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Appetitus Rationi Pareat

20 Feb

Oh the guilty stolen afternoon, snuck quietly from the house, stolen to read a surprisingly awesome book (I love it so when that happens-when you buy it thinking, meh, why not, and suddenly you’re drawn in and the world is being colored around you..) The late February wind gusts around me, while puddles of new snow trickle beneath my feet. I can smell spring.

Fishing through the old clothes, I sigh a lot, all the cute things are just that much too small. We’ve grown past it. I finish eating my leisurely lunch, and while waiting for the cashier, spy a tiny boy, only 3 months, cradled in his mother’s arms as he has his lunch, eyes swollen with lunch stupor. His feet were so very small.

I’m on the bus when a little girl comes on, bundled in winter, cheeks rosy, her perfect little nose poking out, eyes curious and watchful. She stares at me with the no-stare. I’m fairly confident that I’m too far away from her to be really seen, but there’s something about those piercing little globes, like jelly beans or black jujubes.

My entire body cascades in on itself and cries out for more. My arms ache, my womb echoes for a child, my body feels drawn. My children are now children in the fullest sense of the word, and my body, my muscles, my soul shakes in the absence.

The simple unfair fact of knowing this ache after the birthing is complete. It startles me, like a cat shook from it’s sleep, and it angers me, that I couldn’t have felt this 6 years ago, blooming with the cells that would eventually become my first born daughter. Why not then? Why not when I could have reveled in every moment, enjoyed, simply stood in between maidenhood and mother, and accepted it, embraced it? Why only now, when the over is unplugged and in pieces?

I enjoyed the last 5 years. It has been a hard ride, a rough one, the brambles of mental illness entwined with simple achievements like first words (I can’t remember Rosalyn’s, and hope I wrote it down) and birthdays. But these years have been so innocent, comparatively speaking, as I’m noticing now that I have one in school. Those first 5 are halcyon days, glowing with such wonder, fabulous flowers on a plant you always found ugly. I eagerly sold the high chair, the crib, gave away 99.5% of the baby clothes. I welcomed, with open arms, toddlers, preschoolers, and now, children.

So universe, why now huh? Why burden me with a hunger I can never satiate? Why fill me up with this longing, for another child to grow in my belly, another gasp at the quickening, the terror of crowning and the quietude of 4am? Why bestow this gift on me now, after all this time, when its unnecessary, and more than a little inappropriate?

I stared hard at that little girl’s eyes, smiling wistfully, looking a little high I imagined. I could feel that baby skin on my fingertips, the porcelain of it, the chubby fingers grasping on their own, without measure or wit. I could imagine her weight on my hip, the little sighs she’d make while feeding, her tiny thumb, barely clinging to her lips as she slept.

In her eyes I imagined enjoying the babyhood’s of my daughters more completely, sanely.

Wanting a child is merely my wish for wanting to be normal.

Having Rosalyn so soon after Vivian stole that from me. And I can breathe now, and see that, see that for Vivian, I was scared, and worried and full of far too much book learning but I loved her and my world ran around her. But pregnancy, and a new child later and I was full of venom and hate without much room for love or empathy, not at first.

I crave a do-over. I want to be able to love a child the way Ros deserved to be loved, almost 4 years ago now. I can’t make it up, but on some level, my ovaries are trying to have the great chess game, to make up, to make due.

I’ve known, for years, that there’s no going back. What was, is, and simply, I cannot change or make that up. I can only move forward now, grasp my daughter tightly as she grins and tells me I’m pretty, as her cheekbones light up, exactly as mine do. What I can do it love the baby that was, the girl that is, the woman that will be.

The pinpoints of light in that baby girl’s face, interrupted only by the hesitation of the bus on a busy street, will forever hold me in thrall. I can face that hunger down, hold the door open, ask it to leave. And accept that finally, I have been allowed a feeling so basic to women, a hunger I never dreamed I’d feel. All of this shakes me from reverie, telling me to move on, move past and beyond.

I can love that phantom child, he, or she that will never be. I can love a ghost that never was.



I can’t has.

17 Dec

It’s a busy mall-it’s nearly Christmas, and I’m sitting waiting for my husband, perched on a rather soft bench. Waiting doesn’t bother me when my kids aren’t involved, so I casually stare around me, the sale signs, the ridiculous advertisements. I remember I want to get a coffee card for my father, and think to get up and wander over.

I notice a father with his young son, maybe 6 months, giggling and cooing over his shoulder. He’s beautiful-pink and perfect in the way only a baby that age can be. I try not to stare, not at the hands holding him, not at the way the child bends into his father, utterly safe and sound. I remember our daughters doing much the same.

His wife arrives, with two other boys, adorable, well behaved mischievous little boys, all in little hats with ears and flaps and beaver tails. She’s dressed them alike in football shirts in case one goes missing in the mall.

