18 December 2011

Identity

Here I am, in the midst of things, wondering what this space should be. Can it just be what it is?
I think I've lost most of my readers through my intermittency and my pregnancy success. And I totally get both of those. But I am not giving up this space, it means so much to me. And you, you who do read, thank you!

What do you think?
Can I just go on babbling about being in the vague in between land of post-interfertility(if there really is ever a post-infertility stage, which I doubt) IVF mom-lost-house-and-job-found-work-patchworking-together-contracts-art-life-parenting-with-liberal-doses-of-midlife-uncertainty?  Or should I create a more certain direction/identity for the blog?

For me, this is my real life (not the blog, but what I write about here)-- I realize I am not writing as often not because I have nothing to say but for time reasons mostly and occasionally because I am not certain what would be appropriate to write here.

I have a whole post written on envy that seems like annoying whining.
So in awareness of my incredible luck with having Della, something I know so many people are still fighting the good fight to achieve, could I give myself permission to write about envy from this decidedly enviable position? I thought not. And now, I wonder, should I post it anyway? It is my truth, after all.

So yeah. I want to write about things like envy, fear, where the hell is my period (no, not pregnant, just no period yet), co sleeping, nostalgia and food waste.


I want to write about the complete wonder I have when I see Della and know that she is real. I still cannot believe it, and still worry about Bad Things That Could Happen.  

I want to write that I spent the whole pregnancy worried about my cervix, about premature labor, about losing her.  I worried about losing her during delivery. And in those days and nights after. And for the whole first year I slept with my hand on her chest or back so I could feel her breathing.
I want to write that now out of the window for SIDS, I cannot quite allow myself to stand down. That I have never loved anyone or anything like I love her and cannot believe just how intense it is, how huge, how encompassing, how clear and unfettered.  


I want to write about things like the fact I am still breastfeeding Della. Not as much, not as often. yes at night still. I want to write that I love it and hate parts of it. Dread what my body will look like when I stop. Hate my vanity for even thinking about my breasts as anything other than miraculous. I hate how Della digs her nails into the opposite breast, over and over and over and tantrums if I try to intervene.  How did this habit develop? I don't even know.. why can I not be strong enough to endure the tantrum? I don't know, I just can't.

I want to write about how sad I feel, how bone deep nearly desperate sad, when I think of breast feeding ending, or ending co-sleeping, knowing that this will never happen for me again.

I want to write that I want to do this all again, no, not with another baby, but this one, this little one. I miss her infancy with an intense ache, it went by so fast!  I can see how this is the age at which so many folks try for a second. I get it.  I really do. But we can't and won't and don't really want to-- Della is our miracle.  But I want to write about how I envy folks who are pregnant again. Even though I don't really want to be.

I want to write about the complexity of feeling Other in a world of younger moms. I want to write about how it feels to meet moms at daycare and realize I am old enough to be their mom.  I want to write about how I feel as if I am making it up every day, figuring things out as I go, feeling triumphant at a walk down town with Della in the stroller, but even then, how the favorite blanket untucks, goes under the wheels and rips.

I want to write about how when we go to Target and Della sits in the cart the whole time, it feels like a blessing from the box store gods. and when she wants to be carried instead, I have learned to push the cart one-handed, while her weight sits on my left hip and I wonder how I got to be so strong in some ways and such a wuss in others.

I want to confess we bathe her with sponge baths still-- that real baths and showers make her cry so hard I cannot think.  We try, like today, and hope that sometime it changes into something tolerable.

I want to say how lonely I feel, but also how I have created a life so full and busy that I have no time to connect in real life. Logistics paralyze me.  I have work to do. I always have work to do.

I want to say that while somehow, so many things are miraculously great, I am scared everyday about money, about the inherent intermittency of contract work, of the uncertainty. And how, car repair becomes a christmas present,  depletes my account, creates worry where for a moment there was actually a tiny cushion. And how am I ever going to repay my immense debts to my family that helped make Della?

