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Posts Tagged ‘mother’

I’ve been away from my blog for a while, everything else just seems to have become more important, and “Me” time that wasn’t strictly dedicated to removing curdled bits of baby vomit from my clothes and cleavage had become few and far between.

Becoming a mother is by far the best way to have your life turned inside out and all of your priorities rearranged by an 8 pound midget, now I say rearranged instead of reorganized, because there is nothing organizational about the first few months of having a child. There is no schedule on which they do anything, which in some ways was a blessing upon my overly organized, mostly self centered life.

My Sweet little SweetPea arrived at 7:04 on the evening of February 15th also known as the hardest and most gratifying day of my entire life. I don’t think there is a single moment in my life that will require more concentration, and more physical and mental stamina than giving birth did. It was extreme in every possible application of the word, and created change in every imaginable part of me.

There was a moment between the emergence of my daughters shoulders and when I reached down to pull her the rest of the way into the world and up onto my bare chest where I felt something entirely new. A new sensation that consumed me wholly, starting hot in my heart, and twining its way through every particle of my being until every inch of me was smoldering with the warm embers of a fire that I knew could never be put out, sparked by this creature I could finally feel against my sweat dampened skin, and at that moment I experienced for the very first time Unconditional Love. When she looked into my eyes it was complete and utter euphoria. I would do anything for this person, anything to keep her happy, and anything to keep her safe and protected from all forces that may wished to harm her. And I would Love her, I would Love her until the end of my days, with ease through the good times, and with unfaltering fortitude through any moment she suffered. I would love her no matter what, no matter what she did or what she became, no matter how proud I was, or how badly I wished she’d change her mind I would Love her.

I was hooked; the center of my universe instantly transported itself from the base of my own heart, and nestled within the chambers of hers just as if it had been there all along, and five very short months later, that is where my center continues to reside.

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Today I am 37 weeks pregnant, which starts the final count down to Birth-day… and may I just add that it’s hard to start a count down when the possibility of having Sweet Pea today is just as possible as having her five weeks from now. So we wait…

37 weeks… Wow! What an incredible long way we’ve come since that extra pink line appeared on the pregnancy test strip. I was in such awe at the concept of actually being pregnant that I took a test every day for a week and lined them all up next to each other on the bathroom counter just to be sure it was still true, but the line just got darker and more defined as each day went on, and somewhere inside myself I knew it was true.

33 weeks and 5 days later I have become quite large, and that little person I could feel only with my inner senses has made herself very prominent in my body, and quite obvious to the outside world. So prominent in fact I can hardly even remember what it was like to not be pregnant, to not have a huge belly full of squirmy littler person in front of me everywhere I go, to sleep all night without getting up to pee. I mean I used to run, Heck I used to walk, and now my fastest means of transportation is a nice slow waddle, and if I stretch the boundaries of my pre-pregnancy memory I can almost recollect a time when I could roll over in bed without getting beached half way through by the weight of my ever expanding abdomen, and Oh what a magical time that was!

Everyone goes on and on about how pregnancy is such a “special, magical, wonderful” time in a woman’s life… and it is… at least from the perspective of what your body is doing, what your body is making inside of you and how relatively short the time frame is when you think about all the cell replication and how quickly the final product is accomplished, but from the perspective of a sore, achy, tired, nauseated, squished bladdered, cumbersome, pregnant woman who can’t see anything between her belly button and her knees the experience doesn’t always exude “special, magical, wonderfulness”.

Do you know what the really “special, magical, wonderful” time in a woman’s life is? It’s the time she spends NOT pregnant. The time she spends before and after the birth of a child when her body is at its best leaving her physically able to do all she can do. When reaching for a dropped piece of paper is still a possibility, when trying to itch her shoulder doesn’t pull a muscle in her back, when she can enjoy the freedom of moving from one position to another without having to expertly devise and execute a plan of attack. Those were the days, and will hopefully “soon” continue to be the days, and I can’t imagine a moment more fulfilling than sitting with my husband and our new baby girl, her on the outside and me not-pregnant just enjoying being a family together, now I know it takes being pregnant to get to that picture, but I’d rather view the part of my life that is going to be the majority as “the most special time in my life” than try to falsely glorify the discomfort of pregnancy to unsuspecting hopeful mothers to be.

Being pregnant is a very Sepcial, Magical, Wonderful time in a woman’s life, but NOT being pregnant… is even better!

 

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I started a baby journal when I first learned I was pregnant. It was short lived and only has a few entries, but I found it today and wanted to share some of the words I wrote to her with all of you.

August 11th, 2010 – 12weeks 5days

Dear Baby,

The things I find myself wanting from life are so very different than they used to be. I no longer feel the need for a large house and a new car, but I instead long for experiences with you and your Father; a small cabin in the woods with a dog and a goat, watching bugs crawl across the floor in the living room with you and I giggling together as our puppy tries to eat them up, playing outside and teaching you about nature, mud pies and flower cakes, fresh veggies and the smell of ripe blackberries in the sun, cold rainy days spend by the fire reading books and playing games with you and your Daddy, being happy just to be alive and near the ones I love. What sweet happiness one could have with so very little.

Sometimes it’s nice to look back and be reminded of the things that were most important. I’d forgotten how deeply I felt about just having the simple things in life, and enjoying the moments made with my family over the things I can(or can’t) buy at the store. Today I am grateful for the things I have, and that’s a wonderful way to start the day!

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I spend a lot of time thinking about parenting, thinking about the best possible way to be the best possible mother I can be. I’ve chosen a much more natural version of parenting than is commonly seen in America, but I feel confident in it all the same. Parenting is something that should be done from the heart, and the decisions you make for your child should be the kind of decisions you can stand behind.