I exchange giggles and broad smiles with the baby, resisting the urge to stretch over and steal him away, to feel that new skin, the softness you could sink into. His parents seal him in the buggy, and away they go, trailing puppy dog tails behind them.

My heart aches, and pounds, and some small spot in my belly whimpers and cries. It wants one of those, a small boy child, and it can’t have one. It finally wants, and it can only watch it walk away.

Carry Me

25 Sep

Did she hold me now? Three hours ago? 12? Did they leave me in her room, snuffling, comatose little child beside her as colostrum poured from her breasts? Did she look out the window, perhaps at the rain, as they wheeled me away from her 17 year old unfinished hands, clutching at her elbows as she suddenly felt emptier than ever? Was I alone, screaming in a room, my echoes covered by those of a multitude of other lives I’d never touch again, their mothers waiting in their rooms, warmed by the slow engorging of their breasts, the blissed tiredness of their labours?

Did I know she had left me? Did my small trembling fists know what had happened, that she had signed a paper releasing me from her, just another cord to slice through? Did I feel the gulf then, as I do now, wavering and shimmering, a golden forest of time, of pressure, of regret between us.

Does she think of me today, now? Does she drink the beer she drank for years, not knowing, or is she at peace, knowing I survived, knowing that I have grown strong and tall, if not a little knicked and torn in place?

Did she love me, ever?


Do you love your mother
The way I love mine
Expecting nothing of her
’cause she was changing all the time
I couldn’t take my mother
And I’ll never hate my home
But I learned to rock myself child
And get on

Do you feel your mother
The way I feel mine
I tried to change the nature
But now I like it ’cause it’s mine
And I let you love me up
And I let you bring me home
And I could go away
But I don’t wanna

I don’t wanna be too smart
I don’t wanna talk too fast
I don’t wanna look too precious
First impressions never last
There’s always complications
Weird vibrations
Have patience

Do you love your mother
’cause God I love mine
In a dream she let me love her
Gotta hand it to my mind
In case you never meet her
I’ll tell you what it is
She was lonely like a woman
But she was just a kid

Oh mama
What are ya doin’
Yeah yeah yeah
Carry me


Today I turned 31 at around 2:15am. And it hit me, mid afternoon, that I’ve never known when my mother said good-bye to me, when the finality of all she had done and decided had hit, when she last touched me, held my fingers. I’ve never known, and when I met my biological mother, I was too young to think of these things, to young to understand the heartbreak of saying goodbye to your first born.

All my life, I have felt lonely on my birthday. I have always craved as much fuss and bother as I could get, and rarely, if ever, have had it. I figured this had much more to do with losing my adoptive mother than with being adopted. But what if? What if a body retains that initial abandonment, what if it remembers that hand leaving, tears trailing, months of unwillingness swirling in the womb. What if the body remembers what the brain dare not?

I don’t much like my biological mother. Or much of my biological family for that matter. Blood isn’t thicker than water in my case. But when I met her, I wanted, more than anything, to find a mother, my mother. I wanted to be embraced, welcomed. I wasn’t, not as I needed, and perhaps finding her at 18 wasn’t the best of ideas, but there was something poetic about meeting her around the age of when she lost me. I couldn’t grasp the enormity of it-bearing life at that age!

I’m sure it hardened her. She told me that for years, she would get stinking drunk on my birthday, wondering where I was, how I was, and that the year she found me, that was the first time she didn’t have to drink herself to sleep, wondering. Turns out I was 40 minutes down the road after all, blissfully ignorant in the arms of two parents who loved me more than I could wish. But she never told me how it all felt, how long her labour was, how scared she had been, if she saw me, or if they took me before she could.

My narrative is incomplete. I feel the echoes of that part of my life, my beginning on every birthday. It no longer hurts, I don’t know if it ever did. But it was a space yearning to be filled, a place that will likely never know fullness. A place to honor what she gave, the arms she left barren, the people who she gave such joy to.

Happy Birth Day to you Mother. I hope your womb has healed.

Happy Girl!

10 Sep

Happy dance of joy for the safe arrival of Bon’s little girl. I know no pertinent details, since her husband posted, and not her. But the most important thing is she’s here, and she’s perfect.

My own uterus dances with hers. 🙂

Maybe that’s why I’ve been in a great mood today-just happy. And I’ve let myself just BE in this place. No over thinking, no wondering, no pondering on things I cannot change or fix. No letting myself butt in and ruin any of it. Stay busy, stay focus, and remind myself that the sky is blue, the leaves fall from the trees, and I have two darling daughters who deserve that smile on my face more than claims of a broken brain.

Dented I think. But not broken.

