Something has been happening to me lately. I’ve been trying to track back to when it began.
I’m not sure. I think it was last year, when in the middle of what was supposed to be at least two years overseas, I fell pregnant with Grub. While we came to feel overjoyed and very blessed by her conception, initially this was not the case. You see, when the ‘surprise’ conception of Grub happened, I had just started to feel myself again after the birth of Pudding. I looked and felt the way I wanted. My pelvis (though causing me some pain) was reasonably good and I could see a future without pain. I was looking into the future, moving away from babies and being at home. Thinking about trying to reclaim a career, which I studied hard for four years to begin, but had to abandon when my pelvis died during my pregnancy with Pudding.
The day I found out I was having her, we had been to that great bastion of Swedish design and thepurchasingofthingsyoudonotneed. Our nearest store in London was a two hour round trip. It was an exhausting Sunday out. I had been whispering in Beefcake’s shell-like for a coupla days that I must be pregnant, I had the sore veiny boobs and intense knowing that I always have when ‘up the duff’. So, on the way home, he stopped at a pharmacy and bought a test kit. He hid it in his jacket so the other kids would not see and discretely passed it to me when we arrived back to our little flat. I went directly inside and (of course) was treated to that ‘heart skipped a beat’ moment of two lines. Of course there was joy, how could there not be. I knew the gift we were being given, but also there was apprehension. I had known on that afternoon a couple of weeks earlier that we were taking a (very quick, hehe) risk but I was certain that nothing would come of it. I felt a teeny weeny bit trapped.
Fast forward to nearer her birth. I had spent most of the pregnancy planning. Planning our homebirth in the UK, realising that I could not bear to give birth in the UK and planning to move home to Australia, then finding a home here where we could have our baby. By the time I had a chance to hunker down and bond and nest, I was about 30 weeks pregnant. That was when I was finally able to turn my gaze inward. Inside by ginormous belly to focus my energy on my bubba. I really hadn’t bonded with her prior to that, I am ashamed to say. I had read and read and researched and planned her entrance into the world, but spent virtually no time addressing the reality of her as a person growing inside of me.
It all worked out beautifully. Her entrance into the world was an amazing birth at home surrounded by my children and my sister and, of course, Beefcake. The moment I saw her, as with the birth of all of my children, my world was altered in a way I could not have anticipated. She brought with her a wholeness. A wholeness for our family, because of course, she was missing all along. Most oddly though, because I really hadn’t expected it, she brought a wholeness for me.
With all of my kids I feel I underwent a transformation of sorts. With my first I was 18 years old. I became a woman and a mother, truly on the day he was born. That surely was the hardest of transitions to have gone through. Except, in many ways, I took to it so naturally. Being a Mum (at least to a new baby) feels natural to my core and it really wasn’t as much of a shock as it could have been. In many ways I felt more comfortably ‘in my skin’ as a new mother, than I ever had before.
With Poss, I learned about the amazing limitless love of a mother. I had a new baby, who I loved with all of my being, yet my love for my little boy did not diminish, if anything it strengthened as I saw him in a different light.
With Pudding, I was returning to a world of babies, abandoned some years earlier. That was a very special time for me as I tried to learn to surrender myself to motherhood again and revel in the newness of a child created with my new love, so different and yet so similar to my other babies.
What is it that has been different about this experience with Grub? Perhaps it was her amazing entrance into the world. It was a birth where I was completely in control. I owned it, it was the experience I had longed for. I don’t know.
Beefcake jokes that I am going through a midlife crisis. I have begun changing (just small) aspects of my life. Some are a return to old choices of mine (cloth nappies, for example) and a renewed passion for being at home with my children that I had somehow lost recently. In many ways I have been reborn as a mother again. We are adopting new ways as a family, partly due to my midlife crisis. I am now the butt of jokes about crazy hippies from some of our friends (harumph).
There are though, other changes, which just belong to me. I have begun this blogging thing (something only Beefcake and the children, and a bunch of strangers on the internet, know about). It is intensely liberating to use this space just for me. I think I am reasserting myself, as I want to be. I can be what I choose, maybe I had forgotten that in recent years.
Midlife crisis or not. I won’t turn back from this path now. I like where it’s heading. I think.