I am a strong believer in parenting from the heart. As a human female I already posses all the tools I need to take care of my new baby strictly based on instincts alone, but we live in a modern society where we’ve out thought our basic human instincts, and for the sake of living in a modern world some adjustments must be made, but those adjustments don’t have to compromise my values, and whether it’s to my benefit or detriment  as a mother the abundance of commerce in today’s world has made so many choices available when it comes to the quality of products I can choose to put on and near my child.

We’ve chosen to cloth diapers our baby for comfort and to minimize our contribution to the already overflowing landfills on this planet, but my main motivation for them is because it’s what I’d rather wear, and if put into my little Sweet Pea’s shoes (well… booties?) it’s no questions that I’d rather have some nice soft fabric against my new to the world heiny than some chemically conspicuous plastic disposable against my fresh young skin, and that’s just what seems most “natural” to us, so it’s what we do.

Together my Husband and I have made the choice to raise our daughter as naturally as possible, and by naturally I don’t mean keeping EVERYTHING 100% organic and chemical free (Though a lot of things we use are) I mean naturally in terms of our Nature.  Following our instincts as human beings, and doing what comes most simply to us as her parents.

I apply the same general theory to all of my parenting concepts; I simply ask myself “If I were a brand new baby-person in this world, what would make me the most comfortable and secure?” and then I do it. Now it may not always work, or it may not be the correct answer for the situation, but in order to find good solutions and create good practices as a parent you have to start somewhere, and where better to start than to look inside yourself and do for your baby what you would want done for you.

I will make so many mistakes because parents… no… people make mistakes, lots and lots of mistakes, but mistakes made out of love and an attempt to do the best things possible are the kind of mistakes you should (and can) be proud of. So as I embark on my journey into the unknown world of parenting I am grateful to know that I do not stand alone, but that the knowledge of those who came before me rests somewhere in my DNA, and the knowledge of those who come with me rests right here… on the internet.

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I have had the same reoccurring dream through out my pregnancy. The context of the dream is always different and the images change and develop but the idea remains the same. A bright light shines on my swollen belly causing my skin to become transparent enough to glimpse the baby. Her skin is covered in veins and she’s always right on schedule with how many weeks along I am.

The first time I had the dream she was small and fragile swimming about in a sea of amniotic fluid, her tiny arms and legs so thin and brittle, her little body as transparent as the skin of my womb. She gets bigger and stronger every time I see her, and last night when I drifted off to sleep I was blessed with a view of my daughter, my perfect child; so big and strong her skin almost completely opaque, her fully formed appendages moving about, her perfect little nose on her beautiful little face, and the best part was her round head covered in thick dark hair. It was simply amazing to see, and when I woke from the dream I felt as though I knew her a little better than I’d known her before.

And next month when her birthday is revealed and I hold her in my arms for the very first time, I won’t be at all surprised to see the same little girl I’ve seen so many nights finally in my arms looking back at me.

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So many things to do, so many little clothes to wash, tiny socks to find, cloth diapers to fold, toys to clean and put away. The crib is set, the beds been made all waiting for her special day. I’ve read all the books, and picked through the best advice. We’ve made the choices as well as we can, but what do we really know?

Now I write this as a person who has never had a child before. Never been a mother past knowing and loving the person still being created inside of me, but I do have a theory, an idea of the best way to prepare for having a baby.

Stretch… Stretch a lot… Stretch your body, and most certainly stretch your mind because nothing is going to be as helpful as flexibility, as being able to let go of those preconceived notions of how everything is going to be, and how your life is going to look as a new parent. When I think about having my child I imagine her curled up next to me and her father in bed fast asleep. I imagine waking up to her softly rooting about as she expresses her desire to be fed, of pulling her close to me and dozing as she satisfies her hunger and then the both of us drifting back to sleep. This is my dream, my perfect utopia of motherhood at night. I would love for this to be my reality and in that desire I do hold on to the possibility that that is how it may be, but I’m also prepared to throw that picture out the window for the reality that will most likely ensue.

When I ponder those first months of being the mother of a Little Girl Person on the outside, I always try to add a little bit of reality to my fantasies, to remind myself that some things (okay most things) will not go as I envision, and to remember that the very best thing I can do for my sanity and the sanity of those around me is to be willing to change, accept, and appreciate my practices as a new mother.

I do hold on to one piece of sentiment that under no circumstance shall I let go, and that is the notion that in all of my daydreaming and fantasizing about the future I have only skimmed the surface of how amazing and wonderful motherhood will be, of what sort of experiences it will bring and how it will round and shape me as a person, and the bonds of our family.

I love my husband and I love myself, and I can’t even begin to grasp the love that I will have when I look into the eyes of a person made entirely out of us.

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There is a small person living inside of me, changing and growing every day. I’ve never seen more than a fuzzy colorless image of her on an ultrasound screen, her little nose and her little hands; her little heart beating so fast. Such a tiny glimpse into who will soon most certainly become the center of my world.

Yet some how I know her, as if I’ve known her my whole life and just been waiting for our time. My little Sweet Pea, My Daughter, this little girl person made entirely out of Love. I knew she was a girl before she was conceived. My first born was always going to be a girl, and the ultrasounds technicians confirmation was just the recognition of a premonition I’d had years ago.

I wish there was a way to explain her personality, the way she thinks and reacts. How with only a nudge I know what she feels, what she needs. She’s already capable of so much, of so many emotions and it makes me wonder if we will still be so closely linked when she is no longer kept alive by the beating of my heart. Will I still know her then? Will I still understand her wants and desires? I like to think the connection will only deepen, and that being able to share her completely with her father will tighten the already unbreakable bonds of our family.

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