I have often wondered what role my own birth played in the layout of my life. It was a rather traumatic birth. The doctors – insisting that they knew more than the millions of women who’d given birth before their intervention – told my mom they were going to have to induce and told Mama to pick a time. So she picked her own birthday, April 27.
She tried to have me naturally, but the doctor kept telling her that her tension was pushing me back up into the birth canal (really??? as if someone can really do that, are you kidding me????). So they knocked her out – literally put her into unconsciousness and yanked me out of the birth canal. My only thought on that is that perhaps she wasn’t pushing me back up into the birth canal. Perhaps I was trying to tell those clowns I wasn’t ready yet (I mean, let a girl finish putting on her eyebrows, for crying out loud!!!)!
I lived most of my life half of the time, it seemed, in paralysis, frozen, at a complete standstill on how to proceed with what was confronting me. In some ways, I’m still catching up. It seemed that everything that came to me I was hopelessly ill-prepared for. I know how the deer in the headlights feels. I spent a lot of time there.
My son’s due date wasn’t until April. When it became obvious he had other plans to get on with it sooner, I wanted so much, so much, to slow it down. I wanted to keep him with me just a little while longer while he was nobody else’s but mine, and I didn’t have to share him with anybody. He came beautifully and perfectly formed. He was plump, his head was perfectly and beautifully round, and his coloring was magnificent.
When I was carrying him, I couldn’t imagine that I had anything to offer him. Any and all inadequacy I’d ever felt was compounded in amplification.
I grew up in a home that was a drunken mess…only it was one dry drunk and another binge drinker, so, in some ways I never really got to know what true sobriety was. After my stint in rehab, sobriety became a wondrous world I wanted to explore to the fullest. I started learning about boundaries: making them, enforcing them, and learning where the boundaries were outside the space I was occupying. It was all very fascinating, this newly discovered world.
And as my son was approaching his teenage years, I lamented at all the things I was learning that I didn’t get to pass on to him: how to hide his heart from predators, and what it means to not be a predator. I didn’t get to teach him what I learned about sex – which didn’t actually start to hit me until I confronted his biological father with the possibility of becoming pregnant. It was one of those times when the words within me were a revelation, an eye-opener to me. I wanted to feel him out one day as to where I really stood with him and whether or not the relationship was truly as dead-end as I’d been suspecting, so I told him I was having stomach trouble and put it out there, ‘Maybe I’m pregnant’ followed by a nervous laugh. He shuddered and asked what I would do if I became pregnant. I think I looked at him like, ‘Are you insane???’ I’ve never had a poker face, and that’s exactly what I was feeling, so…I said to him, ‘What do you mean, what would I do? I would raise our kid, that’s what! I mean, I love you…What???’ As he proceeded to tell me what he would and wouldn’t do (he wouldn’t marry me, but he would help pay for an abortion) when those words, “Well, I wouldn’t marry you” hit me, this thought within me was so resoundingly clear, ‘Well, then, what are you doing sleeping with me? I mean, HELLO! It is called, procreation!! (and for years I kicked myself for not saying what I was thinking out loud).
So, so many things I wanted him to know, specifically, to grow up knowing. So, so many things I’ve wanted him to know from my heart, the But, God, I was lost…and spinning, and in dark cloud upon dark cloud…and..lost….
All I can say is, if I’d known better, I’d have done better, and I’ll say it again: that’s all I can say.