Transition

Published September 23, 2016 by Lunapo

This morning, while in the restroom mirror under the harsh fluorescent lights of public facilities, I saw it. 

My first gray hair. 

I am still a young mother, in the prime of my life with my two little Witches in the dawn of theirs. 

And yet, here I am, with the first sign of transition from mother to crone. 

It’s a lot more subtle than the transition from maiden to mother. Even for mothers who do not have their own biological/adopted/foster children, the change comes fast. One is suddenly no longer just thinking of their own well-being but is also considering the well-being of the next generation. One is looking beyond the biologically significant selfish ego of the child and is caring for those around her for the betterment of all. It’s a change that doesn’t happen all at once, but does happen quickly. 

This one, not so much. 

My kids are 3 and 1. And I’m 31. 

This time last year

Published September 18, 2016 by Lunapo

7:50

Hubby and I had just finished putting Witchlette to bed. We reviewed the plan: wake up, go to school w Mom and Dad. After nap, Daddy will pick you up and bring you to the hospital to meet Brother. 

We went over everything again and again, making sure we had everything we needed ready to go…

9:45

I would not be allowed to eat breakfast in the morning (a thought that brought me dread) so I pushed off my hunger and made myself a big bowl of oatmeal to last me through the night and into the morning. 

10:30

Climbed into bed and very quickly drifted off to sleep, a feat that hadn’t happened [in bed] for months…

11:45

Awoke with a potty urge. Woah. What was that? Ok…clean up from potty urge. Woah. Stand, flush, walk back to bed. Woah. I’m in labor. 

Hubby didn’t believe me. 

Waited a few minutes, had another. And another. And another. 

Called doctor. Monitor time between. If erratic or more than 5 minutes apart, rest in bed. If 3 minutes or less apart, head in. Understand she was going in for a C-Section and wouldn’t be available to talk again for upwards of an hour. 

Waited. Timed. 

1 minute, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 3 minutes. Hubby this is active labor. 

…but I ate oatmeal…

…but the plan…

Woah. Right, never mind. 

Called mom to stay with Witchlette. She arrived, we left. Checked into triage. Same triage as with Witchkette, but without the bleeding and without the fear. 

Time to decide: V-BAC or C-Section, knowing risks of both. Oxygen levels dropped, time for C-Section. 

With the exact same nurses and anesthesia team as Witchlette. 

So much different. So calm. Engaging Hubby, a regret I had with Witchlette…to scared for her well-being to talk to him for the surgery. Just waited to hear her voice, her cry. None of that fear. Anticipation, yes, but no fear. 

2:04 Time of birth

I will never again be awake by choice for the time of your birth. 

This evening, I put you to bed, kissed you good night my baby boy. Tomorrow morning, you will awaken a year old. Tomorrow morning, I will kiss you good morning my big boy. 

But always my baby. 

A parable

Published September 14, 2016 by Lunapo

On my darkest of darkest days, after weeks of no real consecutive sleep and a constantly hungry baby, wondering what kind of mother raises her voice and tells her brand new baby to shut up…because he’s tired, fussy, wants to be held and coddled and loved…but his sister is ill and just vomited and needs to rest and his crying may disturb that rest and he needs to stop. Rocking didn’t stop it. Pacifier didn’t stop it. Nursing didn’t stop it (at first). New diaper made it worse. Then Mama reacted and made it even worse. Mama thought, for a split second, if nothing else works…Mama understood why some parents shake their babies who won’t stop crying.

And Mama cried.

I rocked him more with a more steady rhythm, close to my chest and moving my whole body to compensate for my own wrenching sobs. When he calmed some, we moved to my nursing chair where I nursed him to sleep.

What kind of garbage piece of shit mother says that to her baby. Weeks old. Needing, communicating the needs. Being a baby. And his piece of shit mother doesn’t deserve to live. He could, would, will do so much better without her. I visioned how it would be possible. Where I would go, what I would do. Then, in the next instant, I thought of all I would miss. And how much I wanted to be around for it. And how much of a blow it would be to my husband and daughter, to be in the house where I did it, to keep her away, to have to clean up and go on with my stupid selfish …

I put Witchling to bed, sound asleep, and shared everyone with Hubby.

That was then, darkest moment.

This is now.

A few days of very interrupted sleep. Witchling was up for most of the night, Refusing his pacifier, refusing my breast, refusing to take comfort in anything. Water cup, bottle of pumped milk meant for Monday at work. Nothing. He would rest on my shoulder, upright, and I stood for as long as I could. But it was 4:30 a, and he had been crying since 2:30 and I couldn’t stand, so he could lay on me except when I went into a non-vertical position, he cried again. Hubby finally got him back to sleep at 5:30. Witchlette, who slept through the whole thing was ready to go at 7:30, but played nicely in her room until 8:30. I brought Witchling in for a doctor’s appointment at 9:30 because, with him being up all night, there had to be something wrong.

Ears clear, gums not inflamed, chest clear. He has a diaper rash, highly sensitive skin plus overnight poops lead to contact recurring rashes that easily become infected. He was likely uncomfortable. We never thought to check his diaper.

And down I went.

What a piece of shit mother.

I knew I was short on sleep. I know why he keeps getting rashes and I know how to prevent them but I also know they will cease sooner than later, when he is potty trained. One year of diapers down, one to go. He’s fine.

But the lingering feeling remained.