Maybe I could hear the words spoken not out loud, but inward, the plea for a healthy daughter, a lovely daughter, a birth that would be calm. Maybe there was a pause today, a simple moment held for her, and I caught it, and suckled some on it’s wonder. Maybe the wind blew over the strait, bringing adrenaline, fear and joy, bundled together in that odd same way we’ve all felt, all of us, as mothers.

For whatever reason, I have been happy, calm and sated today. And when I saw that she was again a mother, I cried a little, envisioning that small girlchild in her arms, so wanted and hoped for, and I felt even more peaceful knowing that sometimes, things go exactly as they should.

Enjoy your babymoon Bon. You deserve it so.

(I used to sing this to my girls when they were babies-they don’t let me anymore..)

Our kids are normal. Really.

13 Jul

So this weekend we descended on Hannah’s household.

I’m fairly sure of two things. 1, if they were unsure about stopping at 2 kids, they’re REAL sure now and 2, they have Nova Scotia on high alert for when we enter the province.

My children don’t socialize much. Like, at all. And they certainly don’t get to play with cute little boys who like Cars and trains. And they NEVER get to have sleepovers.

In a nutshell, my children were on their Rambo setting-loud, overpowering and smelly. And I could see the look in the eyes of two parents who already don’t sleep much.

“Dear lord, what have we let into our house.”

I know that my kids are fairly intense little creatures. They play hard, and push push push. As someone trying to raise women who won’t take any shit, I likely encourage that a fair bit. And they aren’t usually around other children or parents. I don’t usually have to worry about moderating things. Nor do I realize what little shits they can be until I step back and look through the eyes of other parents.

But after the 3rd time of someone having to yell after my monkey child to stop her from leaping 8 feet, you realize that your desire to raise a free spirited willful woman may be working a little better than planned. When the little boy comes out crying because Vivian has ordered him out of his own room and into the kitchen, you realize that you don’t really have much to worry about, aside from a vague worry about something like the Jonestown Massacre occurring under the hands of one of my children.

New situations tend to bring out the most frenetic and crazed behaviour in my children. Some kids get shy. Mine ask “Are we going to meet Hannah Montana?” They are genuinely loving, caring, curious little girls.

They are also, many times, irritating, yappy, ulcer inducing little monsters.

I love them either way, it’s just a lot to take suddenly, especially if the cute ball of a baby is coughing and unhappy and wanting take out constantly.

Hannah? Next time, you guys come here so Issac can seek and destroy in their room. 🙂

Photo taken by H.R.H of the Camera, SweetSalty Kate who dropped by in the morning…anyone who doesn’t think I’m in for it in about 10 years is blind or crazy.

I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.

26 Jun

Someone I know is very close to losing her new baby.

We went to high school together. We never have had much in common-our only bond is a bunch of notes left in a desk anonymously through Grade 9 french-progressing from single words to phrases to full blown letters. We waited almost all semester before figuring out who we were.

There’s no magic beyond that. She a simple nice girl with a lovely name, and I, a big bumbling grieving fool at the time. We went our ways, and occasionally, the thought of those letters gives me pause, makes me smile like they were found in the Dead Sea.

Facebook brought her back again, and we caught up and I’ll admit I envy her simple put together life. I do-it’s all the things I’ll never have-things like persistence and will. I’ve always admired her for simplicity and peace. Never flustered that girl, not that I’ve seen.

Her first son was born early, very early. I didn’t understand why all the messages from her friends were “congrats” until someone pointed out that since she is a nurse who works primarily with pregnant women, she knew the risks oh so very much. And today, I am told simply to pray. He is no doing well.

I know many women who have suffered loss, but to imagine this woman, hell, this girl she remains in my head, getting pregnant so excited, growing and then suddenly he’s out and she’s staring at his little hands and wondering if…when….how….and crying and trying to pray..I can’t bear to imagine her like this.

In my mind, for the world to make sense, some people have to make it through unscathed. Some people have to know only joy, and happiness, and only the sorrow of parting. She is one of those people who deserves only good things and despite barely knowing her anymore, despite never speaking in 15 years, I ache with the want to remove this pain, to erase that small coffin from the picture, a picture that hopefully, hope against hope, will never be drawn.

I know loss. We’ve talked. But I don’t know this loss, this most primal and terrifying. I wonder what I would do if I lost a child now. And I know. I would become death.

How do I be there, while so removed? I want so badly to reach out but I’m afraid. Afraid to hurt, to rock, to open.

“Age is opportunity no less,than youth itself, though in another dress. And as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled by the stars invisible by the day.”

3 Jun

A perfect day Elise: PJ Harvey

I’ve always loved this song. The tension, the pacing of the story, the vividness of the setting despite so few words. It would play itself out so clearly in my head.

