Her Bad Mother

Thursday, March 1, 2007

We Are Not Alone

When WonderBaby was born, I was overcome with amazement at the miracle that I had performed. I was overwhelmed with joy. I was suffused with love.

I felt as though I had been hit by a truck.

It was (it remains) a complicated emotional experience. I was experiencing love as I had never experienced it before: I felt, at the moment of her birth, that I finally understood love, real love, the kind that makes you at once profoundly thankful for life and completely unafraid of death. But at the same time, I was experiencing pain as I had never felt it before. And fear, real fear. The kind of pain and fear that put you in terrified awe of life, and make you keenly aware of the ever-present shadow of death.

It was (it remains) an experience - a state of mind and heart - that is powerfully difficult to explain or describe. So it was that when anyone asked me how I was doing, immediately post-partum, I was at a loss for words. How am I? Fine. How was it? Hard, but fine. How are things? Fine.

Fine, I would say.

Amazingterrifyingheartwrenchingheartfillingheartfulhurtfulwow, I would think.

So it was - I thought - that no-one understood what I had gone through, what I had felt, what I was feeling. So it was that I didn't tell. So it was that I didn't tell one of my very, very best friends, who would experience it for herself a few short months later. I couldn't tell. I didn't have the words. And even if I had the words, I thought, I wouldn't be able to weave them into sense.

So I remained alone with my story, amazed at the aloneness. Gazillions of women give birth, have given birth, and I felt alone in my experience, like the lone witness to a UFO landing. You wouldn't believe me if I told you. But it changed my life.

WonderBaby phone home.

And then I found the blogosphere, and there you were. All the gazillions of you, mothers, who have lived, who do live, this experience, who have seen the universe open up in front of you and spill its mysteries, who have been pierced by beams of infinite light, who have been torn in two and lived to tell how amazingwonderfulhurtfulheartful it was. Is.

And you do tell. You do. You have found words. You have given me words.

Thank you, Tulip, for reminding me. A Perfect Post – February 2007

28 Comments:

Blogger mamatulip said...

You're welcome. :)

And THANK YOU.

2:11 PM  
Blogger MotherBumper said...

Excellent choice. I couldn't agree more.

2:15 PM  
Blogger slouching mom said...

I love mama tulip, I love you, hbm, I love you all. It is as if an entirely new world has been opened up to me, and I am in awe. My only sadness is that I didn't know about it sooner.

2:33 PM  
Blogger nomotherearth said...

I'm going to reveal my terribly musical theatre background by saying that finding this blogging world reminds me of the song "You're Not Alone" in Jacques Brel. (Well, not all of it because it's actually about death, but some lines are spot on..). Do you know it? Check out the lyrics sometime. And no, you're not alone.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous sweetsalty kate said...

You nailed it. The birth day in my reckoning is actually an alien abduction.. they zip you up into their spaceship, disassemble you, reassemble you (not very well) and then plop you back onto earth, not the same as you were.

It's not a bad thing, but the alone bit - like you're the first person it's ever happened to and you'll never be able to articulate the confusion and love and joy and nerves - it's intense. The whole world looks so different, doesn't it?

2:55 PM  
Blogger jennster said...

you are awesome!!!!!

4:45 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Great post, you're right.

And the collective loneliness (or is it lonely collectiveness?) - you're right. It's a mad thing.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Great choice, but I have a question...can a Perfect Post nomination post be nominated for a Perfect Post? Because I loved this one, HBM.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

That was beautiful.
I, too, was at a loss for words or explanation - love, fear, sadness all at once. And the pain.
Beautiful

6:38 PM  
Blogger ewe are here said...

Lovely post. Just lovely.

I never knew how I would feel until they handed me my little MF and he just cooed and cooed at me. My heart was his. Instantly.

There's no feeling like it. And I hope I'll be feeling it again verrrry soon (get out already, Baby Boo!). ;-)

6:59 PM  
Blogger kgirl said...

great choice, and beautiful introduction.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Bloor West Mama said...

I have to say that reading the blogs of the many amazing mothers got me through the dark periods of early motherhood. It was so good to know that others had gone through the same experiences and have lived to tell about it.

HBM, your writing has always always spoken the exact words that I have felt about my daughter and my experiences as a mom.

Thank you all for the laughs, the tears, the knowledge and the support.

8:32 PM  
Blogger jen said...

oh, but Bad, don't you see, you've given them to me.

that's how i see it. in fact, stop by tomorrow sometime and you'll see what I mean.

1:43 AM  
Blogger The Mad Momma said...

Do you realise that you are one of the most popular support systems around here? I mean this blogging world you talk about, you are one of the pillars... thank you for all the great posts, the thoughts, the support.. everything....

I check in once a day from India... that should tell you something...

3:32 AM  
Blogger Rachel Briggs said...

Brilliant post! Just how I felt when my son was born!

7:18 AM  
Blogger Bellamomma said...

It is so true, feelings I think all mothers have but no one tells you. I think people forget, and those who don't tell you are trying not to scare you. I felt very similar to you, and then I had another baby 18 months later and the feelings intensified along with a depression due to lack of sleep and being overwhelmed. 2 under 2 sucks, but I got through it and things are much better now. Once you get out of the "baby zone" your head stops spinning and you have a child, a talking, walking person with their own personality everything changes again, mostly in a good way. And then there are the teenage years to look forward to!

9:29 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

yep, a friend who is not a blogger poined me in the direction of mommy blogs when I was in a spot of mommyhood not to be envied...I'm still thanking her and all of you.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautifully put HBM.i was so in awe of all my babies.with #3 i remember sitting and holding her and watching her eyelashes grow in and her caulflower ears bloom into perfect little flowers,her eyes change colour etc.and i just happened by chance onto urbanmoms where of course i found you and some other really terrific mom blogs.i don't have my own yet but maybe i will venture forth into that great unknown.LAVENDULA

11:21 AM  
Blogger BOSSY said...

Bossy could only ever think of one word when asked about new motherhood: WonderfulHorrible.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

You and Tulip. My Canadian sista's. Group hug ladies.

Well, if my arms were long enough, I'd certainly be wrapping them around the two of you.

Possibly pinching a butt cheek, but hey, I never claimed to be the classy one in the crowd, did I?

Hugs.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

I think I would lose my sanity if it weren't for the blogosphere. Thanks for pointing out Tulip's post, yet another woman sharing true thoughts on motherhood.

4:45 PM  
Blogger sweatpantsmom said...

Great post. And a wonderful choice for A Perfect Post award.

I wish, I wish I had the blogosphere when my babies were small.

5:03 PM  
Blogger flutter said...

Isn't it amazing, what support can be gleaned from our sisters in blogland?

7:29 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

Amazing truly amazing that is what this community is .. awesome post girl!

8:45 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Hell, yeah, I know! Mommy blogs rock!

8:46 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

It's an embarrassment of riches, all of these amazing women typing away on their blogs. I feel so lucky to have found people like you! Looking forward to your continued journey.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

You've found an entire community of people who have been hit by trucks. It's quite amazing that way.

2:24 AM  
Blogger megachick said...

"seen the universe open up and spill its mysteries"

well, spill, perhaps, but certainly not explain.

i have felt the amazing change in the kind of love i could feel, the depth of any emotion, but understanding has not come along for the ride. if anything, i am more confused than before. when you don't know how powerful these things can be, you think you understand them.

3:53 PM  

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