Friday, August 15, 2008

A stoning

Well, it's time to start asking the Big Questions.

I've gathered enough energy now and have integrated much of this latest experience of missed miscarriage to begin my new project. In conjunction with writing the book (yes, that's still going along, however slowly), I am going to start properly tuning/tapping in. I haven't had all the tools or understanding until now.

But a question posed to me just yesterday, about finding what I was really - no, really - passionate about and knowing I would know when I knew (how clear...) suddenly woke me up into this new reality.

My waking thoughts as I lay in Recovery all revolved around women. The women who had woken in that room, after IVF egg collections, after suction curettes, after day surgeries on their "parts". They were filling my head. I cried then. I cried for me, it's a given, but I cried for them too. How many people had woken in there with the realisation that their baby's life was officially over? Or that they were about to be plunged again into another IVF cycle with yet another unknown outcome.

I became desperate to get up and move into action. In that bed, in the space of two hours, I planned to do something, whatever it was that I, specifically, could do for these mothers and babies. I went from wanting to be there with them as they were put under, someone to comfort them as I have been done too many times now ("so that means I'll have to maybe become a theatre nurse"), then I wanted to be there to gently help them wake into their new existence as the realisation hit them ("I just want to take that emptiness and pain away for them, so maybe that means .... a Recovery Room nurse?") and finally, I landed on the possibility of becoming a midwife.

So when I was confronted yesterday and talked straight (with Jen), I remembered that final consideration, that seemed sillier the more I woke out of my anaesthetised fog, and in a split instant as she was talking, it smacked me square between the eyes with an undeniable knowing. A midwife. That's what I'm heading towards becoming. A spiritual midwife.

The woman who sits before the mother; the one who holds; the earth-mother; the woman who massages; the woman who leads the child by the hand to be with us; the woman who holds the pelvis; the cord mother; the medicine woman; the wise woman…
[Sheila Kitzinger, Rediscovering Birth, 2001, p131]

On another, though not unrelated, note... What are we missing? What are we not focusing on? What do babies need their mothers to do, say, ask, prepare for them to come and stay, long before they get here?

I called the title of this post 'A Stoning' because, hey, these are questions that are pertinent and yet very rarely brought out and honestly faced. There is a lot of sweeping under the carpet of such esoteric questioning and striving to understand.

I am not saying I brought miscarriage on myself. This is such a naive notion, which goes in the same basket as "I had a fight with my husband or had bad feelings towards him so that's why it's left"..... totally reasonable (though irrational, in hindsight sometimes) thoughts for a woman to have when she lives in such a cause and effect world. I've thought it myself - I spent years living in a self-imposed state of persecution that I must obviously be a bad, evil-to-the-core human being and I was also inflicting my childless fate on my dear husband, who actually did deserve to have a child. It was horrendous reasoning. Frantic, desperate, fear-filled questions of my fate.

When one has lost a child, and lost pregnancies nearing double figures, one asks... "Why is this happening?" Before the LGBB, I had a lot of time to ask those questions. But my focus was absolutely thoroughly blinded by the heavy fog of desperately needing a child to help me fill the void. I can only thank all my lucky, lucky stars that they upstairs saw fit to send me someone who would enhance my experiences and actually make me useful, hopefully, to others sometime down the track.

For I'm no longer talking with the experience of my first or second or fifth miscarriage anymore. I'm walking with the after-effects of my ninth. Sure, on one level this is just a number. And, hell yeah, I know there are more women out there with even greater numbers of loss. Whatever their experiences are to deal with and heal and grow from are their business. My purpose, my passion, my drive... comes from needing to actually talk to the babies. And I know what I need to ask them.

I am scared shitless. But I am going headlong into it. I can do it now. And it's exciting.

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