To imagine that it’s 10 years old-meaning I’m ten years older. That it still has the same kind of hold on me…

I think a lot about aging, on how I still feel 17 inside, where it counts, but my knee kills when I jog and I can’t eat raw broccoli anymore. I think of it as spaces, bubbles that intersect, co-mingle, but never truly merge. We float into each age, effortlessly in some cases, kicking and screaming in others. Are some of us old souls, unfazed by the passage of years, knowing that they are ultimately meaningless, while others are young, too young, and are angered by responsibility and necessity? Do our stories ever merge?

I spend a lot of my time in public staring at other people. I always have. There’s something fascinating in the little tidbits people let slip. How they adjust their underthings when they believe no one is watching. How they drink their coffee. How they smoke a cigarette. If the person with them is a lover. Who they are, who they’ve been. A story in each individual spark, waiting to be told. A life lived. A baby suckled. A child held, and released. A teenager who danced, or lied to join the war. A young adult, faced with marriage, a job, or the agony of choosing their life work. And old man, staring at his hands and wishing. The loves that danced between, the loves lost, the lives stolen, children snatched.

Artwork that has never seen light. Music never sung. Voices squandered. I imagine every single one of those people a book, covered in rough leather, bound tight to be opened. It’s a mighty cliche, but I see volumes stacked on a shelf in these lives, the moments left to memory that only become real when spoken.

Old age has never scared me. I never imagined that I’d turn into a wrinkled crone, handing apples out to fair maidens. Maybe the image I hold in my head of my mother forms my view on aging-that it means grace, and dignity and wisdom. That it represents coming through and out from the events that tear your life asunder, and arriving at a delicate moth wing of a place where the air is cool with petals and sweet wind and you can breathe and just be, convinced that you are who you should be and that all else matters little. In my mind, my mother is this person-secure and stable in herself, clinging to the mast inside, spine firm and rigid, yet just curved enough to weather the storm.

Of course, she never completed her voyage. She never became a crone in the strictest sense of the word. Her art, her songs, her music died inside her, and has left me searching ever since in the faces of the old for pieces of her, slivers in grey eyes, giggles on blue dresses, a smirk in a corner. My guide in age has left, but has also left me fearless, aware that I walk into the unknown, head high, playing out my own story.

I am roughly the age now that she was when I was adopted. When I was placed in her arms and told “You are her mother now.” When my life became hers, when old age meant my grandchildren surrounding her on a chair listening to her stories about how frightened I was of some silly old Venus Fly Trap and how I couldn’t be trusted to walk home alone, my head in the clouds searching for dreams and leprechauns.  Right now, she would have become a mother to a daughter, and her hopes, her own questions for mortality and aging, for then, and forever and someday would have crystallized into one moment, one song –

I love you.

Age is meaningless. I look into the eyes of my children, and see my mother looking back. Not through blood, but through will and spirit, through the eyes of the older gentleman that seem to say “You’re doing just fine” through the mouths of the old ladies who dote and squeeze and love so unconditionally that I want to run screaming into their arms asking HOW! How did they do this, losing sons, husbands, sisters, friends, until it’s just them, waiting, biding their time and asking where did it all go? In their eyes my mother is 16 and dancing to Elvis, waiting for her true love.

In their eyes, future and past tell their stories to each other, and bubbles burst into the air, showering us with quiet memory. And I wonder where 10 years have gone so quickly.


Ovaries exploding…NOW!

25 May

venessa FINALLY had her new baby!

Please drop by and wish her happy day-this is baby number 4, and frankly, I’m in awe of this woman.


third time the charm?

29 Apr

Kristin left the following comment on my “I cannot handle being a mother anymore” post

Hi Ladies I haven’t been here in a while now, I have been going through some prety hard times lately. In october i found out that i was pregnant with my third baby!!! It was NOT planned and needless to say i was not happy at all!! Abortion was not an option either. I hadve just turned 40 and the thought of starting all over with another baby realy freaks me out actually i hate the thought of it i found myself very angry all the time there were even times where i wished i would just miscarrie then it would be ok but that never happened and now i am almost 8 months and i am soo scared of what is going to happen once the baby is born.

I already have 2 girls 5 and 3 and this one is a boy which i have to admit i was upset about i never wanted to have boys so when i was told that it was a boy i became even more depressed. My husband is ecstatic about having a third but i am just miseable. Has anyone out there had a siimilar experience? If so i would to know how you dealt with it and did your opinion change once you saw your baby? I am so depressed all the time that i feel sick to my stomach and i am not sleeping well at all i really could use some advice. everybody keeps telling me that all this will cahnge once the baby is born that i will just be soo happy and wonder how i could of ever not wanted him.

But im afraid that once hes born i will be even more depressed and that i will just be miserable and hate my life and that it will eventually effect my pretty perfect marriage i just cant feel good about it not to mention thta i am not looking forward to the c section again so please anyone please help with some advice and encouragment i really could use some thanks for listening.

