26 July 2011

20 days

Transitions are not my strong point.

It's been 20 days since my last post.
I cannot tell you how lonely I feel for this blog, and this community. I just somehow cannot quite give myself permission to log on and write with so many other things that need to be done. Even though this feeds my soul, grounds me, reminds me of me. I need to remember to choose to do it anyway.

The house short sale is moving ahead: closing in 27 days.
The new apartment is a smelly blank slate, and my heart is aching as I face leaving this funky place that is so very effortlessly me. I did not have to create it, it just was. Making the apartment feel like home will take time, effort, and an open heart. I know it will be "fine", but the contrast with this place of light and air and woods and wildflowers is almost too much. I need to think of it all differently. The most important bottom line is this: I am trading this place for freedom.

There is so much to do. And trying to "do" in the swampyard of such heavy emotions? Well...

Della is doing wonderfully except for her first barfing last night. I sat there, baby on lap, surprisingly hot barf cupped in my hands and made the choice to dump it on the floor rather than the rug. All elements of this new life.

Did I tell you I fell with Della a few weeks ago? I fell hard and fast against the wall and doorway while she slept in my arms. She stayed sleeping, and in that moment, I felt like maybe I was not a poser.
Motherhood after infertility is rife with the weirdest acute feelings of otherness, of somehow being an outsider in the world of mothers. I do not feel part of that group at all. I feel different. A weird cocktail of shame or embarrassment... Is it because I am so much older? Or because somehow it came so hard? I don't know. I do know this-- I've been too scared to even try to find a local tribe. This weekend my sister came (praise the god-goddess-all-that-is) and brought me reminders of the important things that are not things at all. We went to the lake, wallowed and breathed in fresh cooler air after a week of roasting. I ran into a beautiful woman who was in my birthing class who was there with her partner and their baby girl, born three weeks before Della. Her baby's name rhymes with Della's and we laughed. We're the only two from the class who had girls.
I looked into this woman's eyes, and felt a wave of longing and loneliness I had been ignoring: This want, so badly, to be part of a community in the real world.

In this time of so many transitions, I have really tucked in tightly, and it is hard to imagine opening up-- this vulnerability comes up with such a rush of sadness/otherness. I swear.

Anyway, in spite of me, after she got home she wrote and reached out. I hope to have the guts to meet.

I've always had fantasies about waking up and being able to:
play piano
understand linear equations

I want to know but always balk at the effort and process it takes to learn, knowing I need to be willing to be really bad at the thing I want to become good at.
I want to have community. I don't want to have to build it. I don't want to be bad at it. I don't want to fail and try again. I just want to be able to lean back into it like a big comfortable chair.

So, anyway, wow. Guess I hit on a nerve there.

Anyway, I must get back to work. Sunlight is making the garden look insanely beautiful- coneflower, brown eyed susan's, purple spikey things, hosta blooms that are visited by hummingbirds...daisies as tall as I am. Lush, lovely....

Ok, really, back to work. Signing off with a lovely photo of Della a few weeks back at 8 months.


sprogblogger said...

She is so lovely! As are you, my friend. I'm sorry things are so hard, sorry that you feel so alone. Please let me know what I can do to help. I was just thinking of you today, and hoping you were well. And it sounds like you are, though very sad. Understandable, though--I hope--temporary! Much love to you & yours.

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

Remember when we were young and community was automatic and plentiful? And we did not realize that a time would come when that automaticity would end?

The feelings of otherness do diminish over time. I felt like I was playing house for so very long.

Wishing you well as you navigate the transitions.

Emily Erin said...

