May 28, 2014

many nights to come

Usually if Hunter wakes up during the night he just snuffles and grunts and slobbers on his hands until I pick him up, and usually it's only once, now, if at all. But last night he woke up shrieking, twice. I guess I've gotten spoiled because it was quite a shock to my system and as I staggered over to him and scooped him up, admittedly a bit annoyed and more than a little disorientated, it occurred to me what a big committment this is, Being A Parent. What a long term responsibility. Intellectually I know it but sometimes it really hits me over the head.

He's only going to be this little for so long. He's going to get bigger and his problems and his needs are going to get more complex. Even though eventually we'll all get more sleep, he's still going to wake up in the night sometimes, no matter how old he is. He's going to need me to banish monsters and nightmares and fevers and other things that only come out after dark.

Among other duties, of course. There is the daytime as well.

I quickly shook off my irritation and kissed him on his soft round cheek while he howled hysterically into my ear for no apparent reason. "This too shall pass" is a double-edged sword. The hard times will pass but so will the sweet ones.

My little monkey, my lovie, my snuggle buddy. I'm here, baby. I'm here.

May 27, 2014

thoughts and questions and shit to say

I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it.

Amy Schumer

Full transcript of Amy's speech from the Gloria Awards and Gala can be found here.

May 26, 2014


Something awful happened a few days ago in Isla Vista, CA and since Phil went to UCSB it strikes a chord with him I guess, so he's had this appalled and morbid fascination with the event and consequently I have heard way more about it than I ever would have wanted. Saturday night before I went to bed I was on Twitter and saw the dramatic outpouring of experiences being shared under #yesallwomen. It was powerful and I'm not sorry I read them but it made me feel sad and vulnerable and it was hard to go to sleep after that.

I mostly follow comedians; some of them got serious, others satirical. Here are some gems from my Twitter feed:

I think the reason this particular crime has had this kind of response was due in part to the disturbing videos the shooter put out beforehand, placing the blame squarely on his victims and describing what he was going to do to them because they didn't think he was as amazing as he did. But above and beyond that, more attention should be drawn to the fact that he purposefully distributed the videos to several people, all of whom who could have done something to stop him. And nothing was done. And people died. And this fucking asshole is getting publicity and even sympathy and it makes me want to scratch my own eyes out and punch a lot of people in the throat and I honestly don't even think I'm overreacting. (If you tell me that I am, you may be added to my throat-punch list.)

Anyway. I've been really agitated the last few days. I don't have the heart to link to the story or the youtube vidoes, but I'm sure they're not hard to find if you feel like you need to see them to understand what I'm talking about. I have more to say but I also have a baby to take care of, so. I guess that's it for now.

May 23, 2014

reality check

It can be a little disheartening to see some of the women on blogs and Instagram and whatnot who are new moms and you'd never have known they were even pregnant if you only saw them from behind and then they magically appear to fit right back into their size 2 jeans immediately after giving birth. Obviously our social media feeds are skewed toward bliss and I don't think there is anything wrong with that neccessarily as long as we don't forget it. But I know that the real photos on BabyCenter have made me feel a lot better than the carefully edited photos in my Instagram feed ever do. So. Thought I'd get real with y'all.

This is what my body looks like 3 months postpartum.

I was determined to find regular (non-maternity) jeans and was finally successful. They are size 18 Long and I am equally determined not to attach either a positive or negative emotion to that. All I know is as soon as I put them on I felt almost like my old self again for a minute. I did a little dance for Hunter and told him I felt cute, and he laughed, and it was a good day.

May 13, 2014

a prayer for the wild of heart
who are kept in cages

It was a rough weekend for me. Mother's Day has always been difficult, fraught with confusion, pressure, and conflicting emotions for as long as I can remember. May 11 is also my mother's birthday, and every few years they fall on the same day, as they did this year. At least I no longer have to give her a gift that was never good enough, or write a card, struggling with what to say that won't break my heart or my mind, and holding my breath that it pleases her so as not to earn me that dreaded smirk and/or the silent treatment for the rest of the day.