I’m sure she would appreciate any help or advice we could offer.

My two cents Kristin? You need some alone time, and a good therapist to hash this stuff out with. I felt the same way when pregnant with Rosalyn, and spent most of the first year having trouble connecting with her (I hardly remember her as a baby) Some of this is because of my illness, and some because I really didn’t want her, as much as it pains me to say.

You are not the only woman to feel this, so please do not feel ashamed.

“What matters one lost vision of the night? Let the dream go! …”

8 Apr

I dream that I’m pregnant.

Full to the brim, almost there, ready to go. Thar she blows. I look down at my hands on my taunt round belly, the belly I never had, or maybe I did, it was just buried underneath all the fat that my genetics and my lifestyle gathers to it. But in this dream it’s the butter perfect uterus, protruding, accusing almost.

We argue my husband and I, about going to the birth, or how I’ll give birth. In the dream something is wrong, certainly wrong about this birth, we’re angry, and sad and oh so sick of it. We’re tired, and in the dream we stare past each other, looking for answers.



I’m not pregnant, unless you count the pregnant pause while I cram another sesame rice cake in my mouth (OMFG! Have you tried these?!?! NOM NOM NOM) I will never be pregnant again, aside from the slim, better chance of winning the lottery and getting run over by a circus train on the same day chance.

But my body gets it now. I get your lusts, your cravings for children, the emptiness in your belly, the want. I never did. Not as a teenager, not as a young woman. I never once felt a twinge in an ovary. I never dreamed of having children, or at least, I never dreamed of having babies. I recognized the sacrifice, and was content to live in my own little world of childfree. I stared dumbfounded at people who tried to get pregnant, on purpose! I scratched my head at people trying round after round of IVF, questioning why adopting was so not an option, wondering why they couldn’t accept that maybe, they weren’t meant to have babies in the first place.

I seize up looking at the prices of baby things, wondering how anyone could do it, why anyone wanted to do it.

But I get it now.

I woke up this morning, my hands rushing to my belly. Squishy, jiggly, not taunt and ready. There is no new life inside of my, no feet kicking me, no little hands pressing up against my side. I am empty, a vessel used and discarded. I will never grow a new life inside of me again.

I mourn this now, the thing I never wanted or appreciated in the first place. What better gift? What better talent than to grow life! How can a woman not feel superior when we create and sustain and deliver new life! But I can’t use it-I can’t even act as another’s womb without chancing my own life. My days as a mother, as a life giver, these are done with. It’s frustrating and sad and unfair that only now do I realize what I had, what I could do, what I did. What magic power I held in me.

I awoke feeling those phantom kicks, those hiccups, those dandelions and butterflies inside of me. I awoke feeling full of life, full of tomorrows and hopes and sunlight.

But the dream burned off, like frost as the day dragged itself across me. And so it goes.

Well Hello Miriam!

2 Apr

I completely forgot-the Scribe had her daughter, Miriam Rose last week.

Go say hi. Such a lovely name…

There’s a small gift in the mail for you Miriam. 🙂

Support Ladies Support

26 Mar

And not in an undergarment kind of way either.

Daureen is gloriously 38 weeks pregnant, and looks lovely. Frankly, she looks better than me pregnant or not. 🙂

She’s also having a hard time, and sorta kinda, well, in her words, terrified about this whole birth thing.

I’d love it if everyone can share a supportive birth story, in this post, or here on her latest. She needs her own version of the red tent right now, and I would very much like it if our baby shower present to her could be supportive words and advice.

Stop Toying with Mothers-SUPPORT the Mother’s Act

29 Feb

Now, I’m not even American, and this is making me hot. As in PISSED OFF.

Some of you might remember the Mother’s Act-back in October there was a blog about day for support. Many of us who have suffered under PPD or PPP supported it.

One day I visit a favorite site of mine. (Well it WAS a favorite. This got it removed from my feeds I was so bloody pissed off) There’s a rambling article about how the Mother’s Act is nothing more than a way to push drugs.

I blinked. I went back to read the bill again. The only reference I could find was under “Findings:

Postpartum depression is a treatable disorder if promptly diagnosed by a trained provider and attended to with a personalized regimen of care including social support, therapy, medication, and when necessary hospitalization.

That’s it. That’s the terrifying “big brother”-oh noes! Someone wants to help women!

Seeing someone equate talking to women about PPD before hand to convincing her she had it really REALLY pissed me off. Reading these stories of women on these crazy mixes of drugs for what seem to be other psychiatric conditions that were incorrectly treated-that’s the fucking POINT of this bill. To HELP.

