Art Journalling [2]. When did you start to think of yourself as a mother?

Art journal prompt from an art-journalling group facilitated by Ishara from Fertility Dreaming.

Okay, so. Wow.

My ovary is pulsating right now. That’s interesting.

So when? When did I start to think of myself as a future mother?

[0 years] Firstly I think it’s important to note that there was never a question about parenthood for me. It always just was. I was always going to be a mother.  Possibly a reflection of societal standards / expectations / etc. Or maybe a reflection of an inner-ness that just was so mumma-bear!

[3 years] Secondly, I remember Hannah, my first doll… who for the record, has not been thought of, for the last 20 years, but is coming up right now, for the second time, in two weeks. I remember the care and attachment to her. I remember loving her, and the responsibility of looking after her.

[11 or 12 years] Thirdly, I remember wondering and thinking seriously about if I was pregnant or not – when I was 11 or 12… because the only association I had was that you were hungry and missed a period. To be fair, I was hungry. Puberty. And I did miss a period. Also puberty.

I remember it not being taken seriously – this “what if I’m pregnant thing” – obviously because it was not possible. But I didn’t know that. And it’s weird that I’m feeling embarrassed about how little I knew… I really didn’t know. And I guess that’s totally normal. You don’t know what you don’t know until you know enough to know how little you know! #EpicPoet. #DontDenyYouLovedThatLiteraryAwesomeness

[13/14/15 years] Next… I was beginning to wake up to the abuse I was experiencing at home. It was not normal. It was not okay. It was such a fucktard of a place, and a fucktard set of circumstances and experiences. On top of that, I was physiologically developing into a sexual being. Albeit with epic trauma and abuse over/undertones. Parenthood, no matter how dysfunctional, was seen as a way to escape. A way to have some form of control over my own life. Like, to be fair, I didn’t sit myself down with a list of pros and cons and intellectualise the possibility of teenage pregnancy. It was more of a ‘I have nothing’ and a ‘my body isn’t my own already’… I never actively tried to fall pregnant. Also to be fair, I was in a non-consensual situation that resulted in me checking-the-fuck-out-of-there when it came to sex. I am still not sure, to this day, what happened. I get minuscule flashes. But nothing.

I explored this idea a bit here… this time period and mental space.

I remember “being late”. How late? I don’t know. Was my period super heavy? Yep. Was I pregnant? Probably not.I KNOW that it was probably the trauma and such. I get that.

But for a long time I had a connection to that lost baby. He had a name, CJ. Maybe it was my lost inner child. Maybe he actually was a child growing in my uterus. I don’t know. I remember the relief that despite not being religious, a teacher prayed for CJ. I had not felt lighter in years. This idea that he was off and being taken care off (despite me not subscribing to that belief system).

[recently] My husband has always been the level headed one regarding children. He was always the whole: job, house, steady life, then possibly if the stars align -> procreate.

And I was totally that person whilst at uni, and then early into teaching. I always wanted to be steady in my career and in my home before I had children.

But then cluckiness went into overdrive. Maybe the last 3 or 4 years.

Cluckiness is a really nice word. Not visually. Visually it’s weird! But linguistically, energetically. I can see that playfulness and joy around wanting babies. Pure joy. Pure happiness. Pure playfulness.

[this year] My husband informed me that it was time to go to the doctor and start this preconception stuff. I ignored him. I did not believe that this level-headed, cool cat of a dude was finally…. FINALLY saying something that sung to my heart. I actually waited a week before asking if he was serious. He was. And I went to the doctor. And the naturopath.

We were preparing to start trying!

[March] Official trying. OFFICIAL BABY TRYING!

And we fell pregnant.

Two pink lines, confirmed.
Blood test confirmed.
Baby book shopping confirmed…

We fell pregnant.
We were growing a baby!

I think there was a definite shift from everything I have ever thought about parenthood, and that “oh wow, no actually, I’m going to be a mum”. The thoughts, the ideas, the concerns and questions, the hopes and dreams. Everything became incredibly real, incredibly quickly.

I had a baby.

I was a mumma-bear.

Then Baby passed.
Baby died.
I lost my baby!

And that’s where I am at.

Lost somewhere between “am I still a parent if my baby died?” and “just fucking give me my take home baby already”.

I had always dreamed / known / imagined being a parent.
But that failed in comparison with actually being a parent.

And not being a parent sucks.

I think that’s why there is so much heaviness and blackness around this.

Even from the beginning.

It’s been such a long and convoluted journey.

And I think that every part needs to be included here.

I don’t know when the ‘start’ was. Or what level of ‘start’ counts as the ‘start’.

But this was my journey to right now.

Side note: I know I wrote “heavy” a lot. It just seemed like I needed too.

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2 thoughts on “Art Journalling [2]. When did you start to think of yourself as a mother?

  1. The former part of your story I can relate to all too well, but I can’t begin to explain the overwhelming sadness I have in my heart for you at the loss of your baby. When the moment comes that you are a mother, because it will happen, just keep at it, you will realize that having a baby, at least for me, has been more of a loss of control. It is really bittersweet, but as long as we are good parents, we will always have an unconditional love from our children. Please don’t give up trying!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your compassionate sadness and your good wishes! 🙂

    It’s interesting that you mentioned loss of control. That has been coming up a lot for me. I have been told to notice the loss of control after birth will be a turning point for me… whatever that eventuates to be… I’m sure it’ll be interesting! I totally agree though, letting go. Releasing control! (I might need to repeat that to myself a few hundred thousand times! :-D)

    Big loves xx

    Liked by 1 person

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