Cutting the cord
Are we born with the natural ability to love and parent?
I'm not so sure. For me, I had to learn how to love my children... but that was easy, because they grew inside me. As I learned each stage of development, I grew a deeper appreciation for what was happening to my own body, and I was better able to prepare myself for each baby entering my life. I also got a better perspective of what my own natural mother endured for the sake of having me. I was humbled by the birthing experience, as I think most women are.
I think it's the birthing room that separated me most from my adoptive mother. At the very least, the birthing room is where I learned a new type and style of parenting.
The birthing room, for me was an overwhelming emotional experience. I needed that time to be alone with my own thoughts about me, my own loss as an adoptee (my own mother and my own baby from my own body) but she, my adoptive mother, invited herself in the labor and delivery room because as the role of Maternal Grandmother, she had that "right" to attend. No, she didn't, she just assumed she did, as usual, and that really pissed me off.
My entire life, her role as my mom was always assumed as acceptable.
In my mind, it wasn't.
In my mind, I KNEW I had a mommy, elsewhere, but I was NEVER allowed to discuss it openly.
It hurts to know something, but not discuss it freely because you know it will upset people... especially your parents.
What is a child to do, if open, honest communication is not welcomed or encouraged? What is a child to do if every time an honest opinion gets chastised, criticized or punished?
The child learns to keep silent.
For some, silence, and the secrets held beneath bated breath becomes a deadly curse.
I don't recall making too many loud yelling noises during labor. I think I was more of a quiet moaner and groaner... going more into myself as the pain got worse. I usually endure pain that way. I remember Lamaze did nothing for me. Breathing that he-he-ha-ha who-who stuff and counting out-loud was too confusing for me. Focusing on a stupid photo was futile, as far as I was concerned. I remember visualizing the source of my own pain as being most helpful during the labor/birthing process. I liked knowing the source of the pain I was experiencing -- my own bones separating, with each contraction, the head and body of a small human moving inside me -- knowing the source gave reason, meaning and purpose to the pain... and it all made beautiful sense in my almost freaking-out mind. If I could understand it, I could withstand it... and so I got through natural birth knowing my body and the pain it felt was all there for a greater experience... that experience being enlightenment.
I was proud of my ability to get through the labor process naturally... I was proud because I did it on my own, and I learned a lot about myself and the woman who birthed me decades ago.
What hurt me most during my own birthing experiences was this simple fact -- I hated that my mom wasn't there to watch me, and it bothered me to pieces my adoptive mother was, instead -- but I kept that to myself. All my life, I kept feelings to myself... and by doing that, I have suffered silently.
<wiping the cobwebs from my fogging mind>
<breathe... breathe... cleansing breath.... breathe>
My family consists of two daughters and two sons. There is little I can tell them, from a biologic family history perspective, but I'm so glad I can tell my daughters what pregnancy and giving birth to them was like for me. Who knows if their future experiences will be like mine, but I like to think communicating my personal experiences, in a most open and honest way, is a unique and special gift only I can give my girls. I've given my daughter's birth experience much thought, and this is what I have decided: IF my daughters choose to have children of their own, I will let them have control over their own labor and delivery experience. Knowing them, they will want me there with them, because I'm excellent in crisis situations... but that's all up to them. I will not assume my presence is needed in the room in which they become moms for the first (or n-th) time. The was I see it, the doctor cut the cord, and it's my job to make sure they are free to live their lives, as they want it to be... whether I am included in that new life, or not.