If this needs to be removed (or moved), please let me know.
I don't know if this is where this belongs, or if this forum is only for mothers and fathers who write as a hobby or career. But I've decided to go back to school after being out of high school for almost 13 years. My first paper is a narrative.
Would anyone mind reading it and making corrections and/or suggestions? I always worry I'm using comma, semi-colons, colons, and dashes wrong. I don't have anyone to go over my paper for typos or other mistakes. Sometimes it takes an extra set of eyes to see what your brain doesn't register
I know everyone here understands the love a mother or father has for their child and would (somewhat) understand what I'm feeling as I wrote this. Please be kind
Again, if this needs to be moved or removed, please let me know. I don't want to cross a boundry line on this website as I love it so muchBlue Line
The balmy breaths of a burning patchouli incense playfully tease the faded beads hanging over the threshold as they swayed in time to Lennon. He’s taking us down to “Strawberry Fields”. I, on the other hand, am taking down bags of Doritos and Funyuns. A big bowl of Lucky Charms will soon follow. After arousing the once colorful beads with her playful swats, miss kitty decides to retire to the lime green and yellow floral sofa. Unconsciously, my frigid toes tap against the iron bar holding up the rickety dining room table as my mind continues to race, yet I still manage to defeat Shell in our favorite card game. This all too familiar setting is a little uneasy this time, as the impending test weighs heavy on my mind. “Do you have to pee yet?” she asks. She is thinking about the pregnancy test grandpa unknowingly bought for me. “Nope,” I lie. We continue playing until my bladder can’t take the pressure anymore. “Ugh, go get it” I sigh.
We decide to look at it together, but as Shell is changing the laundry, my curiosity gets the best of me and I sneak a peak. The blue line is so faint; it may as well not have been there. I hear footsteps coming up the stairs and I meet a huge basket of clothes at the door. “What… Is... This?” I demand. She sets down the basket of clothes and looks at the piece of plastic in my hand. “It’s inconclusive,” I tell her and walk off to throw the test away. I resume my place on my side of the table, my back to the window. I’m in the middle of removing the sticks and seeds when Shell enters the room holding the pregnancy test that is my demise. I glance up from the bowl to notice she’s giving me the look I last saw three years ago, when I walked down the aisle. She is giving me Wedding Eyes. I put my warm cheek on the cool table and my hot pink hair falls over my eyes.
“I’m going to be an aunt!” she exclaims. Where the hell is all of this joy coming from? “No, you’re not,” I tell her, “I’m not pregnant.” The constant squeals of excitement from my companion made the bitter taste in my mouth unbearable. Up and down, up and down, why wouldn't she leave it alone? “SIT DOWN!” I command. She reluctantly concurs and joins me in the lighting of our next buzz.
On Thursday morning, after seven months of throwing up, doctor visits, back pain, and gaining over fifty pounds and three days after my water breaks, my husband and I enter Christ Hospital at the urgency of my obstetrician. To be completely honest, I don’t remember much about my five-day visit. I remember listening to The Beatles White album over and over and over. I remember asking why the doctors couldn’t just “cut this thing out of me.” I remember all my previous fears of the epidural needle went out the window after hours of mind numbing pain from contractions. I remember shaking so bad from the medicine that my arms had to be strapped down while they delivered the newborn. I remember a nurse asking me if I was willing to have a blood transplant due to the fact I lost so much blood (luckily I didn’t need one, as my body recovered itself.) But worst of all, I remember them showing me Piper Opal Carmack seconds after she was born, and turning my head because I didn’t want to look at her.
Despite my request for no visitors, I received quite a few. Almost all of them held Piper before I did. “Oh Abbey, she is stunning,” they would tell me, “You must be so happy. You’ll be such a great mom.” Instead, I felt nothing inside, no motherly love, and no tears of joy. The promised feeling of joy hadn’t come to this cold heart.
Approximately three o’clock Sunday morning, I got out of bed and really looked at my daughter for the first time. To say I cried is a complete understatement; my gentle sobs gave way to wails and lament as my entire body quaked. The many months of morning sickness pales in comparison to how I felt while looking at her sleeping face. She was so tiny, wrapped up tight like a burrito in a hospital receiving blanket and a striped pink and blue hat. She was so helpless, innocent, and breathtakingly beautiful. How could I have wanted to abort someone so special? How could I have turned my head away from her while she was breathing her first few breaths of life? I cradled her in my arms and never wanted to let go. This precious love of my life deserved better. I was a monster and undeserving of her love. I had to change.
Fifteen months following the birth of my little miracle, I diligently watch her grow into a tiny human with the same facial expressions and attitudes as her affectionate, faithful father. I have evolved in this journey as well. I no longer view screaming children as horrific creatures, nor do I see the world as a horrible place where everyone steals, rapes, and kills. This world full of war has become a brighter, more hopeful place where I can teach Piper to love, just as she has taught me.
I went from a person who despised kids, to a nurturing stay-at-home mom who gets down on the floor to play, and who helps my daughter onto my lap where, together, we’ll read “Salvation” by Langston Hughes. From a wicked individual who once told people to put duct tape over their kids mouths to shut them up, to a baby-wearer who doesn’t spank and co-sleeps. From a materialistic stoner to a cloth-diapering momma who recently watched her baby spontaneously walk a piece of paper over to the recycling bin.
There isn’t a single night that goes by that I don’t cry in regret of my former self. I missed so many opportunities. There was no unrestrained ecstasy when I told my parents they were going to be first time grandparents. I missed the opportunity to have my husband and a midwife at my side during a homebirth. I’ll never meet my nursling’s eye as she gazes at up at me from my breast.
I am fortunate enough to have the ability to overcompensate for my previous shortcomings. Love, understanding, patience, and quality time together are things most important in our home. Homemade clothes happily replace designer duds. Natural materials: wood, silk, cotton, and wool garnish our home; substituting cold, lifeless plastic toys, mind numbing television sets, and noisy electronic games.
A hand-sewn multi-colored tapestry doll, whose head is topped with mommy’s hair, is lovingly nestled in the lap of the placid little girl whom sits before me now. I observe with wonder as she partakes in her much-loved pastime of reading, her favorite book being one that teaches sign language. She feels my devoted eyes on her and she glances my way with a smile that could turn a villain’s world upside down. She tilts the straw of her water-filled translucent purple cup towards me; her gesture asks if I would like a drink. A curious look emerges on her face; she angles her head, and announces, “Pee! Pee!” Off to the potty we go, but not before my daughter raises the red, green, and orange, faceless doll, caressing her lips. I know it’s a ploy to get me into the bathroom where she will sit bare-bottomed on her blue and white throne for only a moment before she’ll proceed to the sink to capture her toothbrush. Alas, this time she takes me by surprise when I hear the sound of fluid streaming into the bowl. I hand her a tissue as I congratulate her and return the cloth to her nether regions. She returns to Elby, her treasured lovey, and continues reading her an imaginative story. For this moment her favorite personnel hygiene is forgotten.
My shameful fear and anger that once furiously overwhelmed me, has altered me into the devoted mother that I was always meant to be. Piper, my remarkable daughter, has drastically transformed my life, my heart, and my entire being. Just knowing that her striking brown eyes will look into mine each day engulfs my soul. I appreciate the fact that there is no one that I would rather dedicate my entire life to than her. One piece of advice that never fully registers during a first pregnancy is that “Having a baby changes everything.” You hear it everywhere. You read it everywhere. But no matter how much you see it, hear it, or even naively say it, nothing prepares you for the changes you encounter. The way you think, the way you feel. The love for your child consumes you.