Sending love, light, laughter and a reminder that home is where you create it-- but much like your art, my dear, it is an effort to create. Wishing you peace and gentleness with yourself. Keep your sweet soul held as gently as you know one of us would-- you too, will find the community you need, I'm sure. For now, I am glad that you took a moment to come back and let us know you were OK if not stellar. And I agree with PP, over time you feel a bit less like an outsider and come to 'own' your motherhood; you just have to catch vomit in your hands a few more times. :-D

B. said...

I've never been good at building community. Everywhere I go, I feel like an interloper, a newcomer among the oldest of friends who have no need or desire to welcome someone new. Parenthood hasn't really changed that, but I am forcing myself out more for Charlotte's sake. She's a social butterfly- loves babies and children and grown-ups and animals and plants... I think she needs regular doses of people (besides her father and me). It's getting easier, or feeling at least a little less awkward, but I'll never be good at small talk.

Anyhow, I empathize. "Home" is more a matter of the people in your life than the building you reside in, although the walls and surroundings are not inconsequential. I hope you're able to feel at home in the apartment, and find wonderful places to hike and recharge. I have a few more weeks before I start a new "job (nominal pay, but something I have always wanted to do)." If you're up for a visit (and I know time is tight, so don't worry if you can't), let me know.

Della is more beautiful in every photo that you share. I smile just to think of you as a mom. And me too.

Anonymous said...

hello long lost lady. this resonated so strongly with me. i don't think i told you but we've moved west. to portland, or. and now we're starting over with friendships (and so many other things that are somehow way easier to manage). i want to meet other mothers, other families, but other than my new colleagues i don't even know where to start. after our last move it took one year to meet anyone, another year to have a handful of friends, and probably a good 4 years until we had "the" friends. the ones i know i will treasure forever. and all of that feels so overwhelming. the added "otherness" you describe makes it even more daunting. anyway, i'm babbling in your comments so...

really all i wanted to say, was you should absolutely reach back out to this woman. even if it goes no where it's worth a shot. the risk is what, one awkward cup of coffee? the possible benefit, the start of a great friendship.

missing you.

p.s. are you sure your new apartment can't be out here in the cool west wind?!

(another) karen said...

Yes, community takes time, though I have to say it is almost always worth the effort. And you are correct, too, about the failing and starting over. Give it time (and the right amount of attention and TLC) and you will find the rewards well worth the effort. And my last piece of ass ice is this: don't be afraid to look in unusual "places" for the companionship you are seeking. I was also an older mom (42.5 yo) after infertility and ultimately found my soul sister in an amazing woman 12+ years younger than me. Had it not been for our children born 11 months apart who connected immediately, I would (shamefully) probably never have given this woman the time of day. Fate and karma are beautiful things sometimes...

always happy to see a post from you. Wishing you peace and happiness as you make your way through this next round of transitions.

Thinking of you,

linda said...

Hmm, I haven't gotten pregnant (YET!) but what you say about being a mother yet feeling like an outsider resonates for me. I know I would likely feel as you do...wanting to connect but really doing it. I think that, for me, it would be because of how hard the path was (for me) and how unbearable it would be for me to sit with women for whom it came so easily...I think to sit and hear their idle prattle about how "this one was a surprise!" or "I don't know if I want to have any more children for a few YEARS" (as if they have the luxury of time. I think it would kill me to have to sit and listen to that. Perhaps you can find a group of women who've done IVF and have succeeded so you can be with kindred spirits? I think that might help a bit...

Wishing you peace and love Kate.


Anonymous said...

Hey Kate...

I am a reader from Portland Maine, maybe you remember me from a previous comment or two? My name's Hilary. I don't know if you are living in Portland, but if you are, we should get together. My daughter is 11 months old, and we live in the Munjoy Hill neighborhood. If you reply to this reply I can give you an e-mail address. I will also try to find an e-mail address for you on the blog. There is a really great community of moms and babies here, as I'm sure you are realizing (if in fact you're here in the Portland area!). At any rate let me know,


Anonymous said...

Hi, it's "anon" again...
Just wanted to say that I assume you have moved away from New Hampshire, forgive me if I am wrong about what you are up to these days. I haven't been the most thorough reader...