Here

Just activating this old thing for a little while to share our happiness.  Miss Helena Mary joined us on July 1st and 10:38 in the morning, about a week before her due date:
7 lbs 7 oz
20.5 inches long
She’s such a joy even though she’s definitely teaching me new lessons about “best laid” plans.  At her 37 week check up we discovered she was frank breech.  After weighing the pros and cons (which get a bit complicated when you’ve had a previous c-section) we decided to bring her into this world a day after her 39 week mark via a planned repeat c-section as opposed to the VBAC we had been preparing for.  It was an exciting and stressful couple of weeks.  She’s currently teaching more even more lessons about best laid plans when it comes to feeding.

To be honest, nothing up to this point in my motherhood journey has gone as planned and it seems to be sticking the course and that is a big reasons why I felt the overwhelming urge to shut down the blog at least for awhile.

There is a strong current in mothering right now about being “natural”, having beautiful experiences that go exactly as planned and while those experiences might be challenging in their own right they’re held in such high regard it’s hard to be an outlier.

It’s really hard to be someone who’s body doesn’t work quite right.  Who runs into walls time and time again when it comes to all the things that are supposed to “come naturally” and the underlying message of these current beliefs is that when things don’t go naturally, they’re not quite good enough.

Of course most people aren’t intentionally cruel about it, but after awhile you start to feel like that token friend.  “Oh,” they can say, “of course I support x, y and z…. because I have this friend.”  But to be that friend is hard when you keep getting the feeling like you’re being patronized with every decision because it’s not quite right, it’s not quite the best thing you probably could be doing if you’d just try a little harder.  To feel that most people are looking at you more as a way to practice being “charitable” instead of being truly supportive…. it gets hard to muster up that courage to face.

It’s not about guilt.  So many people will jump to that conclusion.  “Well,” they’ll say, “if you’re feeling bad about this you’re probably feeling guilty about the choice you made.”  They’ll suggest, very subtly that you probably knew better and took the easy road.  It’s not guilt and it’s not shame; I can proudly state what a relief and how wonderful my c-section deliveries were.  I can proudly tell you just how much I love to bottlefeed whether it’s the breastmilk I’m currently working hard to provide or formula.  I can proudly tell you how much my job gives to my family.  It’s not shame or guilt; it’s just the constant feeling that no matter what you do you can’t do enough and you can’t do it right when you’re just trying to do the best you can.  I’ve never had a lot of confidence to whether that feeling of constant judgement, and it just gets harder when every time you here someone say “We know you know what’s best” you sincerely doubt just how much they mean it or just how much of it comes from pity.

I got tired of being tossed around like this, of being the “other” in this world that is so adamant about what is right, what is best.  I’m not sure if I’ll be back here, but I also felt like I owed an explanation and wanted for a little bit too reactivate to make some other posts accessible again.

So she is here, finally, finally here; a beautiful, wonderful, thankful here.  And I’m here; a struggling, sensitive, outlying here.  We’re here.

25 thoughts on “Here

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  1. Hi Molly,
    I just wanted to let you know that I totally understand. My first was a c-section, and my second was induced and I chose to have an epidural. Sometimes I have my husband feed Baby a bottle of formula so I can get some sleep. And I am comfortable with all of these choices. But it's so so hard to feel like the only one, to feel like I should be feeling guilty for not going natural, even though I don't. I feel guilty for not feeling guilty. How's that for ridiculous. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that we're here too. You're not alone :).

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  2. Congratulations, Molly! I can absolutely relate to everything you wrote here. I have c-sections, and while I know deep down in the bottom of my soul (if that's a place!) that it's right for me and my family, it's so hard to hear the constant smug chatter about how much better it is for things to be natural. It does wear on a person! Thank you so much for so eloquently writing about your experience and feelings here. It means so much to me to see that I'm not alone and it gets to other women too, even when it seems like I'm all alone!

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  3. You're awesome Molly! Keep up being you! Love your post and your honesty! Praying for you as I make my way too. We've had a rough 2-1/2 weeks here post c/s!!!

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  4. You're awesome Molly! Keep up being you! Love your post and your honesty! Praying for you as I make my way too. We've had a rough 2-1/2 weeks here post c/s!!!

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  5. Molly, we are never enough! None of us. Even the ones that truly seem like models of motherhood.

    I am reading Divine Mercy for Moms and had a club meeting yesterday and we spent a lot of time of that topic. It resonates with all moms. Working, stay-at-home, homeschooling, work from home, single moms, moms woth special needs kids, moms of twins. We are never enough and it's OK. I might argue it was meant to be that way. We were meant to be humbled in motherhood, to need help and to ask for it, and just do the best we can.

    My first was a c-section, born out of wedlock, between my junior and senior year of college. I only nursed for three months and went to work full time when he was 1, finished school when he was a baby.
    His father and I did get married and converted eventually and we had twins just before my eldest's 6th birthday. Another c-section, back to work at 9 weeks pp.
    We do what we can. It will never be enough, that's why we need Jesus!