I know I'm not like her at all. I don't worry about that. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. What hurts is that she doesn't love me, that she never did. All the commercials and the social media in the buildup to Mother's Day, celebrating moms and all they do, the way they nurture and protect and give of themselves, the special bond they have with their children - that's completely missing from my realm of experience. My life was not the life of a child who was loved.

Nothing makes that clearer to me than having my own baby, the happiness he has brought me, and the depth of love I feel for him. I would do anything to protect him. I understand that he is separate from me, and that alone is a bigger gift than I can imagine.

My parents failed to form an attachment with me, and no matter what else happens I will always have that nagging feeling deep inside that I am different, that I am alone, a little lost, not quite trusting anyone completely. No one can fix it. It's a basic condition of human development. I am grateful for my son, for a chance to do it better, to feel that attachment from the other side at least, although it makes my grief so fresh again. The way he looks at me, smiles and talks to me, melts into my shoulder, lets me know not just that he loves me, but that he knows that I love him. Nothing matters to me more.

The photo above feels iconic. Our first Mother's Day. It looks like the kind of photo that people were sharing on Sunday of themselves as babies with their mothers. I hope that Hunter will look at this picture as an adult and feel, purely and easily, all of the things I always wished I could feel about my mother. I hope he thinks I'm beautiful, as a person, on the inside, because of the way I cared for him and loved him no matter what.

Coincidentally, Phil's mom also has her birthday on May 11, and she is someone I am happy to celebrate. Last year it was a welcome distraction to go and visit her for the weekend, and before we left she hugged me and called me her daughter. I cried. It was so unexpected and needed and kind. I had no idea that just a few weeks later my own little baby would make his presence known, to fill me with hope and trepidation and this stubborn, boundless love.

Title quote by Tennesee Williams. Dedicated to my little-girl self.

May 9, 2014


- Struggling not to lose my identity, which is difficult when you are with a baby 24/7 and they are the main person you have to talk to, especially because it is recommended that you refer to yourself in the 3rd person, so it's "Mommy" this and "Mommy" that all day long.

- I enjoy being a mom, and the encouragement I get around it is great and really appreciated, but I wish I could get the same kind of acknowledgement for doing well in other areas of my life too. Like, thanks, did you know I'm also a really kick ass girlfriend, and a pretty decent friend as well? Also I'm nice to other people's kids, which not everyone is. And I recycle and I try to conserve water, and I donate our extra diapers to the women's shelter.

- Pregnancy and childbirth are really, really hard. I have not forgotten. Seeing his gorgeous face did not wipe my memory of the suffering.

- I turned the corner out of the kitchen too sharply yesterday and bonked Hunter's head on the doorframe. He screamed at me for two minutes and was sporting a little bump for awhile. I felt disproprotionately guilty.

- The only really useful piece of advice I got was from the pediatrician who discharged us from the hospital, who said, "You will get all kinds of advice. Listen, smile, nod, say thanks... and then just do whatever you were going to do anyway. People mean well, but they don't know anything about your baby."

- The other day I got Hunter up from his nap by sitting next to his bed and talking sweetly to him and calling his name softly and finally he woke up with the biggest smile on his face and was so happy and it was the cutest thing that ever happened in the history of the world.

- I wish I could get photos of Hunter's face while he's nursing without my giant boob being in the way. He makes the best expressions. I have seen photos of other people that are nice and where the boob is not distracting but I have not been able to take one myself, I think you probably need assistance for those.

- I have tried on seven different styles of jeans and they all looked awful on my current body and I am almost ready to give up and resign myself to stretchy pants for the rest of the year but I just ordered three more pairs so we'll see how that goes first. (Additional suggestions welcomed.)

- There is a lot of pressure here to be skinny. I feel like I did a good job during my pregnancy with weight gain all things considered, and honestly I think I look pretty damn good now for having just given birth 3 months ago. The remaining extra weight doesn't bother me so much as just having no tone anymore, and the loose skin on my belly sometimes grosses me out. Phil does not seem to be bothered by any of it, or at least he has the good sense not to say so, which is close enough to being the same thing.

- The longest stretch of sleep I've had in over six months is 5 hrs. But it's usually less. Much less.

- I can't remember what I even used to talk about on here.

- Becoming parents has been really hard on our relationship. I'm told it gets better after the first year. I hope so.

May 4, 2014


Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.