Thursday, June 19, 2014

The (New) Bo(u)rn(e) Identity

So the thing about being a new mum is that your days tend to get away from you. That's because they don't belong to you anymore...they now belong to the baby. And I can't speak for every new mum, but mostly, you don't mind. I will ignore every task I put on my to-do list if it means getting Baby C to smile and stop fussing. I have stopped mid dishes, mid cooking, mid texting, mid sentence to give him kisses, tickle his belly, and generally do his bidding. It's awesome. I don't care that my hair isn't washed (or brushed most of the time) that all of my clothes have to be "nursing convenient", or that I haven't been alone with Eric in 4 months. Last night, when the wee babe threw-up the entire contents of his stomach, milk that I spent a lot of energy producing and letting him drain from me for the past 30 minutes, all over me, I didn't miss my old, sexy, care free life at all. Honestly.

HOWEVER, finding time to write has been difficult, because it isn't even a task that I've been ignoring from my to-do list in order to illicit giggles from a 4 month old. I didn't even think about this blog post for the first 2 months of Cylas's life (that's his name, by the way.) I spent the first 2 months in recovery. That little nugget sure did a number on me getting here. I had an epic pregnancy. I felt better pregnant than I ever did before I was pregnant. I glowed like it was my job. Labor was another matter. I read, I prepared, I took classes, I visualized, I did yoga, I was ready to labor like a boss. A very calm, centered, serene, un-medicated boss. And I did remarkably well...for the first 48 hours of labor! But still, after 2 full days of powerful contractions only 4 to 5 minutes apart, Cylas was still not coming out, even though I called out to him, even though I did a headstand (with help) to aid him, even though I internally begged him, he remained bunkered down. Dare I say, stuck and restrained. We now know that his umbilical cord was very short and so he was tethered tightly to the placenta unable to descend down the birth canal, and he was caught behind my tailbone as well, which he fractured with his head as I finally pushed him out 68 hours into labor, then having transferred to the hospital, aided with a delicious epidural and a room full of supportive people. Cylas arrived, instantly peed on me, started nursing and fell asleep, just like I always wished...I just wished he hadn't broken my tail bone with his enormous head on his way out.

So four months later, with some physical therapy, and a lot of love and support from Eric and our family and friends, I am almost back to normal (at least I can walk again) and Cylas is a happy, healthy, adorable 16 lbs. This is my life now. Easy. E.A.S.Y. Baby Eats, Activity, Sleeps, and while he sleeps I have You time, (You time meaning Me time.) and that is when I write, right? Wrong. That is when I do the laundry, or clean the house, or just sit on the couch while the baby sleeps in my arms since that is his favorite way to nap, so that he can nurse on and off at his leisure for 2 hour stretches. I can't blame him. That sounds really nice. If someone would let me sleep in their arms while they fed me a milkshake through a straw and I didn't even have to open my eyes I would do it with a smile. Yes please and Thank you. Sounds good. So finding time to write is hard. But no one told me it wouldn't be. I always knew that would be a challenge I'd have to work out. I know with a looming deadline on my newest writing project, that I'll have to figure this problem out since my partners will not accept the excuse of "I just couldn't find the time" to write our next script.

So I now realize that I spent the last several years of my life figuring out how to become a mum (the short answer is "get knocked up", but we all know it's a lot more complicated than that.) Then the last 4 months have been about figuring out how to be a mum (a process that I will continue to negotiate for the rest of my life) and now I have to start thinking about how to be a writer, friend, wife, and full human again too?!?! A person who has wants and interests other than those of her 4 month old master.

I have a FWB who attended a Mommy and Me class shortly after the birth of her first baby. She recounted how the leader of the group asked the women to go around the circle and introduce themselves with their name, their baby's name and "what they used to do BEFORE they became a mommy." As though there was no identity now for them other than that of "Mother." Of course my friend rejected that and, in theory, I reject it too. But I also understand how it happens. In the exhausting marathon of mothering (a marathon that I am still in the first miles of, I know) it seems perfectly reasonable to abandon yourself in sake of the little one's needs. It actually seems like the easiest thing to do. That way, you don't feel like you're missing out and you don't have to beat yourself up about all the personal goals you are not accomplishing at every second, etc. You can surrender yourself to the little one. You are in baby-world and life is simple. E.A.S.Y even. What an awesome thing to get to do. Watch a baby figure stuff out. Change and grow. Cylas has changed so much just in 4 months, I can't imagine what the next 4 months are gonna be like. I'm so grateful that I've gotten to be a part of his changes with little distraction so far.  I think I could stay here for a lot longer if I didn't hear the call from my keyboard pulling me back, imploring me to tell the stories that will always be in my head. And there are deadlines that must be met and work that must be returned to and Cylas and I have to learn to live without each other 24 hours a day. It's sad, and wonderful. Heartbreaking, and a relief all at the same time. 

So basically, this is another long winded excuse for why I haven't blogged in so long. I've been doing other things. But I really do promise to keep writing if you enjoy reading them. And I also promise to move the blog up on my list of priorities because it's fun to write and makes people happy. And I think I've realized the most important significant thing I've ever learned and I'd love to share it with you now. I realized...Oh shit, I gotta go, the baby just woke up.