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  6. Congratulations on your beautiful new blessing! Outlying, inlying, whatever, wherever, you're doing just fine. You be you. I've had ten children. Vaginal deliveries, c-sections, vbacs, more c-sections. I've bottle-fed, breastfed, pumped, SNS'd, supplemented. All my children arrived safely and healthy — thank God, and all were fed — thank God. The only time I felt like method of birth or feedings mattered was during pregnancy and some time after birth… when I was vulnerable and most needed women's support. How sad is that… that we women attack each other when we're weakest? So mama, I support you in whatever choice you make for your baby because I know you make it for the best interests of YOUR BABY. Hugs, and keep on keepin' on.

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  7. Congratulations on beautiful little Helena's birth! What an incredible blessing. I just wanted to raise my hand here and tell you that I know how it is to feel like an outlier amongst all the mamas who have been able to go the “natural” route. My body seems to refuse to go into labor on its own, so I've had to be induced each time. And much more painfully, my body also refuses to produce sufficient milk, so I've had to bottle-feed formula each time. But you know what? My kids are all healthy and happy, no less than if everything had gone “naturally”. I'm learning to let go of the hang-up with “natural.” Learning. Best to you as you and Helena recover and get to know one another.

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  8. I am so so happy to see your blog back (even if not permanently) and to see your sweet baby is here! I think of you so often because even though different, our stories are so similar. I've had a csection because things didn't go as “planned” and I've had a VBAC and it definitely didn't go as “planned”. If given a blessing again, I can honestly say I don't care how my baby comes into this world, all I care about is (hopefully) leaving the hospital with a baby this time.

    I'm sorry you have ever been made to feel insufficient or less of a mom or woman. I know how painful it is to feel like your body doesn't work the way it should. Its something else that we have to grieve and it's hard enough without people's opinions.

    Anyway, my main point in commenting is to say congratulations! I'm so happy for you! Your new little love gives me hope too 🙂

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  9. Congratulations! Sleeping Helena looks beautiful. How precious.

    Just looking through the comments, it seems like there are a lot of “others” out there.

    With a child dealing with chronic illness, my life isn't as I expected either. I treasure the Catholic mom blogs whose story isn't “the hardest suffering we face is not being able to travel to Disneyworld every year.”

    My favorite blogs are the ones where families deal with finding peace and joy when things are hard. What do you do when God says no? What do you do when life isn't a sunny filtered picture of kids and wildflowers? How do you find beauty in suffering?

    I've enjoyed following your family's journey but understand the desire to keep things private as well. Your family will be in our prayers as you adjust to life with a new little one!

    (I've been wanting to look through your book lists while the blog was down. Thanks for leaving it up, however briefly. I'll be sure to look through everything while it's still up. I love the idea of coming up with my own family's 3×6 and seeing what books other families would choose if they could only follow the 3×6 criteria.)

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  10. Sweetie, you do you. My kiddo was an emergency c-section and any future kids will be a c-section as well because of the risks posed by pregnancy for my body. I feel no guilt because my goal is for both my baby and me to be healthy.

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  11. Hello, Molly! Congratulations on the birth of sweet Helena! I totally understand your feelings. Just recently I had a couple of friends encourage me to try to deliver my daughter by VBAC. I was shocked, but I stood my ground. I told them as a 40-year-old, overweight woman with mild hypertension and three previous c-sections, I am going to deliver this baby girl by c-section as well. It may not be what is natural, but it is best for me. That is all any of us can do, what is best for our families and us. Thank you for your honesty. I am glad that you are back, even if only for a short time.

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  12. Congratulations on sweet Helena's arrival! I missed your writing but understand completely. The other commenters before me have said everything in my heart better than I can, but I'll still chime in and say that you are an amazing mama. :o)

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  13. First: congratulations!
    I'm happy your here, she's here, and I'm happy you're writing.
    I hope you are being wrapped in an outpouring of support right now, because that's one of the best parts about the internet. We're all here, together. And we're all imperfectly mothering but we're all doing okay.

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  14. First: congratulations!
    I'm happy your here, she's here, and I'm happy you're writing.
    I hope you are being wrapped in an outpouring of support right now, because that's one of the best parts about the internet. We're all here, together. And we're all imperfectly mothering but we're all doing okay.

    Like

  15. Congratulations she is adorable and well said, it is hard being a mum and even harder when we feel judged intentionally or unintentionally. i too have had c-section and forcep delivery and it was painful and hard just to feel normal again let alone getting to grips with meeting the needs of a newborn and my family. i think it is important to be supportive to one another as the choices we make are ours and ours alone.x

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  16. Hello! I received my black ATM card now through DHL 4 hours ago from Miss Jane and i have used it to withdraw $1700. I'm so happy now cos there's more coming. Thanks to Jane for sending me the card. At first i thought it was a scam for Jane to steal money from people but i just received the card. email me on malikrion@aol.com for pictures of it and video of how i just used it. also send Jane an email to get your card. this Christmas is going to be the best ever! her email address is janeashey333@gmail.com

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  17. Hello! I received my black ATM card now through DHL 4 hours ago from Miss Jane and i have used it to withdraw $1700. I'm so happy now cos there's more coming. Thanks to Jane for sending me the card. At first i thought it was a scam for Jane to steal money from people but i just received the card. email me on malikrion@aol.com for pictures of it and video of how i just used it. also send Jane an email to get your card. this Christmas is going to be the best ever! her email address is janeashey333@gmail.com

    Like

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