Eclectic Muddlehood

How's this for a perplexing beginning? I am a great many things, but none of them are me. At least not in my entirety. This is the little corner where I attempt to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts as I muddle through being a wife, a mother and a woman... among other things.

Location: Virginia, United States

Here, in no particular order, is a short list of my parts from the mundane to the pretentious, some or all of which may surface in future attempts to work on the whole: wife, mother, doula, childbirth educator, writer, yoga student, homeschooler, amature organic gardner, kitchen witch, all-around foodie, spiritual truth-seeker, daughter, clutter-bug, complusive list maker, bibliophile, homemaker, friend, homebirth/natural birth advocate, impulse shopper, wine snob, knitter, artist, lover, sensuist, and email junkie (There may be more later, but that's it for now.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Still Healing

It has been almost 19 weeks since their birth and although life improves weekly, there is still a great deal of healing that must take place. The edges of my scar have started aching in the morning after each grueling night of what a fellow twin mother refers to as rotisserie nursing. Staring in the mirror after a stolen shower, I notice for the first time that it is off center and curves up more at one side than the other. My scar smirks at me. Mocking me. You just couldn't do it, could you? she viciously teases. You actually thought you could birth them at home, she laughs. I try to take the approach I have come to find helpful when processing difficult life challenges. I look for the lesson. What am I to learn from having followed this path? How can I use this experience to better myself? Or how can I use this experience to help others? But my deep secret is that no beautiful or even constructive answers come to these questions. Instead my mind is filled with thoughts that shock my heart and make my soul weep. In my darker moments I think that I was punished for my pride or that I failed my body or that my body failed me. Sometimes, when all of my children are crying at the same time, I ask why did I have to have twins or why did I have to have any more children at all. Maybe if there had only been one baby I wouldn't have had to have a cesarean and traumatized myself and all three of my children in the process. If I hadn't had any more children I definitely would not have been through that experience. This is where the guilt sets in because I love my children and I can't believe that I sometimes wish they were not here. I feel guilty about so many things; disappearing on my eldest in the middle of the night to go to the hospital and not coming back for three days, coming home barely able to function much less able to pay any attention to her, not being able to nurse my hungry, angry newborn daughter for over an hour after her birth, watching my severely sleep deprived husband yell at his three day old son to stop crying because he was so hungry and my milk wasn't in yet, giving both of my new babies formula for three days... My mind could go on like this for hours and hours. And it does. Usually at night after the children are finally asleep. I stretch out in my bed and obsess myself to sleep. I long for the days when instead of mocking me, my scar smiles wistfully as we both sigh with contentment at the lives lived and the lessons learned because of us. Until then I'm still healing.


Blogger Holly Hanberg said...

We all love our children. And we all sometimes wish they weren't there.
When I had to quit nursing my first at six weeks (she was drinking more blood than milk and I was terrified to hold her any time because I was afraid she'd wake up and I'd have to feed her again)and I felt guilty my sister told me that that's a lot of what motherhood is. Guilt over the things that we didn't do, guilt over the things that we did. Guilt over yelling at the kids, and over giving in too easily.
But the fact of the matter is that kids get over it. Now, in my old age and as a mother I can look back and remember a very few times that my mother yelled at me but only a very few, and she had seven children I know that there was a fair amount of yelling at my house, but the only thing I get from that at this point is relief that my mom who, was and is the greatest mother ever, did it too.
We love them, and we try as often as we can to tell them, to show them. A meal or two from McDonalds, in the long run isn't going to hurt them and the sheer joy they get from getting to go to their favorite resturant (I know, but kids love it) is probably worth it. And having you gone unexpectedly for a few days and unable to do a whole lot with her for a few more is probably something your oldest will forget. Even if she doesn't the fact of the matter is that that kind of stuff happens, she's got to learn it sooner or later, and isn't this the best way to do it?
Better than learnig it when you die trying to stubbornly give birth without medical intervention.
You'll all heal, but you can't until you can forgive yourself.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Rose Child said...

Mothers in general and myself especially need to learn to be easier on ourselves. I know eventually I'll get past this. And I know that given the circumstances of my labor, I did what was necessary to protect myself and the twins and ensure a good outcome. That's what makes me a good mother; that in the moment, I didn't even hesitate to sacrifice the dream of a beautiful homebirth for the health and safety of my children. One would think that would make things easier to deal with, but for some reason it seems to make it harder. If the c-section hadn't been necessary, I would have someone or something concrete to blame. Instead I have to work on getting to the point where I can accept the fact that the labor and birth were what they were hand in hand with being overjoyed at my healthy, happy babies. It'll come. It'll just take me time.

7:47 AM  

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