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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Redemption Child

Can I just say how appreciative I am for the vast array of online resources for mamas these days? Yes, there's some muck to search through, but mostly there are many, many resources literally at our fingertips that so many mamas before us have not had access to. Hurrah for the internet!

Thank you, Kulia, for pointing me in the direction of I-CAN! There are no chapters near me, but the online resources are outstanding.

Thanks to the mamas at MDC, I have found out some helpful information about doulas. DONA has tons of information for doulas and expectant families, and I am hoping to be able to find a doula-in-training in our area who might be able to support us in a VBAC delivery. BellyWomen.Net is a great site that connects low-cost (or free!) doula services with women who are pregnant.

So as I continue to think and reflect on my birthing options, my thoughts also turn to mothering a newborn again. I can now look back at Dacey's first three (okay, six) months and be able to say we had a "rocky start." There was a time when I would have chosen different phrasing - like, I don't know . . . "hellish start," perhaps. As I have shared before, I was ensnared in a scheduled-feeding-babies-belong-in-cribs-don't-spoil-that-baby mindset. I had read a book that convinced me that what I now know to be nurturing a baby would certainly lead to a crabby, demanding, nightmare child and also the certain destruction of my marriage. And so I spent tortured months trying to let her cry it out in her crib to get her to sleep, only to pick her up tearfully each time and rocking her to sleep while mentally berating myself for failing her as a mother. So yes, it was self-induced hell, but I really thought I was doing the right thing.

And so I think and daydream about the arrival of our next baby, and visions of tucking that sweet bundle in a sling while D and I go about our days mingle with delightful thoughts of not making the poor babe wait until the next feeding time on the schedule to breastfeed. Ah, and sharing sleep with no guilt! Just having an overall sense of confidence in trusting myself as a mother . . . Well, in some ways, I almost feel like I will be a first-time mother again.

But I wonder if that's a lot of pressure to put on this next baby. To be the one with whom Mommy works through all of her guilt about D's babyhood. To be the child that allows Mommy to atone for her mistakes. To be the Redemption Child.

As I continue walking out the journey of motherhood, it occurs to me that it is no wonder we all have issues from our childhood. How could we not? It seems that the circle of life in families dictates that as parents, we are always seeking to atone for something; so often, that search for atonement expresses itself in the choices we make - consciously and unconsciously.

I think I will be proactive and get D on a therapy waiting list right now.