Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Other Side of Failure

I'm back at work now. My whole life I've wanted to be a mother. Specifically, I wanted to be a stay-at-home Mom. I wanted to provide my children with the security of a mom at home to teach them, to love them, to make homemade meals, to read and play with them. I never wanted anyone else to raise my kids. I wanted trips to the park, museums and play-dates. I didn't care if that meant being 'poor'. Kids don't give a crap about money. Time means so much more to them.

Unfortunately, we need benefits. So I work. I'm lucky right now because Bryan gets to stay at home with him until school starts next month. After that, I just don't know. It's hard to face and I'm probably slacking on it more than I should because I just want to sob. Someone foreign is going to see a lot of my babies firsts. Someone foreign is going to comfort him when he cries. Someone foreign is going to nurture him. It breaks my heart.

That is probably the biggest hurdle I am facing at the moment. I am still in the throws of post-partum emotions. I still feel like I am in a thick fog but I am catching glimpses of myself now.. here and there. I will totally live up to the fact that I am not dealing with the events of my delivery and the aftermath well.

I am still so angry. There is the quiet emotion-laden rage that bubbles below the surface. You wouldn't know it. I'm sure my family might see flashes of it here and there, but for the most part I've kept it all down. I haven't even bawled my eyes out (still) because there is just no time. When there is time, I don't have the energy to just let it flow. Or maybe I just don't have a safe place to hide to make it happen. I don't know.

Where would I begin? I'm so happy with my family. I am literally blissfully happy with my husband and son. We love that boy to the ends of the universe. Watching Bryan and Shepherd makes the feels come out, ya know? They have such a connection... It's confusing to feel such intense satisfaction and happiness while feeling so miserable and disappointed at the same time.

Bryan got upset with me before we went to our Bradley reunion. I told Bryan that sometimes I don't feel connected to Shepherd. Not only did I miss out on the hormone cocktail at birth, but I haven't been able to nurse. I exclusively pump-feed. So more often that not, Bryan is feeding Shepherd while I'm pumping. I follow The Badass Breastfeeder on Facebook and Birth Without Fear; Both of whom post pictures of nursing moms regularly. Many of my friends breastfeed and post covered shots. I ache deep down in a place that I never even knew existed. I'm so happy for these women that nurse and I'm proud that they don't hide it. But it hurts. I'll be honest, I get jealous.

So the angry monster in me grows and I get mad at God because I haven't had a victory. I didn't get the birth I craved and I don't get to nurse. I've suffered and I haven't reached the other side of suffering. I suffered through my delivery,  I suffered through trying to breastfeed and suffered through low milk supply. I suffered when finally giving up and deciding to pump. I suffered through the first few weeks of pumping and watching my son have formula because I couldn't (and still can't) provide enough for him to eat. And since I'm this not-crazy granola chick who follows all these natural living women I get to see how formula is poison all day, every day and I'm like yeah I have to give my kid some of that at every feeding because its a struggle to produce more than three ounces at a sitting.

The guilt of failing at all of this is so heavy. Not being able to raise my own kid, not being able to birth my own kid, not being able to nurse my own kid, not being able to supply enough food for my own kid. There is too many 'not being able to's' there. I can't handle it! It's so dark and I'm ready for success. Right now, I am living for success. One day I'm going to look back at all of this and I'm going see that it was worth it. I am going to be in the valley staring up at the mountain I climbed and I'm going to dance a little jig that I conquered it. I'm going to lay down the guilt and shame of not being able to do what I was naturally designed to do and I'm going to know that I did my best. That I hung in there when many wouldn't. I'm living for that day.

When it comes, I'll throw a party. I'll drink a mimosa and revel in the fact that I survived one of many tests in Motherhood. And it'll give me hope that I can survive the ones to come.


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