Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Being Maternal

Life is remarkable.  Yes?  Yes.
Last year on Mother’s Day I was gestating a miracle baby.
I always feel funny when people call Kole a miracle baby.  Sure he came against all medical odds after we were told to try not to think about it.  Or dwell on it.

Or hope for it. 

But even in my saddest hours- I was happy with Ken as my family. 
Then our family grew.
Well I grew first- by about 70 pounds.  I knew that it had never happened before and my doctor assured me it wouldn’t….but I was certain I would be the first pregnant woman to explode. 
My skin hurt from being so tight.  And was it ever shiny!  And itchy.

Kole came one day late.
Like his Grandpa Poulsen.  (as we tease.)
Delivering a baby earned me my Stripes.
After that-  I was lost.
Confused.
Afraid.
I felt empty.
Besieged.
Out of it.

Wasn’t this supposed to come more naturally?  I am a woman.  A strong, capable, nurturing woman.  Why can’t I do this?  I needed to call my mom.
She came.
And rescued.
And saved the message I left on her machine crying.
She came every day at 11 o’clock for 2 weeks.
I watched my mom (when I was awake).
Studied her to pick up tips.
That’s how you hold him.
This will make him burp.
Support him.
Just hold him.
It’s okay- he can’t smile yet.
You’ve got it.

Then she turned him over to me.

I didn’t feel that “overwhelming love” every mother in the world told me about.
As soon as you hold your baby you will feel an overwhelming love.
Wasn’t there for me.
Every time I held my baby I cried.
I cried when I changed his diaper.
I cried when I got peed on.
I cried when I bathed him.
I cried when I nursed him.
I cried when I read to him.
I cried when I cuddled him.
I cried.

I felt like he didn’t want me for his mother.
I wasn’t a mother anyway.
My mom was a mother.
Not me.
I couldn’t do anything right.
He wouldn’t even look at me.

Weeks passed- I learned.
Learned to turn down the hot water on his bath.
Learned to cover that pee pee before it would shoot me.
Learned crying is okay.... for both of us.
Learned to say no.
Learned to stand up for myself and my babying techniques.
(even though I wasn’t sure about them myself)
Learned to love my family as the three of us…. Not the two of us.

I promised myself that the day I felt like a mom- I would write it down.
Journal what happened.
Record the remarkable change or epiphany or transformation.

I have no recollection of the day.
But it happened.

Koley is mine all mine.
He’s the happiest boy on Planet Earth.
He is tender hearted and a goof ball.
We love and understand one another.
There is a mutual respect between me and my cub.
I think we speak through telepathy.

I feel whole.
Satisfied.
Accomplished.
Strong.
Full of love.

I feel like a mom.

I am one.

7 comments:

Emily Empey said...

aww I love this post! its sweet and cute! I also ADORE that picture of you and Kole! ADORABLE! You both look happy! :)

Emily Empey said...

aww I love this post! its sweet and cute! I also ADORE that picture of you and Kole! ADORABLE! You both look happy! :)

Christensen said...

you are a great mom, patty! i know it! and i know you are a great sister and friend too. -jess

Karlenn said...

You are such a natural-born mom. Those dang postpardem blues. They're a killer. I didn't know your mom came down every day for two weeks! I'm glad. I was so worried for you.

Lyner said...

I love the end and that picture of you and Kole is adorable. :)

Poulsen Family said...

Best Mother's day post I read this year!

SkippyMom said...

This post is so beautiful it made ME cry.

[I know I am late to the party here, but just found your blog. Thank you! :)]

I don't understand the whole "You will feel like a Mom and love your child the minute you hold them" thing. It just isn't that way for everyone so I don't know why people say it.

You are obviously a fabulous Mom and you two could NOT be cuter together. Wonderful picture of happiness. Love!