice was that of my midwife that told me that my baby’s heart beat was 120 and it was going to be all right, for that was the last thing I heard before the anesthesia kicked in.
From a fog I awoke. From the beginning of my turmoil till the time I woke up from surgery was 10-15 minutes total, but that space between rooms held a lifetime of details.
At the far side of the room I saw my baby boy being weighed by a nurse. ‘Hmph’, I thought, ‘so that’s what you look like’. I immediately could feel the pain in my lower abdomen from my surgery, and there in the room besides me was Andy, my mom and my step dad. Looking around feeling lethargic and groggy I knew that my boy was in good hands. I need not worry anymore.
Boy was I thankful. Thankful and blessed for all those that surrounded me and took care of me. Dr. Doom was Dr. Awesome. The nurses, midwife, surgeon, and staff kicked ass! I couldn’t believe that this all happened, and so fast! A quick ending to a long pregnancy- but at long last there I was looking at my boy, Weston Carlton See.
If I thought that the first and second trimester was long, I was mistaken because these last days have felt like the longest days ever in my pregnancy- not to mention the heaviest. I can’t believe that I have made it this far and that I am at the end of the line- only the train hasn’t stopped yet. It has slowed down to a snails pace, but it hasn’t stopped. It wouldn’t be so bad, but the docs give you a due date, and once you have passed it the clock seems to tick louder and the pressure to perform is stronger. Calls come it asking ‘why haven’t you had your baby yet?’
How the hell do I know? He’s just not ready yet.
If ever there was a lesson in patience, it is now. The need to trust that my body will do what it’s meant to do is a hard thought to hold onto, but I am trying to do so. The difficult part is that the birth center only gives you a limited time frame to birth at their facility, after you pass it you are guided to the hospital- granted they do not abandon you, but the thought of being at the hospital brings my hopes and expectations down. I know, I know, I need to set those expectations aside- I guess I’m just a little afraid of things happening beyond my control at the hospital. Hospitals can be bullies and not knowing what my mind frame will be at the appointed time I can only hope that it all goes well and trust in my loyal and loving advocate, Andy.
I am comforted by one recurring thought that a midwife said to me. In the course of discussing what will happen if I do “risk out” of the birth center, she reassured me that I will still have a beautiful birth. A beautiful birth- that sounds, well beautiful. I may not be able to control where and when I have this child, but I can control my attitude about having the child. No matter what road I take to get there, the end result will be the same; my son in my arms.
Right now I’m more focused on the process of having a child. I have exhausted imagining what it’s going to be like to have a kid, so my focus is on the act of having a kid, birth- that seems relatively within my control…maybe not where I have the baby, but how I have the baby. It’s like looking at an obstacle course wondering if my body is capable of finishing it, and wondering how well I will perform through it.
But at this moment it seems as though this will never happen and I will stay in this state of heaviness and roundness forever. Really, my body has stretched itself to its maximum capacity and I long for the release of this extra weight. My curiosity of what this baby will look like and be like is at its breaking point. The wonder if I can do this, be a parent, take care of a baby is driving me stir crazy. The lack of mobility, the unease of starting a new project because of ‘what if’- the tension of trying to keep everything clean and ready, well I’m at the end and yet still have to wait. If ever there was a lesson in patience, it is now.
It amazes me how much I can consume on a plate before me. Like a vacuum taking no exhales, just one big inhale, and the food is gone. The feeling that someone took my last bite lingers in the air around me. People ask me if I have any cravings, and I say no, but that’s not true- I should say yes; I crave food. Hunger leaps like a tiger attacking. Hell hath no fury like a hungry pregnant woman.
There is now a battle between my mind and my body. Up until now there has been clear passage of consuming food at a regular rate with no border patrol stopping the flow of traffic from my mouth down the windy road to....well you know. Up until now, my body has been a willing participant of this food parade- up until now.
Now my body has set up painful road blocks if I consume the wrong types of food- and if I consume too much at one time. I was under the impression that as a pregnant woman I have the right to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. Well, this is false information people! Well it’s false for me, I can’t speak for all pregnant women, but for me my body is telling me to slow down and eat right!
What used to be the I-10 of my intestines is now some windy-dirt-back country road that we will just call the scenic route, only it’s not so pleasant- especially for passengers like my husband (all I can say is keep the windows down).
The other thing, (and I’m not complaining, merely observing) is that my stomach is starting to create it’s own gravitational pull- mainly involving pants falling down, and shirts skirting up. This opposition of clothing is a real obstacle that I am trying to figure out the solution to. Poncho’s seem like a viable solution...
And how is my baby? Good, I hope. There is movement happening- I can’t always tell if it’s my boy or some organ mad at me for stuffing the wrong thing down my throat, but movement none the less.
Movement that nudges me that I am not alone in this adventure. Movement that pokes at me telling me that this isn’t solely about me. Movement that forewarns me that life is about to change dramatically. Movement that reminds me that we are both changing and growing through this grand experiment called life.
time creeping by at a snails space
“are you in there baby” I say to my stomach.
looking into the mirror it’s as though I’ve always had this tummy
I’m doubting that there is anything in there any more
waiting for the “quickening” like waiting for that package in the mail
I feel nothing
could I have re-absorbed the baby back into my system?
I peer into what will be the baby’s room,which is mostly empty and cold
and I think to myself, this can’t be real
this must be a game
I roll through names in my head and speak them aloud
and I think the same as above,
this can’t be real, this can’t be real-
as though I’m playing make believe
“kick once if you are in there” I say to my stomach
time has never felt so slow as it does now,
all the while people tell me corny things like
how quickly they grow up and cherish every moment
and I’m just not sure that’s the kind of person I will be
cheesy lines made for Hallmark and perfect cupcakes for parties
I will be just how I am-
my life will change- I know, I know- don’t tell me-
but I will not become someone else
I will be taking care of someone else.
a being I created from scratch! with the simplest of tools
what have I done?
what have we done?
I look down at my tummy, “Are you in there, baby? Kick once for yes, twice for no”.
It’s hard to put into words how this feels. At first as my body transformed and created another compartment, I felt weird, strange and well- just weird. My former thoughts of pregnancy always revolved around the image of the huge belly that seems to have it’s own solar system of spectators revolving around it, not the beginning, or the middle. I thought, maybe I will have morning sickness and lose some weight- wouldn’t that be great? Well I didn’t have morning sickness and now is not the time to think about losing weight.
Now I feel as though I’ve walked onto a flat escalator that is 9 months long and at the end is a door way to another life. I can’t imagine, no matter how many people will tell me, what it’s going to be like. It’s the same feeling before a big trip to Europe or someplace- you just can’t imagine that it’s actually going to happen. And yet time passes by, and soon enough you reach the date and you get on the plane and hours later you are at your destination.
As I laid on the bed in the darkened room staring at the big screen ahead of me, Andy and I saw our baby for the first time. My first thought was- sure enough there is a baby in there. Then as we watched this little thing, 4 cm long move and wiggle as though it was an astronaut in my womb of outer space, it was amazing how suddenly easy it seemed to create life. The lady gushed over our baby I felt my first sense of motherly pride in this unborn baby. A strange feeling considering that I haven’t even done anything worthy yet to be called a good mother. Watching in awe glued to the screen, then looking at my gooey lower belly where the lady pressed her instrument, thinking that little thing is in there moving and grooving and I can’t even feel it. Protected inside of me I am playing host to this little being for the time being. And still I wonder, with visual proof of our actions, what is it going to be like?