During labor, there was the contraction- and it took all of my concentration for about 30 seconds, and then I’d get a couple of minutes to regroup and prepare for the next one. Then, after almost two days of that, I reached what they call “transition.” This is the last phase of labor, the shortest, and undoubtedly the hardest. Basically the contractions are long, intense and close together, and in my case I had back labor throughout, so it felt relentless. For me, it was the only time where I felt like labor was too much for me. I remember going from handling contractions on my own, to looking around for reassurance, saying things like “I just… I’m just… I just want… a… break…” Anyone who’s done it knows what I’m talking about. My hormone levels were so high, and my body was working so hard, that my mind just had a hard time keeping up with everything. It was so fast, and then before I knew it I wanted to push, and that was an incredible feeling. Then, before I knew it, I had my baby. If you had asked me about all that during transition, I would have said that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it, or if I could. But I did it. I got through it just fine. I was silent through all of my labor except for this time. I would make whiny groans and look desperately at my mom, who was excited at this point because when a woman’s in transition, well, it’s baby time.
Well, let me just say that for the first month I felt like everything in my life I could relate in some way to labor. Things were so repetitive, sometimes hard, but always doable. It was so empowering. I never felt alone or worried that I couldn’t do it. Lately, I’m in a funk. I mean just the past few days, I’ve felt so overwhelmed. Things are so different, and while in the first month I had people all around me, encouraging me, now I feel like I’m looking around for reassurance. Some of my friends I only see every couple of weeks, but I used to see them a couple of times a week. My mom would call every couple of days. I don’t think she’s called since she came over two weeks ago. In my head I can figure this out. It’s been almost 3 months. I should have the hang of this, right? I mean, no one can do it but me. Jeff works all the time, and went to school, and has band practice, and plays D & D one day, and works at the brewery, and had homework. Basically this means that, say, Monday morning he goes to work, gets home at 5, leaves at 7 for band practice, gets home at 11 and has to go straight to bed, gets up for school (well now work now that he’s graduated), then goes to the brew shop, home at 7 or 8, homework and then bed by 10:30, up again for work, then D&D until late…. and on and on and on. I know that he’s busy, and he is SO great when he’s here, but I lately have been so wanting more than just an hour here or an hour there. I want company. I want help. I feel like I did during transition, wondering if I was really such a champ after all. It’s not just the baby either, she’s actually great. It’s that I have to juggle that with housework and trying to get some food in me, and take a shower, and whatever. It’s my own overwhelmed energy I need a break from. It’s my own HEAD. I need meditation. I need acceptance. I need to open up that last centimeter to give way to my new life. So much. It’s just so much.
I’ve decided that everything that I’m feeling is entirely natural and healthy. This helps some. I spent the past few days feeling somewhat guilty for feeling this way. I felt bad because I adore my kiddo, and I don’t want to be anywhere else, but i fear that feeling this way somehow betrays her. I know that people are busy, and Jeff! I hate that I’ve whined to him and he’s had to look at me and tell me he wishes he were here more. I don’t want to pile more on him. He’s doing his best, and a great job at that. And then I get a twinge of anger because nothing will change. This is the way that it is. I have to accept it. It so feels like transition. But I know that I’m feeling totally normal. I need to give way to these emotions, recognize them, and keep on moving forward. Soon I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune. I think the other frustrating thing is that I wish I could throw my hands up and say “Screw it! I can’t do this!”, but I can’t do that. I know that I can do this, and I want to, and I am doing it. The great part about transition was that my head didn’t need to believe that I could do it for me to do it. It was the cosmic order of things, the way of the world. We don’t always have to understand it all for it to have meaning and purpose.
I needed to get this out. I feel a lot better already. I think part of this was just needing to feel it.
Ok, for those of you out there who plan to have a baby- try to do it exactly the way your body wants to do it. I mean, of course it’s up to you, but who would’ve thought that I’d learn so much about life just through the pain of labor? I mean, it’s incredible. I’m really grateful to have this perspective. It’s like I have a whole new way of looking at things. Maybe I’ll try to write more of my birth story today- that could encourage me even further.
Now some fun stuff:
We made a mushroom and zucchini quiche… yum. It contained the smallest mushroom I had ever seen.
My Jeff GRADUATED! Well, pending one class this summer, but still. I am proud of him. He said it’s really surreal. I figure he can always go back too. I plan to be a lifetime student. A student of life, as it were.
I was laying on the couch yesterday, and Maya weaseled her way around my head and then rested on my arm like this. She got more and more relaxed, until, shortly after this picture was taken, she fell off the couch. We laughed at her, and she got right back up on the couch.
Violets are growing wild in our yard.
Ok, to preface this, I was recently viewing this and I got to thinking about how much I used to listen to James Taylor. I love love loved him. I started writing songs and playing guitar back then. I have great memories playing ‘Carolina in My Mind’ by a campfire up north. Anyway, I still listen to him, but not all the time like I used to. Then I realized… well. You can figure it out. Weird.
And because I must.