I am a woman searching for my inner goddess and using fabrics, words and photography as my road map. I find great comfort and order in my creative efforts and hope that in sharing them you find a peace also. Welcome and Be Blessed!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

On Becoming A Mother, or Though I Never Offered, I'm Sure Glad Someone Picked Me For This Job

This was written about 12 years ago. In light of the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade it seemed like a good time to pull it out from the depths of the files and bring a new light to it. It is long but well worth the read. Be blessed today and remember if someone had aborted you we would not be sharing this moment. Scary thought actually. My life has been blessed by you.

"Susan, I think that you and Vern should avoid having any children. He already raised one family; what is there to gain by starting another?"

I could not believe that these words could come from my Mother's mouth. Fortunately, I was driving, so she could not see the amazement registering within my eyes.

Perhaps for the first time ever, my Mom might have gotten the impression that I was obeying her, I'd been married three years and had not given much thought to children at all,

Oh, I knew what fun kids can be. I was a very popular babysitter in high school. And, besides that, I now had grandchildren, only by marriage though.

The most important lesson I had learned was just how wonderful it is to give all children back to their rightful owners when I had run out of energy.

One afternoon I called my husband to let him know I was ill. I was having intense cramping and pain. Soon I was in the hospital having my first D& C. This was the result of a miscarriage, my first chance at Motherhood.

It was hard to feel anything for the lost child as I had no idea she was sharing bodily functions, nor had I really thought of being a mother.

Suddenly, or so it seemed, everyone I knew was either buying diapers, or maternity clothes.

Just a few months later, I became pregnant again. This time I knew just how to feel. I was terrified. Could I be a good mother? I was elated. Could I really get to witness the growth and development of a child? I was panicked. What will I name this baby?

Three different times during this pregnancy I almost lost the baby. She was born on April 29, 1984, and we named her Jennifer.

As Jennifer grew older, she would point out the wishing star and share with it her desire for a little sister.

Once again I became pregnant. Here was the child Jenn and I had longed for. I lost this child through miscarriage on Christmas Eve. We affectionately call her Noel.

This was a difficult time for me. I could not understand what was wrong with me. "People have babies all the time with no problems- why not me? Look at all the girls who get pregnant and then abort these children."

Until I became pregnant again I doubted myself and my capabilities. Now perhaps the mourning for little Noel could end.

Once again, we lived with the ever present fear of losing another longed for member of our family. This baby was loved from the moment we knew she was there.

This was a child with an unbelievable desire to live. She was poisoned by a catfish toxin about six days after conception. She lived within a mercury filled environment until born, but she was a survivor.

On June, 25, 1987, Jessica was born. Three months later we learned that she was not developing properly. Perhaps it was some neurological problem. It was later diagnosed as Muscular Dystrophy. The doctors felt that we would be lucky if she lived to be two years old. Jessica lived 9 ½ very full years, spreading joy to all in this world.

I feel that my road to Motherhood has qualified me as a spokesmom. I have known the pain of releasing children before they were born. I have known the joy of hearing a babies first cry. I have know the confusion that occurs in every woman's mind. The nagging question, "what will I have to give up or lose if I have this baby?" Well, maybe you will lose that perfect job, or have to settle for Wal-Mart clothes. Maybe you will have to drop some of your "Me" activities for awhile, there will be time later to make that up.

Many girls choose to have these growing children removed from their bodies because the timing is not right. I wonder, if we are to choose the right time to have children, just how many of us would not be here today. I do not believe that we are unwanted, maybe not even unplanned, but I am sure that many of us came at a bad time in our parent's lives.

Each night, as I would tuck my precious girls into bed, and listen to ten minutes worth of why they should stay up longer, I would thank God for the wonderful blessing of children.

Children teach us tenderness when we raise our voice that first time. They show us what sharing is all about. It is not enough that we have shared our bodies with them for nine months, we must also share all food and drink set before us, all stolen bubble baths, and our beds, crackers included.

Who, but a child, can help us to find joy in a spring afternoon, or peace within the stars?

Who, but children, teach us that the world is not always how it looks upfront, sometimes the best is hidden away, only to be found when going through pockets later.

Who entices you to dream, to wish for things, to want, just for the joy of hearing the word "yes".

Children are like a swing, there are two highs for every low. Children, like kittens, remind us not to take life too seriously, but rather, to pounce on the special moments as they run past.

A child will introduce you to yourself. Remember that person who climbed trees, skinned knees, and pushed the limits of gravity and mothers.

To chase butterflies, chalk up sidewalks, roll in the grass, discover butter in dandelions, to live, to love, to learn; this is a child. This is a child who needs a mother.

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I believe that things can always be cured with a hug and a cup of tea, fixed with either a needle and thread, duct tape, WD40 or coke, and that prayer works every time. I take in strays whether in animal or childlike form. I have been mother to many for a time and this is my way of keeping up with some of those straying children that I miss. I appreciate shock value and use it often to remind people that the world is round and colorful and we are not all living in square brown cardboard boxes with little holes cut in for windows. Look for the warm fuzzies- God delivers them up fresh every day just to say- I think you are pretty darned special- so special that I have your picture up on my fridge for life and I am sending you a hug to remind you that you matter to me.

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