January 20, 2011

vertex, vertex!

it flipped! well, it was maneuvered into flipping. hey, my first flip was assisted too, kid. do i recommend an ecv? try the moxibustion first - having someone reef on your already stretched stomach muscles is distinctly uncomfortable. ("uhh, we're just going to sling your intestines over your shoulder for a moment here...") but was it worth it? oh yes.

the nurses were really lovely. when one asked me what we were having and i said we didn't know, she said ultrasounds at this stage don't usually show anyway. every now and then you get the third leg. one nurse kidded that it's a boy because it couldn't ask directions on how to get out (cringe). another nurse talked to us about midwifery and warding off the bad faeries after the baby had flipped. the doctor, who had just come from a c-section, was nice and friendly; he sort of reminded me of hawkeye pierce from mash, except without the heavy boozing and flirtations. a nice guy, you know? a doctor because he liked helping people.

i had a crazy dream last night that i think helped me release emotionally. i dreamed that a man came into our house late at night (while i was up drinking a smoothie because i couldn't sleep) with explosives strapped to his chest. i wasn't afraid of the explosives (at all) but i was upset that he was in our house uninvited. he was upset; claimed something like no one would let him go to the pool (something about socializing and being with others). i wrestled him out of the house, telling him he wasn't normal, that's why. and this behaviour of his wasn't normal either. after i locked him out of the house, i could still feel his hand around my ankle.

i woke up still peeling his fingers off my ankle, and realised that eleven years ago today, my dad died.

my dad did not have adult relationships. he was not emotionally healthy enough. his only deep relationship was with me; i had to be an adult for him. his mental health problems forbid him from relating to others. this sucked for both of us. since my parents were divorced, my mom was not involved emotionally with my dad so it was just me.

i journalled last night about it (drinking a smoothie, since i couldn't sleep). i've been thinking a lot about love vs. lip service: does it matter if we say we love someone or believe we love someone if we are incapable of showing it? is this passive "thought that counts" love still love? maybe. but not to me. not anymore. and how does one love a child? especially one who is accustomed to keeping people at arm's length?

attention. i got pacifiers instead. since my dad wasn't capable of giving me his full attention, i got pizza. (it wasn't always so dire, by the way. his mental health got worse as he aged; there are some really great childhood memories of camping and hiking.) but attention is the priceless gift, isn't it? mom was putting herself through law school and then raising two kids as a single mom who worked family law for poor people.

affection. this one i feel shorted on more by mom, who doesn't really like physical touch. we still brace when we hug. dad wasn't too much better, as he came from a family where his dad never even said "i love you". i also just lucked out to be in the generation of crib and playpen children. we're planning to sleep our child in the bed with us (until, as the queen says, s/he becomes a little jerk; then they get their own bed).

asking for what's fair. i was my dad's whole support network, and that was unhealthy. it's been good for me to realise i have my own support network. i have been talking with these people more, sharing how i feel and asking them for help. the only thing i ask my baby to do is be a baby. that's it, that's all.

it was nice to realise, emotionally and not just logically, that it wasn't my responsibility to make sure my dad was feeling okay. it was never my responsibility, and i didn't fail him. this makes me feel more confident about being a parent; working through this, i feel like i do know how to love a child. at least i've got a game plan. also, i feel grateful that my mom wants to be involved. knowing she is around and has experience is really, really nice.

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