Sunday, November 21, 2010


So, just where is God in all of this?? Who is God? What is He? Since the age of 13 I have asked myself those hard questions. First, let me say that I am an introvert, always have been...totally fine with remaining on the outskirts of things, staying to myself and my own thoughts. I feel no great need to have steady reinforcement. I gain satisfaction in sitting and pondering the questions that most people won't go near. The potential answers too frightening for them, carrying the ability to shake the very foundation upon which lives have been fashioned. See, for me it doesn't matter. My foundation was shaken years ago, and has yet to be rebuilt.
Growing up, my experiences with church left a LOT to be desired. To say the very least. I saw and experienced firsthand the devilish abilities of the pronounced Christian. Say and do one thing while other Christians are watching...quite another story when outside of the 'holy building'. I did hang onto the basic idea that God does in fact exist. Yes, I told myself...there is a God in all of us...there is a Higher Power to be reckoned with, consulted, loved by, etc...I feel God's presence in my daily life, though I certainly do not always understand why I am being asked to take a certain less-traveled path, one that often knocks me to my knees, both spiritually and physically. Questioning myself doesn't mean that I question His presence in my life. Though it may appear so to others.

Recently, challenges in my life have brought these questions to the forefront. What is being asked of me? Where is God? What is he up to?? I struggle with trying to decipher the behavior of another, feeling around in the dark for what is the appropriate reaction for me to take. Let go and let God? or take the reigns and regain control what pointt do we surrender and let it all just be...not taking a defensive stance, but let Universal Law play out?

 Hmmmm.....a part of me really wants to satisfy the human appetite for justice, for revenge, for payback...but the small whisper of my soul says to surrender in Love and Forgiveness...and that is HARD. When we encounter pain and suffering at the hands of another, basic human nature wants that person to suffer as well. We are governed by the Id, the Ego, superEgo, the conscious and the unconscious...the strong innate urge to feel pleasure at causing the person who causes us turmoil, to in turn feel his own turmoil. It may appear as though we have no backbone, in terms of modern society...if we just sit and allow things to happen. And, "weak" is a title to which the Ego doesn't take very kindly. But, wasn't it God who said "turn the other cheek"..."love and welcome your enemies"....huh??? Can this be done while taking a stance at self-preservation? I am thinking No.

Can't walk both sides of the fence. Can't stand for both teams. Or....can we?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Mother's Hands

I was sitting and rocking my baby yesterday morning in the early light, watching the first timid rays peaking out from behind the misty mountains and something strange happened. I looked down at my hands and saw my mother's hands. In one split second I was taken back to my childhood when my mom would lay her hands on me when I was ill, reach out for me when I had gotten hurt, massage my legs when they ached so badly.
I saw skin that is growing older, no longer the hands of a young girl, tenderness in the fingers, felt the energy of loving, experienced hands. But these were my hands on my baby, not my mother's. It was surreal to be encompassed in that moment realizing that I truly have a Mother's hands. My hands are now the ones who reach out and offer comfort, rub pains away, nurse lovingly to sleep,  hold and rock children. My children.

These moments of motherhood come along rarely, the ones that transport you back to when you were young. These aren't the kind of memories stamped in time by a photograph for your viewing pleasure. These are the kind of memories that hijack a moment and take you by surprise, yet offer profound realizations. My mom was firm and strict. But we knew she loved us, and although her hands were not always gentle, they offered a comfort and security that fulfilled us, made us know in our hearts where our place was in the scheme of life, connected us to our roots. Her hands offered guidance, discipline and love.

Looking down at my hands I felt the deep connection between my mother and myself, the crossing of generations, the passing down of true mothering in every sense of what that word truly means. Years of picking up and carrying babies, nursing wounds, hugging and wiping away tears, all the things that a Mother's hands govern.

A Mother's hands are earned, like a medal of honor that can never be taken away.

eta: this is a photograph taken when Serenity was only 4 weeks old, my mom's hand is on top, mine on the bottom...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Baby Radar

Is this the sweetest face ever? Yep. Do I love him with all my heart? Naturally. Do I know how lucky I am to have him? Everyday.
This sweet thing is pretty zen, most of the time. Only cries when he needs something. Sleeps well. No longer fussy, like the nightmare days of colic.

Except while shopping.