I wonder what to say about all of this
so instead sometimes it is easier not to write
or to let the moment pass
and just say, hey everyone. I miss you.

16 comments:

markmarv2004 said...

Now maybe you can understand how you and your sister were such miracles to your mom and Me. Still are. Love, Pa

Queenie. . . said...

You should write about what you want to write about, about where your life is now. You've evolved, and your blog should, too, and that's okay.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that 2012 is a miraculous year for you in many new ways.

sprogblogger said...

Oh Kate, you are so loved, by so many people! I don't think anyone begrudges you the space or the time to write about your life--or to NOT write about it. You're missed, but I'll bet more people are clicking on as soon as their reader tells them you've got a new post up than you think!

And, yes, it's PERFECTLY ok to write about envy and sadness as well as the joy. And anyone who thinks that having a (wonderful, perfect, miraculous!) baby ends those hard things is fooling themselves--but not anyone else! This is your space, and at one time it was your space to talk mostly about IF, but it's still your space to talk about whatever is weighing on your mind, whatever you need to send out into the world.

I know how you feel, missing infancy, missing THIS CHILD'S infancy, and yes, for the first time I do understand that impulse to HAVE ANOTHER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. And because Henry is our miracle, our one&only, that turns to sadness sometimes, and a queer, grasping longing to keep him right here, at this wonderful age, even as I'm glorying in the little person he's developing into every new day.

So the sad is right there with the happy, and the busy can sometimes overwhelm the impulse to slow down and breathe through the moment. And that's ok. That's your life, where your life is at right now--doesn't mean it will always be like this, and that's good too.

Thinking of you so much, when you have the time to connect IRL again, do let me know. We can come to you (especially since it sounds like H enjoys car rides more than D!) at a time that's easy for you. Because we'd love to see you, my friend.

And in the meantime, have a marvelous holiday. The days will start to get longer, and brighter, and New Year is a wonderful time to be alive, whatever your beliefs. Be gentle with yourself, ok? You've been through quite an amazing year--both really good & really bad--and you deserve a little breathing room to process all of it.

We'll be here when you're ready.

Kristin Noelle said...

All of this is achingly beautiful, Kate. It really is a gift to get a glimpse into these aspects of your life. I don't frequently comment, but I read always, and cheer you on in whatever form your writing here takes.

So much love,
Kristin

Kate said...

I'm still following, though I don't always comment. I've also noticed that I have far fewer people comment these days. Partly, I think it's because many of the people who followed me (and who I followed) now also have children and are pretty busy.
My blog is now basically just a place for me to keep track of how K's developing. Sort of a diary, since I've never managed to keep a proper diary in my life.
I love posts like this, and would love to hear about envy and whatever else you want to talk about. Your blog should be a place for you to express what's important to you, without worrying about what other people will think. If they don't like what you're saying, they can skip the rest of the post and come back next time.
It's great to hear such a thoughtful and poetic post from you!

Joannah said...

Just write from your heart, friend. That's what I enjoy reading. I totally get all the feelings you have about being in awe of your baby girl, and not wanting her to grow up, and wishing there could be another baby someday, someway. I really, really get that. Instead of dwelling on those feelings when they wash over me, I just try to stay in the moment with Michaela and enjoy what I do have. Our girls are miracles and we are so incredibly blessed to have them.

Rachael said...

I'm happy to read whatever you want to write--lack of regular posting wouldn't keep me away! I resonate with every single topic you describe in this post (esp feeling like an older mom, struggling with time and obligation, dealing with uncertainty, and feeling envy, sadness, fear, nostalgia, and lots of joy).

So write. Or don't write (don't want to saddle you with any more obligation!). But please know that this reader (and likely most of your other readers) aren't expecting your blog to be any one thing. Perhaps because I don't know you IRL, I am willing and interested to go with you wherever you want to go as a writer. That's one of the best things about blogging and reading blogs, I think--blog writers evolve and readers adapt easily to the evolution. I have no expectations and only think good thoughts of/for you!