What in the FUCK is wrong with mothers (and fathers) today. EVERYTHING has some sort of agenda-things aren’t “natural” enough for them. You know what’s natural? Mother’s killing their children because they can’t parent them effectively. Natural is leaving a baby out to die of exposure. Natural is mother’s beating their children from frustration, or working them all hours of the day.

NATURAL IS NOT BETTER. Belladonna is natural. Want some?

I am irate with these people. Talk to me about militant stances on breastfeeding, baby wearing, co sleeping-I will absolutely support you. Start screwing with the first REAL movement towards doing something about postpartum depression, and my claws come out. The absolute IGNORANCE of these people astounds me. The selective tunnel vision amuses me. The odds that any of them have ACTUALLY read the bill…well, that just makes me giggle.

But it makes me want to cry as well.

Even the fucking Wikipedia page has been contaminated by this stupidity.

The most important thing I can remind you of are the women who killed their children because of PPD/PPP. The women who didn’t make it. The lives destroyed, lost forever, the women abandoned. The women we currently can’t help, regardless of what’s wrong. The children who were innocent in all of this.

Andrea Yates

Mine Ener

Dr. Debora Green

Dena Schlosser

Dr. Suzanne Killinger Johnson (This was at my usual subway stop. My mind went wild wondering “Was it here? Here?”)

Leatrice Brewer

Gilberta Estrada

and many more. There are so many of us. So many chances to get it right, to help, to prevent such horror that we close our eyes and refuse to read. To hear people, to see people trying to fight against something meant to do good sickens me. Is only they’d spend the same energy fighting the men and women who torture their children, fighting the system that leaves the poor hungry and without mental or physical health care.

If only they cared enough to truly make a difference, instead of making sound bites.

If only.

Blankie for Francis

20 Feb

It went in the mail the other day…here’s a glimpse Jen…only took 4 months. 🙂

Blankie for Francis
Originally uploaded by thordora

Rain Rain Go Away

31 Oct

April writes:

Does it go away? How can you tell? I have ppd. first time blogging but who can answer this but someone who knows. I am getting treatment and I am getting better. Anxiety is gone and I sleep now. I just want me back completely. I fear it will come back and I think that is holding me back from moving on. I feel consumed by this. There is no support groups where I live.

April, we’ve been there. Many of the women who interact on this site have sat where you sit, wondered the same things. You are not alone.

But it struck me, your fear of never moving past the depression, your want for you back.

I suffer from Bipolar, which was aggravated by pregnancy, and exploded out of me during the post partum period, nearly manifesting itself in psychosis. I tried to convince my husband to give her up for adoption. I thought about walking into the woods behind our house, sometimes with her, sometimes without her. I fixated on ending my life, sometimes fantasized about ending hers.

It was one of the worst periods of my life. The loathing I felt for myself was incomparable. Here I was with a beautiful life-two lovely daughters, a caring and loving husband, a good job, a house, a comfortable middle class existence. And yet I wanted to kill my weeks old daughter, and off myself as well. It didn’t make sense. I should have been happy! Hell, the world was telling me I should be happy.

And April, that just compounded it even more. I wasn’t the uber mother society tells us to be-you know the one-she who has a great job, cooks great meals, is great looking and above all loves her children more than life itself. I just wasn’t her. My sense of self dwindled and dwindled to almost nothing. I felt like I was beginning to not exist.

So why not kill myself?

Eventually I started to get treatment-convinced by my inlaws who my husband had called to our home a province away in a panic. Convinced by my family that what I was feeling was just not normal. Convinced by a lactation consultant who listened dumbfounded on the phone as I sobbed and sobbed when she asked a simple question about breastfeeding.

I got better. Sorta. I’m still sick, but it’s not PPD. Thankfully, that ended once I stopped beating myself up about everything, and got into therapy.

My first and best advice is this: Focus on now. I was able to get through that first hellish year (I don’t even like babies, which didn’t help) by focusing on the small things-the wonder in her eyes as she saw snow, her first steps, her interactions with her sister. I focused on each day, and didn’t look past it. Frankly, I don’t remember too much of her in that first year. I was focused on making things better for me.

It worked. Perhaps it’s a sacrifice some won’t make, but I had to make it. I don’t remember the first time she sat up, or when she rolled over. But I remember the relief I felt as she smushed icing in her ears on her first birthday.

Then April, focus on you. Do something, anything just for you, be it learning to knit, taking dance lessons or hogging the Chunky Monkey. You need space to heal, and space to find your new voice. Being a mother, becoming a mother is hard work. There’s no switch you turn on and frankly, some of us just suck at figuring it out. You need some quiet to find your footing. How can you be there for someone else if you can barely be there for you?

