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Home Let’s Talk Blog: Well for Willow This too shall pass

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    • #10156

      Yesterday Willow turned 8 months old.
      It’s hard to believe I have been a mom for almost a year.
      Part of me feels as though I have been doing this for nearly a decade. Another half of me feels as though it was only a few weeks ago that I was holding my newborn daughter.

      I remember when my daughter was born. Not as vividly as I thought I would recall it; I imagined years later, remembering the color hair tie I wore and the exact emotions I felt as my screaming, naked baby was placed on my chest.
      But I remember it.

      I remember saying,
      “Fuck, fuck, fuck”
      in pain- in front of my boyfriends mom, who never heard me swear before. I wanted to apologize, but was too shocked by the pain of labor to actually do it. I remember as I got closer to pushing, the strength of my instincts. I was too focused to doubt myself, so like a dancer preforming a routine I knew by heart, I followed my body’s commands. I went from bed, to ball, to shower, to toilet in a matter of minutes. I groaned, I leaned, I ignored all the noises and people around me. I went inside myself and flowed through the motions of labor.

      Then I remember fear.
      While I sat up in bed, with my knees by my cheeks, I felt terrified.
      The pain I was feeling was more intense and unavoidable than anything I had ever experienced in my life. I knew, that even though I was feeling a pain more intense than I had ever experienced, I could not stop. I could not back out, nor did I want to.
      I remember telling my amazing midwife,
      “I can’t do this, I can’t do this”
      She was calm, confident, and fearless when she told me,
      “Yes you can. You’re safe. You’re doing an amazing job”.
      Being told I was safe was exactly what I need to hear. I was terrified of the pain I was feeling. It was so intense it felt as though it could kill me. With eyes closed and arms out, I had been flung into a foreign place. I could not see where I was, nor did I know where to go; but I had to find my way through.
      I let go of my fear and hesitancy as I listened to my body and ignored my brain. I continued pushing through a level of pain that I’ve never felt before, and through that experienced a new, greater level of pain. I pushed and pushed , with eyes closed tight running forward, I continued, unsure but faithful.
      Then a nurse told me that I could reach down and feel my babies head if I wanted to. I put my hand between my legs and and felt my daughters hair.
      With new determination, I was sure of what I was doing.
      Suddenly, as quickly as it began, it was over.
      As my midwife held up my daughter at all I could say was,
      “Oh my God, oh my God”.

      I had done it. I looked my fear, doubts, and hesitation in its eyes, and continued forward with open willingness.
      Giving birth filled me with an ecstasy and pride I had never experienced.
      I had known going in to the hospital that millions of women before me had accomplished childbirth. I knew I wanted to have a natural birth. I knew that one way or another, I would have my daughter.
      Regardless of this knowledge, of my attempted preparation, I was filled with intense doubt and fear.

      I learned, from giving birth many things about myself.

      I learned the power of intentions; and that I can do anything I set my mind to.
      I learned that discomfort and pain won’t kill you- despite your fears it may. That if you can harness the strength to sit with it- to go through it, not around- that it will end.
      I learned about love- real love- and that I had never experienced it before meeting my daughter.
      And I finally began to understand the importance of loving myself.

      I hope that I will continue to love myself more each day. That I will learn that I want to change for myself, because I love myself; not just because I want to be a good mom.
      And I hope that one day soon- I will be the woman I want my daughter to be.
      And the woman I want to be.

      For now, I will sit with the discomfort of not being in the place I wish I were in.
      I will sit with the discomfort of living in a shelter, being employed part time and very poor, and of not having a degree.
      I will sit with the discomfort of being a work in progress.

      I will continue to move forward, through the pain and sadness of not having the life I want for my daughter, not yet.
      I will go through this pain- and during that time learn a great deal more about myself and my life.

      And one day soon, Willow and I will be ok.

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