On Mothers and Angst

11 May

As people post profile pictures on Facebook of happy times with their mother, I feel myself getting twitchy and angry. I don’t have a mother that I even want to interact with right now, much less post her picture. I keep trying to find the right way to address my situation. From bible scriptures to random articles, I am trying to find advice that speaks to me. Maybe if I am honest, I am trying to find an answer that confirms that I don’t have to forgive her and I don’t have to like her right now. 

The short story is that she is a serial monogamist, marrying men within months of meeting them because she can’t be alone with herself.  This particular way of life is most hazardous to her children because she picks poorly and they usually end up being abusive in one way or another. I like to think I won the crown for suffering the most at the hands of one of her husbands. I was kicked with steel toed boots, beaten with his tight fists, and whipped with his belt across my back until angry red welts appeared. I was terrorized by him every day. I remember the sound of his friend’s van dropping him off from work and hearing his heavy boots walk up the stairs. At age six I was making roast chicken, cleaning dishes, and washing the clothes of everyone in the house. We had no dryer and I remember standing on my tip toes to put wet pieces of clothes on the chain link fence behind our home to let them dry in the warm air.  He would tell me that he had put a grain of rice or a penny in one of the many corners of the house and threatened to beat me if I didn’t make sure I swept every corner. Each day I would frantically go from corner to corner in each room to sweep before I would hear the dreaded sound of the van dropping him off. 

As if the physical abuse (which my mother had some inkling of) wasn’t enough, when I turned 12 he began to molest me. I can’t really scratch the surface of how alone I felt or how this crushed what little of my soul had remained. At 12 I disconnected from my body to survive and to this day I am still not whole. While I have survived and even thrived in the life I have created for myself, I have yet to make myself whole. I am still emotionally blocked from full inhabiting my own body.  The extra weight I have on my body is like one last remembrance of what I subconsciously felt I had to do to protect myself. My remaining weight issue is a testament to the fact that over 20 years later I guess I still don’t feel completely safe to let the literal and symbolic weight go.

In any event, through years of therapy I forgave my stepfather and I forgave my mother. Without the benefit of being a mother myself, I theorized that my mother was young and made a stupid mistake. Of course she never intended for me to be hurt.  However, she continued to marry and divorce again at such ridiculous speeds I worried that it could happen again. I worried for my brothers and sisters when I went away to college.  I wasn’t there to protect them anymore. 

When my worst fear was confirmed and I discovered that my siblings suffered abuse at the hands of a stepfather something in me snapped. The forgiveness I had given was gone. I could make peace with what happened to me because I thought it was a clarion call. A lesson. Instead, it was clear my mother learned nothing. She was unwilling to change her obviously flawed ways to protect her children. Despite having married six crappy husbands, she won’t admit that she has made any mistakes. In fact, she just married husband number seven on the same day her divorce was finalized after approximately three months of dating. I’m sure he is a real winner just like the rest of her previous husbands. 

As a mother myself, I don’t understand her choices and I don’t approve of the way she lives her life. How can I love or honor a parent who seems unwilling to sacrifice to provide her children a safe home? I can’t. I am also definitely not posting her picture on Facebook. 



Balancing Act

17 Apr

Being a lawyer is what I always wanted to do. At least since I was 12, it was my chosen profession. Now that I am living  my “dream” I am torn between being a good lawyer and being what I consider being a good mom. Most days I don’t think I succeed at either. I hate leaving in the mornings. Despite what so many other moms have said, it has not gotten better. Every day I leave my cheery boy behind I feel so guilty. I feel like I am missing so much. At work, I am no longer able to work the long hours I used to. At a certain point in the day I get twitchy. Anxious to get back to my boy. I wish I knew the answer. Would I be happier if I worked part-time? would I be fulfilled as a stay at home mom? I wish I knew the answers. At minimum I realize how lucky I am to be lawyer doing work I really like and coming home to this face.


Almost a Year

21 Dec

Mmmmm. Frosting!

It is a mere few days until my baby turns one. I am getting all verklempt thinking about what I was doing this time a year ago. It is unbelievable that a year ago I was watching him do flips in my belly and now he is crawling and on the verge of walking. My cup truly runneth over.

The Shut-In

10 Mar

Although I have always had a healthy appreciation for my couch and DVR, I have never been one to stay in the house for weeks on end. With Baby G finally getting his shots I am finally cleared to venture out more. Still, I am so hesitant. Aside from this being a terrible flu season, I am petrified that my angelic baby is going to turn into a banshee the minute I take him out. I’ll be one of those people with a screaming baby disrupting tranquility everywhere. Baby G can probably break a few glasses when he is in meltdown mode. I prefer not to share that with the world.

Nonetheless yesterday was Ash Wednesday and I really wanted to go to mass. I summoned my courage and decided I would try to take the baby with me. I packed him up and crossed my fingers. I sat in one of the back rows just in case a hasty exit was needed. Surprisingly my little one did great. I felt so victorious.

It doesn’t take much to make me happy nowadays.

I’m a Mom

26 Feb

It has been two months since my baby boy came into this world and I haven’t had time to write his birth story until now.

December was a busy month for me. Between moving into our new home and wrapping things up at work I was crazy busy. The weight of my son transformed me into a waddling orca, and I moved at a glacial pace. Despite my own early prediction I would have a December baby, I was hopeful I wouldn’t birth my son until after the holidays.  I was due the second week of January and would tell my son daily that he wasn’t allowed to come early. I wasn’t ready for him. I didn’t even have my hospital bag packed.

As Christmas Eve approached I was woefully behind on my Christmas shopping. I decided I would map out the sales and buy all of my gifts on Christmas Eve. Hey, it isn’t Christmas until I am elbowing my way past fellow shoppers right? Well my son had other plans.

