Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

No apology necessary

A fellow blogger recently admitted that as a mother to a 3 week old she now understands the shaken baby syndrome. Last I checked she had over 60 comments from other mothers unanimously identifying with and applauding her for candid bravery. A repetitive theme emerges where they unite over the understanding of why it occurs, while at the same time taking careful steps to fully reassure each other that they would NEVER take it that far.

I'm not one to hold in my feelings, and I have a hard time disguising my emotion. So when people ask me what it's like to have a new baby and if I just love it and if its the most amazing thing to have ever happened to me, I can't help but proceed to explain that while motherhood really is amazing, and fantastic, and every other wonderful thing I thought it would be, there are two sides to this story and one of 'em is kinda rough around the edges.

It's like a marriage proposal. Everyone you meet is so excited for your Big Day. The wedding. The engagement ring. They want to know all the details. Very little time is spent fawning over the reality of the proposal, which is that you have just engaged yourself to another human being and in doing so committed to spending the REST OF YOUR ENTIRE LIFE with them. Which does sound romantic when you haven't yet sealed the deal.

Ask any couple who've been together long enough and they will tell you that like maintaining any relationship, marriage is a lot of work. Not to downplay the good stuff that it also brings, but just wait until you hit a rough spot. There's only one road, and you're on it.

Next comes pregnancy. Surrounded by reminiscent parents projecting their excitement, showering me with birth stories and baby stories and kid stories, trying to drum up anticipation and reminding me how kids grow so fast and the next thing you know they're headed off to college... I felt bombarded with the rhetorical question, "Aren't you SO EXCITED?"

I think they glowed more than I did.

My reality was a minefield of emotion, with "excitement" landing somewhere near the bottom of my top ten. First came anxious, nervous, overwhelmed, stressed, inadequate, and exhausted. While other soon-to-be-moms referred to their babies by name, gushed how "in love" they already were, and personified their fetuses every movement, I was a Nervous Nelly too consumed with the little things to delight in the bigger picture.

I spent the fourth week of my pregnancy with fingers crossed for successful implantation, then disappointment set in when I started spotting in the 7th week, and emotional detachment came at week nine when the spotting turned to bleeding and I was forced to face the fact that my little zygote might not make it. From then on I was just playing it safe and counting down each day leading up to the last day of the 12th week which signified that I had successfully cleared the first trimester.

Conceiving and growing a baby was so incredible that I rationally could not believe that we--ME & ANDY--had made it happen. Maybe because I had wanted it for so long it just seemed too good to be true, so I quietly waited for the axe to fall. Regardless, I never did settle in with contentment. I felt stress related to announcing my pregnancy at work and hid it from my colleagues for 21 weeks. And I spent the weeks leading up to Roscoe's birth feeling as if I had missed something important because while others seemed so connected to their babies, I felt strangely disconnected, which led to a fear that I had sufficiently set the stage for Postpartum Depression from lack of proper bonding in utero.

But heck yeah I was excited to meet the product of Andy's and my calculated efforts in September! Who was this person we had created and how would we be changed?

The point to all this is that going through these common yet extraordinary life changes produces a range of emotion and while you feel every second, the dream of the thing is sometimes rosier than the reality of it.

So back to the shaken baby. I hate the idea that women should have to rewrite their experiences in order to live up to the expectations of other people. Shamed into silence because we are mothers after all, and these are our own kids we're talking about. But this is part of our reality, our new life with our babies. It's okay to feel the frustration. It doesn't make you a bad mother. In fact, it is in those moments that you realize how delicate and dependent the mother-child relationship really is. One reaction could change your entire world. And suddenly you've got perspective and a screaming baby is the least of your worries.

Enjoy the highs and the lows of your new role and appreciate how your patience grows each day. And talk about it for Pete's sake. No apologies.

3 comments :

  1. Thank you for your honesty and candidness, I feel similar as far as marriage goes. I have just recently found out I am pregnant and it is hard I am truley happy but when I walked back into the bathroom and pick up the stick that announced it I would have to say my first feeling was fear and anxiety. Not because we did not want this baby, we do we have been trying for six months, fear that I would assume would be normal when such a life altering change has occured. No one says that, tv shows and movies don't protray it. You only see a happy couple opening a bottle of champagne. You post really helped me today to not feel so weird to have so fear and trepidation as this journey begins.

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  2. What a perfect discription of what I think every woman has felt or fells from the point of conception, to delivery, to motherhood!! Very well said.....thank you for sharing you point of view!!

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