Lastly, admit that it does suck. Babies suck! You spend so much time gratifying this little thing which rarely does anything back for the longest time. You have to carry it everywhere, feed it, clean it-it’s hard work with few rewards for awhile! So admit it-it’s boring drudgery. No one says you have to enjoy it. I personally love toddlers-2-3years is just awesome. Younger than that, I can’t deal with it. I’m honest enough with myself to know my limitations. Sometimes I mourn the baby years I missed. But I refuse to feel guilty about it anymore.

PPD does go away. It does get better. With time. Give yourself some.


26 Oct

Jen finally popped out little Francis! (ok, maybe not so little, but he’s here!)

Go on over and say congrats-Jen, the blankie isn’t finished yet, but it IS started. 🙂

Oh how I hope this is a hoax

12 Sep

Cause this letter to the editor makes me want to find this woman and slap her. I understand the frustration, but come on, rats?

With regard to Stephen Palmer, M.D. leaving the Auburn area, I too am sad to see him go. I do however, have a different view than that of Kerry Cohlmeyer (at the birthing center), Journal Sept. 9. as she states that the other three obstetricians/gynecologists here to serve the women in the community.

While I respect and trust Dr. Palmer’s abilities and experience, because I am not a child-bearing woman in this society (clearly a minority), I have been rescheduled three times and still not been seen by him.

On my last scheduled visit, I was in the exam room, prepared for the less than five minute procedure and I was told the doctor had to leave to deliver a baby.

There I sit, quite, vulnerable, passed over because someone is having a baby, as if they are more important than me. My time is just as important as someone having a baby.

My understanding, which could be wrong, is that the obstetricians/gynecologists in Auburn area have to deliver their own patients babies from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and run their practice.

I thought in this day and age there were such things as on-call physicians.

While it may be nice and comfortable to have your obstetrician/gynecologist deliver a baby, these doctors are licensed to practice both obstetrics and gynecology.

So, for those of us who choose to not procreate like rats, we just have to wait to have gynecological procedures completed and hope we can be squeezed in between births.

Am I supposed to believe that these three remaining doctors, whose baby load is probably on overload already, are going to be there for me for my yearly gynecological exams?

I intend no disrespect or disregard to any of these physicians or their staff, however, there is a clear emphasis on babies.

I believe that every person is deserving of time from their physician whether they are 8 seconds old or 80 years old.

Just because someone is giving birth does not make them any more important or their needs more special. Michele Weber

Nice huh? Go figure-an emphasis on babies at an OB/GYN.  I had the bad luck to have both of my children when my OB/GYN was on vacation, and man, how having a strange doctor between your legs make the day even better!

And around here, your “monthly appointment” is expected to be taken care of at your GP, not the OB/GYN. Not sure about everywhere else.

Wonder why I’ve thrown away my “feminist” label?

7 Sep

Go read this thread. There’s nothing like a good “breastfeeding women are gross and icky” argument to really make a woman feel valued and accepted.

Why is it that children seem to null and void a person’s feminism? Why do our issues as mother’s seem to have no bearing on women’s rights? Why is it ok to disregard THE LAW because it’s “only” breastfeeding.

I’m so annoyed and angry I could spit.

Only those who look with the eyes of children can lose themselves in the object of their wonder.

12 Aug

Someone asked me in an email if I found being the mom of “A kid” weird.

I do, kind of. It’s odd after years of haunting the baby aisles to know that I don’t need to anymore. New bottles appear. Cute outfits come and go. I find myself crawling up the store into new areas, legs stretching to find where my oldest daughter now fits. I mourn silently the baby time I have lost. It’s a new place this type of motherhood.

As a new mother, you wander streets and malls with the same tired eyes, floppy deflated bread tummy, hopeful grin. You meet the eyes of other first timers, and share a moment of wonder, a look that says in one second “I know exactly what you’re going through, and it sucks but we’ll get through it” like the baby confers ESP. You pass along coupons in the diaper aisle, recommend wipes and new ideas for stimulating play. You have something to day. You’re scared and excited, all at once, and you’re young. Oh so very young, fresh.

Now I look at new mother’s and wonder if I was ever that young and fragile looking, that tired and washed up. I’m a soldier on her 2 tour surveying the fresh troops. I envy them the knowledge they don’t have-the newness awaiting them. But I don’t envy the fear, or the lonliness, or the long days and nights of nothing working and nothing good to say.

Today, the mother of a “kid” and a toddler turning into a preschooler, I hardly recognize myself in them. It’s only been 4 years, and I marvel at this. 4 years have changed me so utterly, altered my being and my sense of space in so many ways. 4 years have matured me in ways impossible without children. I have become responsible not just for another life, but for another person. Who they become, the values they hold, how they treat others, that is MY doing. Which is why I’m now just as terrified as a new mother. I can break them in such subtle ways now. In hindsight, cuddling a baby for hours to help them sleep is a breeze compared to talking down a “kid” having a meltdown while the toddler decides to join the fun. It’s hard work to be understanding and calm some-days.

