I’m a what?

Annacyclopedia wrote a post about womanhood vs. motherhood.  It has stirred up a lot of things for me. I think it’s due in part to how I was feeling the other day.

I have been asked if I have joined a mommy group and though I have been invited by one actress in my neighbourhood, I have not done so… yet.  Mostly because I have been working on finding my own rhythm with the Precious (and no, it’s no accident I use that moniker from Lord of the Rings cause god knows trying to get a child was a little like trying to get the Ring and I’m pretty damn sure I acted like Gollum).   This actress friend of mine has her mum living with her (with Alzheimer’s).  So she juggles her work, health care workers, a business with her husband and a toddler.  And she does yoga.  So you see there are lots of things we have in common.  So why haven’t I gone over yet?

I’m pretty sure part of my reluctance is that I can’t quite believe I’m a mom yet.  I’ve spent so much time in pursuit of motherhood and just as much time getting used to the idea that I may never be a mother.  Until the day I was.  And even then, I felt like I took somebody else’s child.  Yeah, I said it.    Remember that crap I said about not feeilng guilt? Well, apparently, guilt has moved in. When I’m with Special K, feeding him, changing him, I feel so full of purpose.  And grateful he can’t walk yet so I don’t have to stop blogging so I can watch his every move.

I feel privileged.  Having him was never an assumption.  I don’t have a RIGHT to him.  But I’d like to.  I’m kinda attached to the little guy. That’s how I feel.

I went to visit a Buddhist friend of mine the other day. She’s older, wiser, incredibly smart and a true resource of knowledge.  She made me coffee and plied me with sweets.  She also does energy work and reiki and just adores babies.  You just feel at ease in her company, like you can just tell her anything.

She showed me how to connect with his chakra to connect with the energy that reaches out for his mum when’s he’s upset or unsure.  Isn’t that what any adoptive mum want to know?  That she can be enough for to keep him rooted in his place in the universe.  Nice thought. Don’t know if it’s true, but it sounded comforting.

Around the same time as his birth one year ago, one of my closest friends was dying.  In fact, the day the court approved the adoption was the same day she died.  I guess it’s fitting that he came into my life at that time.  Such overwhelming emotions on that day, one year apart. Wow, what a journey.

Within minutes, Special K was oohing and aahing at her and actually fell asleep in her lap.  She told me that he was born to fulfill his mission as my son.  He had actually chosen me.  Me. Now that is a Buddhist concept, that children choose their parents.  That can be a very disconcerting thought if you really think about it.

So that’s the heart of it.  This whole motherhood thing hasn’t quite landed with me yet.  I still feel like I have to justify, to prove, to fill out paperwork, to pass social worker visits or whatever.   I still gotta fill out surveys and you know how I feel about paperwork.  No one else is making me feel that way but myself.  I think it’s an infertility side effect. Cause if I possessed a well behaving uterus, I would have spared myself the paperwork.  All that BFN nonsense left me feeling shattered and it took a while to heal.  It left me feeling resentful of all the women who were alcoholics, nutcases and drug addicts who trashed their bodies for years and still got pregnant.  Amused and then increasingly angry at the intrusions; the doctors, the nurses, the technicians up my hoo-ha, the acupuncture gurus, the strangers that I put on a brave face for.  I was a faithful believer that lost her innocence.  And then of course, my wonderful fantasy of adoption where I would fill out the paper work and get a baby – unattached to anyone who cared – within, say a month or two.  Like my eggs, we looked good on paper, but ended up enduring shrugged shoulders.

I lost joy, I found joy in just breathing in and out.  Looking at the sky, the flowers, grateful for surviving depression, loss and grief.

And then a child came into my life and changed my schedule.  My plans.  My hard won way of being in this world.  Ah, yes.  It’s not the loss of jet setting around the world that I think about (cause I’ve done lots of that already), it’s more the identity I carved out for myself.  Which is harder than you think when you don’t have a steady job/career.  Mmmm, looks like mamma wants to keep those hard won bits of her life after all.

