All posts filed under: Motherhood

Accoutrements of Mamahood

Last night, I discovered what a horrible mama I am. That’s how it felt at least. I climbed into the driver’s seat of our Nissan by myself and made a trip a whopping three miles away. I was nervous being away from the boy for such an extended period of time, but also? I enjoyed the living hell out of it. Where did I go on this momentous trip? Walmart. Yes, super exciting. Walmart has a lot of haters for many good reasons. That’s fine. I get it; I even agree with it. But, back in Greene County, Indiana? That’s all we had, and I still can’t walk into a Walmart — a rarity these days — without feeling a lump in my throat. It makes me think of my Gram. It reminds me of humid Sundays mostly spent playing in the yard and punctuated only by a trip to that big store one town over with its cool rush of air and aisles of toys. So, tooling around Walmart last night felt not only …

Due Date

Today is Elliott’s due date. Like many infertile couples, our due date was easy to calculate. It isn’t a guess at all. So, my precious little love is just now crossing that invisible threshold from negatives to positives. He was born at 37 weeks, 4 days — early, but still full term. Hundreds of times, I imagined his birth. In the later months, it was our favorite topic of conversation: rehearsal. We’d studied, taken classes, prepared, prepared, prepared. I had a very well-researched birth plan that became useless to us almost from the moment we entered the hospital. Our Elliott had his own agenda. So as all of our plans fell away, we did what we’ve done now for years: we made the best of the unexpected. And, it really was the best, because he is here. Hallelujah, he is here. I fully expected to still be pregnant right now. And, that again ties back to the ludicrous notion that I have any control over the whats and whens of such things. Admittedly, I’m glad …

The New Normal

I keep waiting for things to go back to normal. Not because I want that old, childless normal — I adore every aspect of having Elliott in our lives — but, it is more a reflection of the nature of most things in life: sooner or later, things feel “normal” again. I crave that. Years ago, I ended my first marriage. I remember climbing into my mom’s car as we pulled out of the drive, feeling a wistful combination of new chapter-like excitement and exhaustion at the idea of rebuilding my life around the hole my ex-husband would leave. Now, Ryan and I are rebuilding the new normal: a family of three. It is absolutely glorious and utterly overwhelming. That feeling of overwhelm comes mostly in quick flashes. I’ll be elbow deep in a sink full of breast pump parts, when all of a sudden I feel nearly suffocated by the responsibility that comes with taking charge of a helpless human being. I knew that I would love my child. But, I was entirely unprepared …

My Heart’s Desire

His name is Elliott, and he is my heart’s desire. When my own mama was young, younger than I am now, she prayed for her “heart’s desire,” and from that dream, I was born. She’d tell me this with something I didn’t understand shining in her eyes. I understand now. His birth story is a tale for another day. It was long… Long, long, long, and I haven’t really spent much time thinking about it. I’ve heard my husband refer to the experience as “traumatic.” When I think of how the midwives, nurses, and doulas around us treated me with such tender affection, how they cared for me with red-rimmed eyes, how they would pause and rest their foreheads on my knee, or hold my hand, or stroke my face, I know it must be true. It was nothing I imagined, nothing I would have chosen, but in the end, I have my Elliott nestled against my chest as I type this. And this end, of course, eclipses the means. My boy is 10 days …