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Monday, March 1, 2010

Feeling Disconnected

Just discovered this amazing new voice (new to me!) and am being spirited away by it's ethereal beauty as we speak. Anyway, just wanted to share.

And speaking of sharing. Is anyone out there? Whilst I don't write for anyone but myself on the whole, it's nice to get the occasional comment and recently there's been a howling empty void with not a single nice cyber-voice to fill it. Uh-oh, am I getting needy now? Just wondered where everyone had gone?

Things have been pootling along as normal recently except for an increasing sense of disconnection from everything on my part. I'm 28 months pregnant (somewhere around 7 months or so) and have yet to really drop into this pregnancy in any discernible way. It's not denial. I KNOW I'm having a baby - he/she is kicking me quite distinctly as i write but I just haven't had the time, (or perhaps found or allowed myself the time) to really connect with what's going on in any real way. Lily is, as always, the centre of my Universe. Everything I do seems to orbit around her and her needs and I don't say that in a resentful way (well, not today at any rate!). It's more that a demanding, curious and energetic three yr old is difficult to ignore, even when I try really hard. This new bub that grows more energetic by the day has had short shrift when it comes to my attention. Maybe that's just the way with second children, I don't know. Certainly there are times I am concerned about how I'm going to juggle the demands of two very different and very needy little people at the same time and not lose the plot. I remember how much time I had for my pregnancy with Beanie. I talked to the bump all the time, spent time meditating and preparing for her arrival. The most I've been able to do is spend one weekend in an insane amount of nesting - which is surely a little early given that I've got at least another 13 weeks to go. Lots of cleaning and bad tempered planning and nagging the hubble to get things out from under the house and buy me a new chest of drawers etc.

I have even been interviewing Doulas (people who are there solely for the emotional and spiritual support of the birthing woman) and that has been bringing up some interesting emotions for me. There is one woman I like who I think I could work well with, but I'm wondering how I'll let anyone behind these tall walls I tend to erect when I feel unsafe. Sol-y-Luna could tell you what I'm talking about I'm sure. She's been with me on this journey before. However, there have also been several big 'No's' for me too. All these different energies that are around birthing women and all of them do the same job essentially - their blurbs are the same, they all offer the same services with the same platitudes. It's a little like fishing in a vast ocean and trying to catch a specific type of fish. The right fish for our little birthing aquarium. Right now it feels a little overwhelming.

Still, there has been precious little space in my heart, mind and soul created for this new little being that's already over half way to arriving. It concerns me a fair bit. I don't want to go into shock when the baby arrives in the physical, feeling like I am not ready. It's not so much a practical readiness, we still have all the stuff from Beanie's early days. I just don't feel present with any of it. Like it's all happening to someone else and I'm just the one experiencing the extreme discomfort of late pregnancy. Hoh yes! It's bloody uncomfortable. I'd forgotten how much. Perhaps, on second thoughts, I AM in denial? It seems so huge, to be bringing this new life into the one that already seems crammed with life. Lily is such a huge character and I'm often such a reluctant mother. Not for lack of love. The love I have for my girl is more than I can bear sometimes, it's so intense and sometimes a little scary. It's more for lack of understanding or time or my ability to be present with 'what is' and not fight the process of mothering and being a mother so much. I fight for peace and calm where none is to be found and that is the source of all my suffering. Struggling to be somewhere other than where one is, is the source of everybody's suffering according to Buddhist philosophy. But the acceptance, that elludes me. Often. Like, every day. Surrender. Well, we've already been there and not done that, haven't we? I don't do surrender. Oh, i want to. Really, I do. But it's just so hard to let go and trust. And maybe that's where this disconnection is coming from. I can't seem to let myself go into it and trust that wherever this next part of the journey takes me, all will be well. Because, will it? Will it really be ok? Will I cope? Will I be held in those moments when I most need to be held? More importantly, will I LET myself be held when I most need to be held? Will I be able to show up and do the work of labour and birthing and mothering this most precious of bundles? Can I do this again? Give myself over to the absolute power of birthing and raising another independent little soul. Can I take on that responsibility and not fuck it up?