Monday, mid mornings the director of the preschool called to let me know that the diaper rash looks awful. The judgement was dripping in her voice. What a piece of shit mother you are to let it get this bad. He had nothing Saturday night and awoke inflamed Sunday morning. It came on so quickly, there was no avoiding it. I explained I knew how bad it was and had taken him to the pediatrician the day before. Oh well, no one knew he was already seen by a doctor (because that morning neither director was on site when I was there to drop off the kids- there was no one to tell).

Piece of shit lingered all day. I’m hurting him. He knows it. He can feel how unloved he is. He knows it.

I called Hubby and cried. He laughed that I was crying over diaper rash.

I sobbed all the way home. I had a thought, for a moment, of how Witching would be better without me. How he would be better without his piece of shit diaper rash causing mother hurting him. I though about how, since I was alone in the car, I could just drive into a tree. Single car wreck, no one hurt but me.

But then, logic hit.

You’re fine, you’re just tried.

Even more logic.

Suicide is like Schrödinger’s cat. You won’t know if your presence, or lack thereof, will be better for the people around you until you are no longer there. And then it’s too late. The box is open. The cat is dead.

I went into Witchling’s classroom and his teacher, who was Witchlette’s teacher first, immediately know something was wrong. Witchling, did not. He saw me, crawled over with lightning speed and gave me his biggest “mommy smile”.  I held him and cried. And I told his teacher what had happened. What I imagined his rash looked like, based on the phone call, pussing and bloody, was not. “He was worse last time. He adores you. You’re good.” When I said everything out loud to her, the ridiculous of it all set in.

When I went into Witchling’s room this morning, I got that “mommy smile” again. And again when I got to my mom’s house to pick up the kids. And again when I unbuckled him from his car seat after dinner.  Those smiles are my drug of choice. They are one of my main joys in life, and I am living to see them…to see the joy in my children. That’s what I live for.

About a month ago, I read an article on one of my support groups discussed the concept of surviving postpartum depression. Many women who have a glimpse of those thoughts, follow through with them. Maybe not at first, but eventually. I did not. I also did not have the hounding ideation a day in and day out. I’ve had them twice. But twice I have immediately switched gears to fighting to turn away from that dark place. Twice I have decided to not approach the box. I don’t like the idea of me being a “survivor” since my battles were few and short. Twice it could have gone the other way, but I’m still here.

All for that “mommy smile.”

New quarter calls

Published September 13, 2016 by Lunapo

This year at Pagan Pride Day (aka the good PPD), I will be leading a workshop on writing Quarter Calls. I will share the information I present on my blog upon completion of the workshop, as I have done every year that I participate in the event. 

Tonight, while meditating, I was inspired to change up my regular nightly Quarter Calls. And I love what they have evolved into. 

Beginning

North

I call upon the Guardians of the North, join my Circle and bring with you the nurturing of the Earth, the flesh of the land to which we all return. Hail and welcome Spirits of Earth. 

East

I call upon the Guardians of the East, join my Circle and bring with you the knowledge carried on the wind, heard in the rustling of the trees, if we only know how to listen. Hail and welcome Spirits of Air. 

South

I call upon the Guardians of the South, join my Circle and bring with you the integrity of the flame, both the creator and the destroyer, human passion showing us both our wild and our tame. Hail and welcome Spirits of Fire. 

West

I call upon the Guardians of the West, join my Circle and bring with you the wisdom found in pure emotion, in every heart beat and every tear drop to feel all that it means to be human. Hail and welcome Spirits of Water. 

Center

I call upon the life essence, the spark found within us all. Join me tonight, unite these four elements and make my Circle complete. Hail and welcome Spirit. 

A few weeks ago, I read a piece about calling deities to a ritual. It made so much sense. 

When we call a deity to join us, we cannot, and should not, be demanding their presence. 

Say you get invited to a party next Saturday. Now, say you don’t much like the host. Or your sister is having family dinner at her house the same night. Your son has his first soccer game. Either way, you can’t make it. The host of the party cannot demand your presence at the gathering. That is not only rude but insulting to your free will. 

The gods also have free will. They can accept or deny your invite because they disagree with your ritual, are busy elsewhere, or just plain don’t want to show up that night. 

I am now taking this into account when I invite, not demand, the presence of my patrons to my Circles. 

Patron

I call to Thor, the Thunderer, keeper of Midgard and the people of Earth. If it’s your will, join my Circle this night. Hail and Welcome!

Patroness 

I call to Lady Frigg, the Allmother, keeper of women, wives, mothers, and children, of hearth and home.  If it’s your will, join my Circle this night. Hail and Welcome!

Ending

Patroness

Lady Frigg, the Allmother, keeper of women, wives, mothers, and children, of hearth and home. If it was your will, thank you for joining me this night. Stay if you will, leave if you must. Hail and farewell!

Patron

Thor, the Theunderer, keeper of Midgard and the people of Earth. If it was your will, thank you for joining me this night. Stay if you will, leave if you much. Hail and farewell!

West

Thank you Water for joining me tonight and for your wisdom that stays with me always. Hail and farewell. Blessed be!

South

Thank you Fire for joining me tonight and for the integrity and passion I carry within my self. Hail and farewell. Blessed be!

East

Thank you Air for joining me tonight and teaching me to listen to the communications of shared in Nature. Hail and farewell. Blessed be!

North

Thank you Earth for joining me to tonight and for always being supportive, both the ground below my feet and the energy sent up from Gaia. Hail and farewell. Blessed be!

Center

Than you Spirit, the life force of all, four uniting these Elements this night and every night. My Cricle is open but never broken. Merry meet, Merry part, and Merry Meet Again. Hail and farewell. Blessed be!

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