Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's All Worth It

Anna Podris is having a baby. Rather, I hope she has already had that baby. A little girl born to two artist parents. I think she will be a lucky little baby.

I really only know Anna through her artwork. Her paintings hang in our living room and provide Christopher a beautiful view of colors, building, birds, and whimsy during our morning nursing. When I saw that she was expecting, I was compelled to drop by the studio she and her husband Keith Norval share at Artspace in downtown Raleigh. I really wanted to give her a Moby and offer up the smiles and encouragement that only the mother of a baby who sleeps through the night can give.

There is something about new moms that I feel drawn to now that I have a little more confidence. Now that I don't spend most hours of the day locked with paralyzing anxiety over what I'm doing wrong as Christopher's mother.

One the one hand, I want to let new moms know that it does get better. It does not always feel like you have sold your soul to the gods of impatience, sleeplessness, helplessness, and anxiety. There will be a day when you wake up with your baby and realize that breastfeeding isn't controlling your day, it's fitting into it.

On the other hand, I don't want them to know how bad it can be. Maybe it's not so bad for every new mom. Maybe there are new moms who are calm, sleep when the baby sleeps, and don't have any breastfeeding issues. Maybe you could hear me laughing as I typed that.

I know that some of us have it worse than others. Some of us have hormones that just won't relinquish their throttle hold on our lives. Some of us have to do it alone without family nearby to help. Some of us have legitimate worries that mix themselves in with the irrational fears and make it hard to distinguish the two. Some of us have such severe anxiety that we stayed in bed with our babies for no less than three days, only getting out to go to the bathroom because we were afraid that if we moved or let go of the baby that our milk would dry up.

Okay, so that last one was probably only me.

A couple of weeks ago, Christopher and I paid Anna a visit. We sat and chatted about her pregnancy and her birth plans. We talked about attachment parenting and cheered at Keith's proclamation of "whatever works" parenting. She tried on the Moby and wrapped it right on her very first try.

I said nothing of my dark days. I said nothing of my marathon labor that laughed mockingly at the Pitocin until I finally gave into an epidural 14 hours later. I said nothing of the depression and anxiety I was sucked into while trying so hard to be able to nurse my son.

But I didn't lie to her when she asked questions.

I did say I made small goals and celebrated when I reached them. My small goal was to breastfeed that day. That one day. And when it happened, I congratulated myself at night and challenged myself to do it again the next day.

I did tell her that getting no sleep was hard, but it didn't last long in the grand scheme of things.

And I did tell her what we all know. Everything she was about to go through was worth it and then some. It would be worth it to become her little girl's mother.

The image above is of Bird Tropolis, an original oil on canvas by Anna Podris.

An original Triangle Mamas post. Marty is a mother, a musician, and a writer. You can also find her at Deep South Moms Blog.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home