I’m not my mother-I’m something else entirely. I’m my own person. My girls clamber for me-last night, after the excitement of the day, they wouldn’t go to sleep, and Rosalyn needed a few moments of Mommy alone. And with her head tucked under my chin as we watched Dirty Jobs (ooh! Alpaca’s!) I remembered how fleeting my girls are, how nearly invisible they are in the long span of time. Today they play hide and seek and pretend. Tomorrow they might be choosing a trade or backpacking through South America.

It’s all new once again. And I’m glad. I could use a spit shine.

“childbirth – stuff you don’t want to know”

1 Aug

Heh. Where to start.

 Let’s break down the 5 senses.


When you’re pregnant, everything smells odd, and sometimes, awful. Excruciatingly so. People on the bus are magnified until their stench fills your entire being and you want to retch and retch. Food might disgust you. The memory of my father cooking a steak during my last pregnancy comes to mind-the smell and even taste of blood filled my head.

After you’ve birthed your child comes the lovely smell of lochia, magnified if you’ve hemorrhaged. Throw in unwashed human stink and sour milk smell from leaking breasts, and you are a veritable ball of blech that only time can rid you of. I never smelled that wondrous baby smell-I was too busy reeking from the various things dripping from me.

Find good things to smell, to create a barrier between you and the stench. Vaporub comes to mind.


Nothing tastes the same when pregnant. Thankfully that comes back afterwards, but then it’s all tied up in memory. I ate X when I breastfed for the first time. I was eating C when I switched to bottles, I had Chinese the first night we were home. Taste cuddles up with memory, and you find stages in your child’s life to be melded to food.

Somethings taste FANTASTIC. I’m intolerant/allergic/whatever to eggs and dairy. When pregnant, I could eat ALL OF IT I WANTED!!! And I did. However, the guacamole/tortilla/bean with bacon soup meal I had one day? NOT a good idea. Just sayin.


My entire pregnancies were full of touch me/get away from me. It was a greek drama I swear. During the births themselves, I know my husband was there, but I cannot remember what he was doing for the most part. I’m sure he was touching me, but I don’t remember. What I DO remember are the hands of strangers. My own OB/GYN was on vacation for BOTH of my births 2 years (almost) apart, so I gave birth with no familiar faces other than my husband. This is part of the reason I want to go into midwifery. No one should give birth alone in a crowd like that. No one should have their uterus entered by handS after birth to detach retained placenta either, not without drugs. No one should have to remember that helplessness.

Remember that you can control your birth and surroundings. Your body, your child. Take what is yours. Demand what you can, stand up for yourself. Don’t come to regret anything later.


My eyes are already terrible, and didn’t get any better after the birth. But I can tell you, you learn to navigate blind in the night since putting your glasses on makes you stay away. Unless you want to watch the Daily Show at 3 am. Then go ahead and put them on.

I will say that the sight of your child for the first time, regardless how you feel about them, is an incredible thing. I made that! It came from me! now it’s pooping everywhere! You’ll see your eyes, your nose, his mouth. You’ll see years in a moment, and no words could contain or release that. It’s a transcendent sight.


Childbirth is funny-you will hear everything, and nothing. Time will condense into a moment where everyone holds their breath waiting for you to deliver, and yet they’re all screaming at you to push. (Real helpful btw, the screaming) All the intense moments in your life-they build up to this, to the real thing, to the moment of truth where you find the strength you may have never realized you had. This is where being a mother starts-saying you can’t while doing what needs to be done.

And then, they will cry. Personally, I hate hearing newborn cries, but still I remember them taking Rosalyn from me because she had pooped inside, and she was quiet and I remember worrying and realizing how I had counted on hearing that voice.

And then she let loose. How sweet is the sound of life truly beginning.

The stuff you don’t want to know? It WILL change you. Say what you will-say that you won’t turn into a “mom”, that you won’t be uncool or whatever. But to parent, and parent well, you must change in subtle ways. You become stronger, you become a mama bear standing over your cubs, you become a version of you that was never anticipated, but always there, waiting in the wings.

You couldn’t imagine it. I couldn’t. Yet today I sit here wondering what kind of person I would have been without my children. I wonder if I would still feel so remote and distant in the world, so aimless. For me, having children served as a guidepost, a catalyst, for good or ill.

The same might hold for you. No one will tell you this, because it isn’t cool to admit, but suddenly, having the newest “whatever” won’t matter, at least not for the first little while.

But no one will tell you how fantastic of a ride having a child, birthing a child, on your own, without drugs, really can be. Please try it-so many women have such horror stories of their births, of the regrets they have, the voices they didn’t use. USE YOUR VOICE.

Find the answers. Ask the questions. Listen to your body. There really is no stuff you don’t want to know, just stuff no one will tell you.