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.)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Reunion Reflections

My husband and I attended my tenth high school reunion last Saturday and, all in all, had a smashing good time. It was filled with the usual reunion cliches of course; the people who looked exactly the same, the people who looked better and the people who looked worse. There was the assortment of lawyers I would have guessed myself to be a part of ten years ago if anyone had asked me. One plastic surgeon who made sure he left with all the lawyers' business cards in case he got sued anytime soon. And the one drunk woman who spent a majority of the time making a total idiot out of herself on the dance floor in clothes a person her age and size should probably have been advised against wearing. But there were also a menagerie of pleasant surprises as well. A dear old friend is engaged to someone it is obvious she is very connected with and they are planning an amazing wedding on the Rock of Gibraltar which just fits her perfectly. A woman most would've taken for a lost cause in high school is beautiful, healthy, happily married and the doting stay-at-home mother of one of the cutest baby girls on the planet. Another former friend is following her passion and using her gifts in the amazing field of art therapy. And I finally got to give a long overdue heartfelt apology to a former love who was horribly wronged. But the most surprising thing I walked away with was the discovery of a precious personal truth.

Lately I have been struggling with whether or not to sell my library of childbirth education materials, thinking that I no longer possessed the strong, black-and-white convictions to teach and doula the way I did before the twin's birth and that I cannot imagine when I will ever find the time to commit to more than keeping my three little people alive and fed. Then, across a gaggle of chatting classmates, someone said they heard I was now a midwife and they were curious how I got into the field. I explained I was a doula, not a midwife and spent a few minutes elaborating on how I found my way down that path. A few hours and several glasses of red wine later, another woman asked me to sit and talk with her about home birth because she was considering the option for her future first child. Something inside me opened, as if my inner birth activist ripped off the lock and flung open the doors to a corner of my spirit I sealed off the moment my midwives told me I would have to leave the beautiful, safe surroundings of our bedroom for the cold, sterile environment of the overcrowded operating room. My passion flowed as effortlessly as ever as the convictions I had taken for lost bubbled forth. But they had changed some, matured even. More compassionate, more thoughtful. Not just the cold, hard facts and party lines of the natural birth crowd I ran with mere months ago, but also the softer, wiser holistic support and advice that only a mother who has faced and survived the more complicated aspects of women's greatest rite of passage can offer.

A few weeks ago someone told me that I would now have more than ever to offer as a birth professional and I dismissed the comment outright. Now her gentle words, the words of one who knows this to be true in her own life and work, are with me. And my library of materials remains upon the bookshelf.


Blogger Regan said...

Wonderful - because we need you. Many women come to me for their HBAC because they want a kindred spirit who has walked that path; others don;t because they don't want to fail in front of me - not that they say I would put that on them, but they have put that on them.

I bet I know who that wise spirit is who told you we need you - we do. Tammi

9:14 PM  
Blogger Analisa said...

Beautiful (obviously I'm a little behind on reading you). :) I have been through a similar experience after having a c/s with my twins - and then an amazing VBAC with my baby.

7:14 PM  

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