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12 thoughts on “I’m a what?

  1. Common theme over here! I tend to be pretty pessimistic and even though I *know* that every mom’s story/situation is different just the mere fact that someone who is on drugs and not taking care of her body could be the mother of the child we adopt is annoying, depressing and infuriating. I don’t think I’d feel this way if I wasn’t infertile. And the changing of the schedule thing…oh, wow, when we got the phone call that could have potentially made us parents within two weeks I was literally paralyzed with the enormity of how much our lives would change in an instant. I think it’s part of not actually being pregnant. Pregnancy makes you slow down and we have no reason to slow down our lives until someone hands us a baby. It’s going to be a shock!

  2. Sweetheart, I’m just in tears reading this. Cause you speak so much truth here. Thanks for being my friend and for writing your story. The part about not quite believing that you’re a mom yet – that is resonating with me quite deeply this morning. I have a joy about it but also a sense of disbelief and awe. And those things make it hard to get grounded, which I think is part of the pain that comes with a struggle of identity, that groundlessness.

    Again, thanks for being here and telling your truth. It helps me so much.

  3. Jet setting around the world is overrated! Now those dirty diapers… priceless! Just kidding! You are a brand spanking new mom. Emotions are gonna be wild right now. Having your life turned upside down is going to cause some turbulence.

    You more then anyone I have read about deserved K. I said it before…you were born to be his mother.

  4. this is such a lovely post, raw in its honesty and beauty and splendor.

    sometimes I just have to keep reminding myself that *this* is my life, this is *my child*, that everything which came before led to this very moment, and ultimately led us to each other. it is a beautiful thing. no guilt. it just is. life can be beautiful, even with all its imperfection, you know?

    btw, I’d love to know that chakra point.

  5. I think motherhood is a shock to any system, but when you’re infertile & can’t quite believe it’s ever going to happen for you, it’s probably doubly so. Enjoy the perks, you’ve earned them! ; ) (LOL on the Gollum reference.)

  6. Going through infertility, one has to develop certain coping mechanisms…funny that some of these actually clash with the actual experience of having a child. Any change takes a while to integrate into our lives, and you have experienced a doozy of a change! An amazing, wonderful change, sure, but the challenges that you have now are very different than the ones you spent years getting used to.

    Figuring out who one is after great change…I can relate (though for a very different kind of change). It will take a while to integrate the newness into your life. I love reading your words in the meantime. Beautiful post.

  7. I never know what to say when I read a post this thoughtful and moving. It seems overly simplistic to say that becoming a mother is a totally under-discussed and dirty little secret. It’s not as though once we are handed a baby/child we all immediately become “maternal” or “motherly” (although plenty of women will tell you that’s the case for them). But I do think that there should be a grace period when we’re all allowed the time and space to grow into this new dimension of our personality – ESPECIALLY if circumstances seemed to conspire against us and it seemed like an impossible goal to attain.

  8. This post resonates for me, especially the Buddhist notion that at a soul level, we choose the life we come into.

    (you knew I’d enjoy the chakra talk, didn’t you ;-))

    Beautiful, Deathstar.

  9. Lovely post.

    Losing my identity was a big part of why the early days of motherhood were tough for me. Now that I have time every day (between the babies’ schedules becoming less relentless and also hiring help) to do some of the things that make me feel like me, it’s much better. I had no idea that I’d need some hours in the day when I wasn’t actively mothering.

    I still look at them constantly in disbelief that they’re really my children, after all these years.

  10. Nine months after our son came to us through open adoption, I am just finally starting to look for mommy groups. I’ve wanted to before, but like you say, didn’t really feel entitled until our finalization hearing was scheduled–but now that it’s coming up March 5, I’m ready for some playgroups! Though I am worried about jealousy/disconnect with people to who mommyhood came quickly and easily…so we’ll see how that goes… Congrats on your adoption!

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