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« spreading hope giveaway winner | Main | grateful monday »

January 04, 2009

Comments

Rachel Inbar

I think you've said it perfectly. And I'm sure that's what made all the pain go away for me - being able to fulfil my (childbearing) dreams.

My heart needs to succeed at the things I am working on (will settle for one success this year). My body needs rest and my mind needs quiet...

Megan

I totally am feeling what you have said here! Each day is what life is all about...not each "thing" we stretch toward. The moments that make up today, "the now" are what life is. This also is what I'd like to focus on this year. That life isn't about the single milestones where the time in between doesn't matter. It's the time in between that needs our most attention. Perfecting the art of the everyday life. You're a rockstar! Keep on truckin'!

mc

wow, thanks nikole. i need to take a page from your book! i want this year to be about living my life with intention too. i've been having serious melt downs this week. i've cried more since my daughter's birth than i have in a really long time. i think alot has to do with the fact that somehow her birth is showing me whats most important and how to live each day to the fullest and reminding me how i want to live it. getting to the place where i want to be will be hard work too. thank you for this post. i was reading it and saying 'yes' to myself. yes i understand.

serenity

Oh my. Nikole, it's like you wrote everything I've been thinking and feeling. I couldn't agree with you more.

So yes. Yes. YES.

I'm with you, hon.

xxx

Kelly

this may sound trite and cliche but I really believe the saying "life is not a destination, its a journey". there is never that one thing that you get to and voila, everything is perfect and complete. it really IS about the journey. The mundane and the painful and the exciting and the ordinary. Its about the lady at the grocery store and the driver in front of you on the freeway and the best friend you've ever had since grade school and your soul mate and your vet. Its about all of those people and how then enter and exit any given segment of your journey and how your journey is affected by them. Its about taking the trash out and taking marvelous vacations and taking naps and taking stock and taking care and taking vitamins. Everything.
I have come to realize that everything is the way it is because it is supposed to be that way. At any given moment, because I believe that God has a loving and fruitful plan for me, that everything is as it should be. That doesn't mean that I will always be happy. I think in this culture we are trained to believe that if we aren't happy, something is wrong. I don't believe that happiness should be the end goal. Its much bigger than that. So many parents try to keep their children happy and free of discomfort all the time and really they are missing the point of raising a child (and doing a disservice to the child). The term is "child rearing" not "child appeasing". Same is true of adults. So many of us seek happiness at all times. Happiness will naturally occur at some times...when it is right. It will happen on its own. It will come to us when we are on our right path. That means that pain will be necessary on the journey too.
And as far as being 30 and "just" figuring this out...well...you are ahead of ALOT of people. Many or most people never really step into the evolution of themselves at all. They stay in a comfortable bubble of phoniness and a non-journey of sorts. To figure out anything about yourself is something you should be proud of at any age. And to want to discover more is something else to be proud of because many people find it too painful to introspect enough to grow. Its pretty normal at 30ish and as a new mother to have these realizations. The vast majority of people aren't awake enough to care to wake up more so if it seems like they have things figured out...I'm can tell you from experience, they don't.
I'm going to be 36 this month and I have always looked forward to 40. It seemed like a good place to be. As I come closer to it, I am more convinced that its going to be good. I feel so much better about life than I used to. I don't expect it to be choirs of angels singing...but I do expect it to be a lot better than 20. Or 30.
as for losses...look I had ONE. and I still feel, 5 years later, ripped off by my first pregnancy experience. the innocence and trust of just believing everything is ok and miraculous and perfect and that its going to be fine...I never got to have that. My first and only loss was my first pregnancy so I never got to experience the blissful ignorance and naivete of that first pregnancy. Instead my first pregnancy was full of qtips molesting my cervix to check for blood, constant close up examinations of my panties and the toilet paper. Constant agonizing worry. completely insensitive and idiotic medical "professionals" who may as well have dipped me in boiling oil for the stupid crushing things they said to me. It was a time where I was angry with God, the world, life. I felt alone...completely alone. No matter how many people told me they knew how I felt. My 2nd pregnancy was equally terrifying. I was feeling my cervix and was horrified to find it low and hard (at the airport bathroom) and started freaking out. the obsession started the moment we conceived. I still feel fragments of resentment.
When we decide to have a child and start a family, because we are human, so many things and expectations get attached to that idea. The notion of things just being wonderful and perfect and zen and mother earth...the norman rockwell images in our minds...the dreams of traditions we'll build with our children...those all get wrapped up in the package. its normal for those expectations to get attached to something so fantastic as a pregnancy. And then when those things don't happen, its crushing. I know you feel gypped by not being able to push your daughter out. I know you felt powerless by the whole experience. But you are NOT powerless. You are a strong and amazing woman. So it wasn't flawless. You still DID grow a human being in your body. You did. It was a bumpy ride, yes. But success is not measured by the smoothness of the ride. There is no magic pill or super prayer you can take or pray that will take those feelings from you. You kind of have to sit with them and marinate in them for awhile. A long time maybe. The intensity of your "marination" will ebb and flow through the years. Those losses ARE a part of who you are now. The resentment and anger WILL fade over the years but you will always be able to remember, without much of a reminder, what it felt like to be angry and resentful and ripped off. Its OK to feel those things. Life is not always about happy zen peaceful feelings. The ugly stuff is part of the journey too and no less important. You kind of have to make friends with the ugliness and embrace it for what it is. Its ugly and it smells bad and has warts and puss and its uncomfortable to look at but it is part of my experience.
Pregnancy was not your end goal. Motherhood was. Thea does not feel ripped off because she wasn't pushed out, or because her placenta wasn't just so. She is going to admire you SO much when she's older. And by the time she is old enough to admire these things about you, you will have been marinating for a long time and making friends with ulgy feelings and you're going to be a juicy and tender human being who can help her with her own journey. THAT is what being a mom is.
And when you become a mom you are not magically a fully evolved all wise person. I feel like I am growing up right along side my children. I had to learn how to share, how to have kind words and an inside voice. I had to learn how to set a good example and find my table manners again. I've had to find ways to articulate how I feel about God so that I can share that,and in doing so, the simplicity of those concepts really reignited things in me even as I watched it take root in my son. I have had to learn how to clean up after myself in so many ways, just as I am teaching him to do. I have had to teach him how to be a giver, and it has made me more of a giver in the process.
You are doing everything fine. Everything is as it should be, right now, in this very moment.
There is a lot of peace in that. When you stop "shoulding" yourself, things feel alot better...

