Monday, 26 July 2010
In a relationship where the only common thread is being a mother, is that enough?
That sounded very Carrie Bradshaw Sex and The City-like, didn't it? Giggle. But really, maybe it's just me. I endured one afternoon of a Girl Scouts meeting and got in the car begging my mom not to make me go back. I wanted nothing to do with a sorority when I was in college. I'm not really a girl's girl. Maybe I'm not a mom's mom.
So when my midwife encouraged me to go to a La Leche League meeting that week, I wasn't so keen to barge in on them. I'm not even breastfeeding yet! But I'm trying to do right by this kid of mine and how bad could it be, anyway? I went to the meeting and found myself at Panera Bread sitting at a table with other expecting or nursing mothers. To my left was a woman talking about using infant carriers and the Babywise method as if it were (insert Kathy Bates' character in The Waterboy here) THE DEVIL. To my right was another expectington who talked about her nipples feeling more beautiful than ever and how she was a warrior-goddess who felt that allopathic medicine was THE DEVIL. I had never even heard of the term allopathic medicine. And I have to acknowledge that although I try to go the natural route whenever possible-- um, allopathic medicine provides both my husband and I with a decent paycheck every two weeks. And a year ago when my husband was in the hospital and we had no idea what the hell was wrong, I was very grateful for allopathic medicine and their standards of care.
I started wishing I was home relaxing in bed rather than in this uncomfortable chair listening to all this.
I drove away from Panera with a heavy heart and feeling a tad overwhelmed, a tad on the fringe, not sure if I'll ever be ready for these kinds of encounters. I just want it to be me and my baby. Or me + baby + supportive and non-judgmental people. Back in week 9 or so when we were meeting with midwives one scared me off because of her comment, "We'll talk about what kind of parent you'll be, attachment or otherwise." Whoa. That's something I'll figure out as I go, thank you. I'm not into the labels and their implications and don't think parenting is black and white by any means. I love and plan on babywearing although my husband spent hours refinishing a crib and we're certainly gonna use it, too. I'm also planning on a home birth even though I work in a hospital, where most people in this country typically have babies. Just two of my many contradictions, but I don't think I'm unique in that way.
Pouring my heart out to husband after that meeting, he calmly suggested I pick and choose what I want to from all the information and opinions that are floating around out there in mommyworld. Together we'll do what works for us. Just writing that I feel instantly lighter. And I may go back to another LLL meeting after the babe is born, who knows--I'm not shutting any doors just yet. It's a new world for me and I'm trying to be brave about it.
Whew, I can lay that to rest now. Week 35 will be much more lighthearted, promise!