It seems that my baby boy has a sixth sense, a radar if you will, and it is strictly tuned into entering deptartment stores, malls, grocery stores or anywhere else that I may need to go and purchase things. Stand in line. Follow a list. Think coherently.

Almost instantly upon entering any of said locations, Charlie takes this as his cue to scream like his butt is on fire, like no one loves him or feeds him, ever. Those of you who have had to take children shopping know what I mean when I say that attempting to shop with a screaming infant makes me feel like I am on crack and unable to put one foot in front of the other, let alone shop from a list and actually remember to get things we need. I wander the aisles like a lost five year old fighting back a torrent of tears. But that isn't the worst of it, if you can believe that.

The stares from people, the looks I get are enough to send me into the tailspin I am teetering on the brink of anyways. People assume that because your baby is crying, you have either done something to it, are ignoring it b/c you suck as a mother, or else you have no clue when it comes to parenting. The best ones are the people who follow you trying to catch you in the act of the abuse they are sure you have committed against your child. Hmmm...didn't I just see you in aisle four? I thought so. Let me just say that I look forward to grocery shopping like I would having my toenails slowly ripped off one by one.

Which explains why I am still sitting here in front of my computer at 9:30 on Sunday morning, when I should be on my way to the store.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Of Elephants and Babies...

Through our lives, we begin and conclude many journeys, some so powerful and deep it takes years to tread the path and detangle the lessons, others a mere day or minute, a realization, an awakening, an epiphany...

My fifth child was born nearly 8 weeks ago, a Cancer boy by astrological grouping, a Tiger according to the Chinese lunar cycle. Either way, a blessing he is! A strong boy in personality, yet as the youngest, born 12 years after the first, will struggle with finding his place within the family unit.

Since I delivered via midwife, it is expected that I write a birth narrative to share with other mothers, and also as a sense of closure to the pregnancy/genesis of the mothering of this tiny little soul.

Let me rewind just for a quick moment and give some background information, so that the profoundness of Charlie's birth story will be better understood.

I collect Elephants; I have for a few years now. Until last summer, I was relatively unsure of why I was drawn to these magnificent creatures, but just knew that I was fascinated by them and what they represent.

Elephants represent strength of the Feminine; the Child, the Woman, the Matriarchal Head of Family. Also the importance of Family and Fertility. The Elephant is a symbol of the Highest True Self; its symbolism is ancient.

Elephants live in separate social groups of females and male. The female herd cares for and protect the young elephants. The older, wiser elephants use their experience and wisdom to assist the young mothers of the herd with their calves. Elephants, within their herd, depict how close supportive relationships can be maintained between the generations of feminine members of the family, unlike most of human society.

Last summer, during the intensity of what I was experiencing, I began to see Elephants here and there. Items of course, but I felt they were there to direct me, to help lead me, to reassure me, to offer peace and Love during the most difficult time in my life. Whatever the item was, I would purchase it, take it home, place it within my environment and draw from it spiritually. As the months went by, I could feel my soul beginning to calm down, my spirit no longer screamed with every breath the pain and heartache. I began to emerge from the haze of fright and panic that I had bestowed upon myself.

The Elephants were guiding me, which of course were just tangible objects representing Love, God, whatever you wish to call the Higher Power that is there in each one of us. Through tribulation we are never alone, as the poem "Footprints" reads...if we choose to look, to listen, to be still, the answers to our prayers, our questions, are already there.

As the months wore on and I longed to have the chance to have another baby, I found that I was becoming discouraged with each passing cycle, I was feeling defeated and depressed.

One day I came across a little pink Elephant. It was in a bag of stuffed animals I dumped out on a table at the flea market to sell. I had never seen it before, had no idea where it came from. For a few minutes, I left it sit there, people walked by, some picked it up, asked its price...but no one bought it. For some reason I felt so compelled to pick that Elephant up and keep it, so finally I did. I took it home that evening and placed it at my bedside, beside the Laughing Buddha on my table. Since it was pink, I researched the color pink and found that Pink is the color of sweetness – babies, it also can mean highest or best degree of something, the color of Universal Love…stand for beauty, grace and goodness….

I took this to mean that the Universe was beside me, loving me …that the greatest good will be done and, since it is on the elephant, I related that to fertility and family – meaning to me that I would soon have the baby I longed for, so once again I felt wrapped in peace and felt restored.