you're a fantastic human being. really.

and your "imperfect" posts are better than my well thought out rambling stream of consciousness blatherings any day of the week. ;)

tekeal riley

hi. i found you via the portfolio project- i'm also playing. i'm very touched by your writing and this piece of your story. it's always such a relief for me to have deep experiences mirrored/articulated through someones else's words... and though my story is in many ways very different from yours, i share similar touchstones of grief and longing and letting go... so thank you.

tekeal

the link should be right now.

tekeal

the link should work now.

Kelly

Imperfect pregnancies really mess with our perfect perceptions of how reality should be. I was right there with you 7 years ago and 3 years ago. And in many ways still am.

Present moment living - that is my goal.

rowena

This is quite the journey you are on.

I am more and more reflecting upon what it means to be a mother, how it affects us as creative, spiritual people, how society expects certain things from us and also, pregnancy and the aftermath, itself.

I don't know how so many people had babies without the world falling apart. Maybe that really is why men have been in control of the world, because of how having babies changes everything about our (women's) worlds.

I am just now beginning to come to grips with my own experience with antepartum and postpartum depression. I had easy physical pregnancies, but I never had that dream pregnancy/early motherhood that you wished for, either. Sometimes I think I have a little post traumatic stress from the experience.

But I can't change what happened to me. I can only have control over now. I can help other women along who might suffer from similar, though, by talking about my experience, helping others understand that they are not alone. In fact, one of the only reasons I didn't think I was completely crazy was because I saw a friend of mine go from being that yoga earthmother person into a pregnant black hole of spirit.

I remember telling her that all her light was going to her child, and that's why she had none for herself. So when it happened to me, I had that frame of reference. But it really sucked anyway.

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