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on not good enough…

October 21, 2011

no one prepared me for motherhood.  i didn’t know if i would ever be a mother, and the circumstances in which pregnancy came to fruition for me were less than ideal.  i am a born questioner; a worrier; a woman filled with anxiety and grief that i place on myself.  and now i have a child, with whom i will inevitably share at least some of these less than desirable characteristics.  most days the world is a wonderful place for me– a beautiful day to begin and end with my baby and my partner and all the memories of the hours that we share together.  but there are other days for me that no one prepared me for.  no one told me how much loneliness would come along with motherhood.  no one told me that there would be days filled with tears.  no one told me that there would be profound sadness.  and i am writing about it today because i know i can’t possibly be alone in these feelings and emotions… i just want to talk about it.  i just need to talk about it.  i need to write about that, for me, some days the distress is palpable.

i feel guilty about lots of things concerning my becoming a mother– beginning with my baby’s birth day.  i wanted to give birth naturally.  in fact, when i learned i was pregnant i learned about all the wonders that come with home birth and water births and really, really wanted that for myself and my baby.  however, my pregnancy came to be termed “high risk,” as i was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (so serious of a case, i injected insulin many times a day).  each week for the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy i was hooked up to monitors and sensors, where my ob-gyn would evaluate the health of my unborn child.  fortunately, my baby continued to grow and develop healthily for the rest of my pregnancy, but home birth and water birth and all those Lovely ideas i had previously entertained, just were no longer feasible.  on my 38th week of gestation, my doctor informed me that my baby would be born around 10 pounds and suggested a c-section because of the many things that could go wrong during delivery.  jason and i talked it over and decided that a cesarean birth was the best way to go for the health of our daughter and for me.  a week later… 39 weeks after conceiving, my body was sliced open and my 11 pound, 3 ounce baby was removed while the bee-gees greatest hits played in the operating room.  i felt that i failed that day at being a mother– i couldn’t even give birth the right way.  to this day i can’t say that i gave birth to my baby, because, quite technically, i didn’t– not the way i had dreamed; not naturally.  a surgeon cut her out of my body.  that is the fact.  i felt from that first day that i was not really a mother.  i am an impostor.

and, so, now here i am with a daughter.  nearly nine months of her life has elapsed, much like the amount of time she was in-utero.  and like those long months of pregnancy, i learn more about her each day.  i wring my hands some days with such worry that i’m not doing the right things.  that she will grow up and resent me for not being around enough or, conversely, consider me a meddler.  i fear that she will be teased in school because she wears clothing purchased at rummage sales, much like i did as a child; much like i was teased as a child.  i am consumed by sadness when i think about the fact that some children have rooms full of toys and harper has only books and a handful of things to tinker with.  i want her to be fulfilled and happy.  and i also want her to know that Love comes from the inside.  because i know that we will probably live in apartments or rental houses for at least the foreseeable future, if not forever– unlike my parents, who were prepared for my birth and have lived in the same house for over 30 years.  i feel as though i am transient… so, how do you raise a human being in a place of instability?  i don’t know that.  and i don’t believe that emotionally our home is on faulty foundation.  i feel like a bad mother for not being able to provide all the extra stuff.  i just hope each day that i am doing something right.  i hope that it won’t matter to her that as she grows she won’t have all the things her heart desires.  i hope that she realizes one day that i stay at home to raise her because i want to share all these fleeting moments with her, and that, yes, this means we don’t have income from my work– my job is raising her.  and i hope i am doing it right.  i just hope so much that one day i will stop being so unsure of myself.  i hope one day i will wake up and feel like i am a mother… an excellent one, at that.  i imagine that one day the doubt begins to disappear.  at least, i hope that is the case.  because most days for me aren’t the sad ones.  most days, i wake up and see my baby and think that as long as she is happy, everything is right with the world.  and if she is happy, then i’m one damn good mama.

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