Around 3am I made my usual bathroom run bleary eyed and tired. I don’t know why I inspected the toilet paper, but I did. There it was; a pink tinge and lots of fluid.  At first I thought I just had a full bladder. It took me a couple of minutes to realize my water broke. Ready or not, I was going to have my baby.  With no bag packed my husband and I had our mini-freakout. I tested positive for Group B Strep weeks earlier and had to go into the hospital right away to get antibiotics. We tossed things haphazardly into a bag and off we went.

Once at the hospital we roamed the halls in vain to ward off getting pitocin. It didn’t work and I was hooked up after a few painful IV attempts. Eventually things got underway and I began to experience the curse of Eve. Damn her for eating that apple. Labor pains were hell and despite spending good money on a doula and intending to go unmedicated I quickly decided to get the epidural once I was in active labor. It was heaven.

Although fully dilated, the baby was sunny side up and having problems coming down. After three hours of pushing he hadn’t budged at all and I started to get a fever. Also, the baby’s heart rate was dangerously high during the last hour of pushing. Despite my best efforts it was time to throw in the towel and do what was safest for the baby. I had to have a cesarean. They doped me up quickly and wheeled me into the OR.

I remember barely being able to keep my eyes open. My eyelids were so heavy. I desperately wanted to have that surge of happy emotions when he was born. If I get choked up about births on shows like A Baby Story, surely I should feel more at the birth of my own child. Unfortunately, I didn’t. The nurse pressed my son’s face into mine so I could give him a kiss, but I could barely respond. I was bombed and overmedicated.  I watched my husband hold our son and felt almost nothing.

I never thought I would be one of those people to dwell on the birth of my son or mourn a “natural” childbirth, but I am. Although I am grateful to have my son safe and healthy, I am still bummed about the birth itself. I wish I would have been more present in those few magic first minutes. I wanted to feel that surge of happy emotions I thought I would have had. I still to this day feel cheated.

Luckily two months later I have been able to bond with my son and move on from that negative experience. Although I was very depressed about the birth the first few weeks I have been able to come to terms with the experience. Although my doula didn’t help me give birth naturally, she did take pictures of the entire birth which allowed me to feel like I could see everything I missed and feel at peace. Talk about an expensive way to get pictures of my son’s birth. Still, those pictures are priceless.

Now today, I am just grateful that I am simply a Mom to a beautiful little boy. I am so very blessed.

6 Months

25 Sep

It’s been a long time since I have been on here.  As I sit here typing I can feel the thumping of my unborn son as he kicks my insides. My husband and I were lucky enough to successfully conceive a healthy baby boy.  So far so good. I am cautiously optimistic about our bright future together. Every day that goes by I am happy to know my son is growing and getting stronger. The idea that I should have a newborn in about 3 months is pretty surreal. 

 I still get nervous that something could go wrong. That’s what I get for reading the entire internet and every miscarriage story I come across. I have no idea why I read things that make me worry. I guess part of me thinks I have to brace myself for any possibility. Perhaps if I read every story, somehow I will survive if the unthinkable happens to me. I am usually not a worrier.  Even I find it strange that I feel this way.  It just seems like so many great things have been happening for me.

Can life really be this good?

Babies Everywhere

11 May

As both my husband and I are trying to make a baby, I am seeing babies everywhere. On TV, in movies, on the front of magazines, not to mention all my friends that are having babies. I have been to 3 baby showers in the past two months. I am hopeful to have my own one day. For now, I just get to wait. On the outside looking in.

Type A+

8 May

My husband calls me a Type A+, because apparently it doesn’t do me justice to just say I am a Type A person. Two months into our decision to start a family, I now have over 6 books, 5 iphone apps, and countless google searches about all things pregnancy. The unfortunate thing about trying to make a baby, is that it is unlike any endeavor I have ever undertaken you can’t work harder to make it happen. No matter how many books I read or apps I use, I can’t make my body do anything it doesn’t want to. The more obsessive I become, the more I worry that I will actually harm my chances, by stressing myself out. That said, I am too Type A+ to just passively wait for everything to fall in place. No. In the meantime I will be charting temperatures and reading articles because that is just what someone like me would do.  The control freak in me can’t help itself. Don’t judge me.

Too Good to Be True

19 Apr

As someone who largely survived a terrible childhood, I count my blessings often. I am so grateful to have the life I have now. I truly had no expectation that I would be lucky enough to both attain my long-held dream of becoming a lawyer AND marrying a terrific man who treats me like gold. Although I am generally a positive person, there are times when I wait for the other shoe to drop. I wonder if my luck will finally run out. As my husband and I are now ready to start a family, I quietly wonder if I am finally going to meet the misfortune that I sometimes expect to find me. Could I really live that charmed a life that I could start my own family with a man who I think will make one of the best fathers ever? He is already an amazing husband. I hate that I even wonder that, but in the slow waiting to find out if we were succesful this month I can’t help it.  I hope my worries are unfounded. I hope this will all be a silly afterthought soon. For now I get to wait and look forward to what the future may or may not hold.


11 Mar

So in all my type A++ behavior I actually miscalculated when would be the best time to make a baby. Genius right? So now I am totally annoyed with myself. I probably would have figured it out earlier, but since I felt sick for a week I thought I had it right. I just want to make a baby already and I am super impatient with myself, less than one month in. I feel like I am seeing baby stuff everywhere I go. If I was capable, I would totally kick myself right now. Guess the hubby is going to be getting lucky all next month. Hey, better safe than sorry!

Bad Mamma Jamma ... With a PhD!

Eclectic Thoughts on Life and Living