Six years ago at this time – I was going through one of the most difficult phases of my life. I was pregnant with my first baby and it was not going how I had planned. I had always had this “earth-mother-goddess” picture in my head of being pregnant. I imagined candle-lit homebirths and breast-feeding extravaganzas and wheat-grass-smoothy making – the fact that I spent most of my pregnancy vomiting until I peed my pants, had an emergency c-section that all ended in unsuccessful breast-feeding attempts was very disappointing – to say the least.
As much as I have been hyper-critical of my body – it has mostly done what I told it to… When I lifted weights it got pretty muscly (I was too broken to see it), when I wanted to run a ½ marathon it put up with the training (I was too broken to appreciate it), then, I got pregnant and I had no control over it and was so mad at it for betraying me – notwithstanding the fact that I had been betraying my body for decades.
And here is the truth – I have been so mad at my body for letting me down. We are made to have babies, we are made to deliver them and nurse them and have this wonderful hazy romantic memory of that time in our lives. Even worse? We are sold this fucking lie by fucking Pampers and Johnson and Johnson and What To Expect that if you just do every little thing perfectly then every little thing will be perfect.
Ah, but we all know that perfection is a myth created by industries that want you to buy their shit. No one gets close to perfection with the right clothes, right purse, right yoga mat, right parenting style…. Again, perfection is a myth – but the closest thing to it is AUTHENTICITY.
Just before I delivered Reese I went to a counsellor to discuss my anxiety about becoming a mother – at the end of all of her sessions she has you select an Angel Card from a wooden box…. The card I selected had a picture of a tiny little angel with brown hair and beside it was the word AUTHENTICITY. Reesie was sending me the message to just be myself…. That’s why she was choosing me… because of who I was…
Maybe that’s the thing that I was supposed to take away from that experience…. Maybe Reese and her beautiful authentic soul living inside me was just too much, too much for my psyche filled with lies and delusions and ridiculous expectations. Maybe my striving for perfection offended her so greatly that she needed me to know right out of the gate that nothing about her was going to be perfect – just perfectly authentic. And this is where the guilt just washes away… when I smile and I know that this is in fact true. I still see it – from time to time – when I need things to be just right and she looks at me confused; for her “good enough” is not settling “good enough” really is just that. And we all are – enough – if we let ourselves be. We are born enough.