Disconnection seems an obvious option now, doesn't it? All these huge questions. All these undulating nebulous queries that will, if I let them, take me deep into this pregnancy journey and into this child's life. No wonder I'm road runnering in the opposite direction. It feels heavy just to write about them and have them there in black and white for me to look at. I don't want to fail again. That's the God's honest truth. I don't want to fail myself or this child like I feel I have failed Beanie. And yet, what choice do i have but to be my flawed, unfinished, unsure self? There is no-one in here but me. Now THAT's a scary thought. Or a liberating one, depending on how you look at it.

See what comes of self-reflection?



The Awakened Heart said...

Well, there was me thinking that nobody loved me (blush, blush) and my bloody comments box had gone AWOL meaning it wasn't possible to leave a comment. Thanks for the eagle-eyed readers who wrote to me personally to let me feel the love and find the comments box! Awww, now I feel all warm and stoopid.

Griffin said...

As Billy the Kid Shakespeare used to say, 'But screw your courage to the sticking place and you'll not fail'.

You can only do your best petal, the rest is as it is. Stop tormenting yourself with what if's and have a dance with the Bean.

Wotthehell, wotthehell, there's life in the old gal yet
Wotthehell, wotthehell, toujours gai and always a lady...

As Mehitabel the alley cat once said.

Nicole said...

Ah - I can completely relate to your thoughts on not feeling present with the 2nd child, not feeling as if I would be adequate in mothering two children. Mother Nature designs these things in a funny way sometimes ... My youngest is almost 3 yrs old now, and in his first 18 months, I was pretty much a zombie. An anxious, unsettled, high-strung zombie. (Can you picture that?)

One thing you can count on is that your first born will inevitably want to help out. Let her. Indulge her urge to nurture by getting her a doll and the diaper bag to take care of the doll! And get down on the floor with her, every once in a while, and just do what she wants to do.

One thing that saved my sanity was being organized. I used to keep a little ziploc baggie of snacks & some books behind the cushions of the couch, so I could entertain the older while I nursed the younger. And Yes, you're going to be totally exhausted, and Yes, your first born is going to become more demanding for a short time, and Yes, you may be forced to remain in that fog in your mind for a little while. But it will not last forever. It is definitely a rite of passage, and when you emerge from that fog, you will emerge as a new, stronger woman.

Sorry for such a lengthy reply, but your post really helped me to remember the time when I was pregnant last, and the challenges I faced. I know now that all the adversity I was up against was only for the higher good of myself, and my family.


sol y luna said...

My vote is for the latter! A liberating thought. Oh yes. If only you could see more often all the good Mama stuff you do beautifully well, instead of the myriad ways you've apparently failed.

You are indeed having another bubs. I've seen the belly, and felt the miraculous little goldfish ripple of movement! Yet, it does seem so bizarre to see you as Kitty, mother of two!! Perhaps I'm in denial myself...

Interesting that you're already being hard on yourself about not connecting enough with him(?), new era of mother guilt before he's even earthside.

This spirit has chosen an amazing feisty, endlessly self-reflective, passionate, creative Mama, and I'm super excited to meet him, and see how he'll shape your world.

Good luck with the doula search. i know what you mean about all the platitudes. It would take a very specific and unique energy to work well with you in labourland. I look forward to meeting her!

I like what you were saying about saying "Yes! Open" when everything in you is screaming "No!" Good advice in a lot of ways.

I like your new find. Rather Kate Bush-ish xx

Amanda said...

Adore Joanna Newsom! If you love her new song, check out her Milk Eyed Mender album (specifically the song Swansea). Gorgeous stuff.

As for mama-hood...I've only got the one so far, so I can't comment on having two. But, I do know that "surrender" is not the opposite of "struggle." If we're not struggling for something, what the hell are we doing?

I experienced the strangest disconnection from the moment I was in labor until my little bear was about 2-1/2. Like I began to turn so far inward during labor that I couldn't extricate myself from that disemobdied place of being. And that a piece of me (initially a huge piece of me) was always sensing, feeling, listening, and seeing down some invisible tether to my son. To be having a "conversation" with a friend and realize your entire being is focused somewhere else was very unsettling.

And there was a strange hollowness. Not in a bad way, per se, just a factual hollowness. Like I had found my complete center. I can't say I liked it very much. Without the struggle to improve or anger at your failings, how can you truly feel the bliss of emotional ecstacy and true joy when you stumble into it?

Blessings on your journey... warts and scars included!