The following weekend, while on a weekend vacation with my then-fiancé, we happened upon a store that sold collectibles of all shapes, sizes and nature. I found a section of Elephants, and immediately was drawn to a larger statue of a Mother elephant with two babies on her back, her trunk held high. I simply could not walk out of the store without that statue; I could feel the emotion of the mother as she carried her babies. It was that weekend that I conceived my 5th baby on the elephant back represented him, the other is Clay, my angel baby..he will always be with me and that was God's way of bringing it all together.

Fast-forward nine months, to delivery day for baby Charlie - July 6, 2010. The day is progressing without incident, I am feeling good, and things are going smoothly. I am noticing that for some reason the pain isn't bad at all, in fact they have to urge me to go ahead and begin epidural, telling me that my contractions are getting stronger and I should be wanting it soon. At one point, the midwife who was training under my midwife comes into the room and starts talking about this particular labor and delivery room. It has a certain nickname and is the most requested room in the unit when a member of the hospital staff has a baby, not just because of its beautiful view of the mountains. Would you like to know the nickname for this room?

The Elephant Room.

As she explained to me the reason for the nickname, the fact that the mountains look like a mother and baby elephant facing one another, I sat there in total shock at the way God can intercept a moment and flood it with meaning and emotion, somehow bringing together all that has been misunderstood. It all came through me at that point with such clarity, the past year, my journey to this point in my life, what elephants mean to me and how much a part of the journey they have been..It all just came together with a resounding sense of completion. I felt waves of peace and joy wash over me and I realized how profound this really was, a defining moment in my life.

Three hours later my son entered the world, effortlessly, smoothly, like an angel singing a lullaby.

One journey ends. A new one begins.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So, it has indeed been awhile...

Getting back into the groove of blogging, something to which I used to look forward with great anticipation now comes difficult. Choppier. Like molasses being coaxed from the jar on a cold winter morning, the thoughts are hidden deep in the recesses of my mind, but pouring them out is gonna take some work folks.

Let me first share the fabulous news that I am pregnant with number five, he is due to come out tomorrow. TOMORROW. June 30th. Although I find myself impatient with the discomfort of the last weeks of pregnancy, I also hear the whispers from my soul reminding me of how lucky I am to be in this situation. BUT, I am not back to repaint the garage of doom with colors of grey and gloom...I made it through that lesson, and from it was granted a new chance, given a new gift of life, in more ways than one.

My kids are all doing well, Ja is a pre-teen, true to the word, M is a mature and playful 9 year old, Jo is a witty intelligent 7 year old, and little S isn't so little anymore, soon to be 5. And the grand finale will be little Charlie, as soon as he decides to make his appearance that is...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

When will it be enough?

Why aren't they enough anymore? Why don't I find joy in all that used to bring me deep fulfillment?
Now that I have extinguished the relationship with any readers I may have once had, by always posting such gloomy stuff, I can simply vent all over this blog and it is my own space..for which I am thankful b/c it seems that lately all I have to say contains a thread of sadness. No one wants to read about sadness all the time...

I can't get past, cannot accept within myself, this deep sorrow...and there isn't a damn thing I can do to rescue my heart, to make it right again within my soul.
I periodically read a few blogs written by those who have lost babies, either before birth or shortly thereafter, those struggling to conceive, plowing through numerous attempts at IVF only to have their dreams fall apart time and time again - situations totally out of their control. Their grief is justified, I feel like an invader when I read those blogs, although the feeling of loss I can now relate to.
It is a living nightmare, one that never goes away and taints my , well, everything...
I go to the store, I see babies with their moms..I go out and see women with pregnant bellies everywhere. The stab of pain never really becomes many times a day, so many I lose count...24 weeks it would be, 26 weeks it would be, and so on...I would know the gender of the baby (though i knew his gender the moment I realized I was pregnant - so strong was the connection already), I would be able to feel his movement, my belly would be round and fruitful...I would soon be able to proudly show off five kids, instead of four.
I look at my children, their sweet innocent faces. The nightmare, it seems it will never end, I will never be the same as I was, whatever that was, whoever she gone. Replaced by a robot who can mimic the motions of daily existence, can take care of the kids, do what has to be done - but totally void of real feeling anymore, real joy has left my world...