Dream Seeker said...

Hello again Kate,
It's been so long and then I clicked through to your blog and saw Della's beautiful face and your wonderful words. Hey, we're complex beings and we should write about our complexities...I spent some time on my blog thinking I should write this or that and then I remembered that I was writing because it was an expression of me and my life, and the only way to be true to that is to write from the heart. Otherwise you get that niggly feeling that you've written something that isn't 'true'. And of course, there's going to be ups and downs with parenthood, I've spent the last ten years supporting new mums and every time I enter a new house I know that there will a huge, vast lake of emotion, with unfathomable depths - whether the journey to conception to birth was easy or hard. Anyway, I love reading your writing and am pleased to be back in the world of blogging after a long absence. Keep weaving your magic, Kate. Love L xxx

Jem said...

Dear Kate,

Please continue to write about anything you want. This is your blog.

I would like to hear more about your creative endeavors... how you fit mothering into your creative life.

And you can whine as much as you want to!!

Michele said...

write write write!!! it's your space- we want to hear!!

It Is What It Is said...

Mel just wrote about this, too, the evolution of her blog and how she is happy she kept it all in one space. I think you will, too, and you should write what you want when you want to. I'm about to publish a post about how I'm not like most of the moms at my son's preschool which is NOT about IF or adoption or being adopted, but IIWII, you know?

Good luck and happy holidays!

B. said...

I'll read or listen to whatever you feel like writing or saying, as infrequently or as incessantly as you feel like posting. You've become a friend, Kate, and while I miss you when you don't post for a while, I understand how hectic life can be and that posting on a blog has to take a back seat to so many other things in life.

As far as the period goes, mine didn't resume until 4 weeks and a day after I completely stopped breastfeeding. Even cutting back to twice-a-day feedings didn't bring it on. And while I do sometimes miss that closeness, I can't really imagine Charlotte sitting still long enough to breastfeed at this age.

And I get the whole age thing... I'm not all that far behind you, but the parent I am today is so different from the one I'd have been 20 years ago. I have infinitely more patience. You make me wonder if I am having an easy time watching Charlotte's infancy slip away because I know I'll see it again with baby #2, but that will be a different child's infancy and the dissimilarities may outnumber the liknesses. I never felt the "baby itch," but I didn't give myself a chance to since I knew I was running out of time (my insurance won't cover IVF for a woman after her 44th birthday). And I wonder often if baby #2 is for me or for Charlotte... for Charlotte, mostly, I believe. But maybe a little bit for me too.

Anyhow, as someone else mentioned, you're loved by a lot of people out here in blogland (as well as in real life). And I am happy to listen to anything you feel like saying, just as I would be if we were neighbors meeting for tea.

Happy holidays, to you, Doug, Della, and your whole family. When the time is right, I look forward to seeing you again.

What IF? said...

This is your space. To be, to breathe, to create, to process, to whine, to vent. I will continue to read everything you write. After having a child or children, it is incredibly difficult to be conscious of others' IF struggles while being truthful and real about day-to-day life with a child. There must be some middle ground, where your reflections on life with Della does not require self-censorship in order to be palatable to those still in the trenches. You have such empathy and compassion, and such a unique voice. Just keep doing what you're doing.

Mad Hatter said...

Still dropping by here now and then, dear Kate...keep writing, keep being you.
Love,
Maddy

linda said...

Write whatever comes up to you. There's no way this has to be. It's your own blank slate. We're here to read whatever you're moved to write. It's always authentic and interesting to me!

Hugs,
Linda

Emily Erin said...

As with most of the others, I am here to hear your voice and to enjoy your most authentic self. That's what attracts me, and I will keep coming back. Just a thought on the bath thing (if you want to change it)-- our oldest was terrified of baths too, until I hopped in there with her, and now she's a fish. I don't have ideas for the nail digging at breastfeeding time, but I wish I did! Hugs from here!