Home > feminism, Mothers, parenting, Partners and Spouses > A Feminist’s First Mother’s Day

A Feminist’s First Mother’s Day

Later on today I’ll be posting my story about Keni’s birth. I’ll also be posting in the coming weeks the same story from the perspectives of my partner (coach), O’Neil, and friend (assistant coach), Yazi, who were present at Keni’s birth to support me. So, keep an eye out for those post.

This post however is more of a Thank You post to all those who were involved in my becoming a mother. As I think back over the years leading up to Keni’s birth, there have been so many people who have supported, inspired, and motived me along this journey.

First, of course, are O’Neil and Keni. O’Neil came along during a time when my life seemed to have been falling apart at the seams. He’s far from that knight in shining armor that young girls are taught to wait for to come in and save them but he has been a constant presence in my life since we met. He didn’t sweep in and save me or solve all my problem, nor did I solve his but he is a terrific source of strength, support and compassion when I really need it. He is truly my friend and partner in life. He sat through 12 weeks of Bradley classes in order to prepare for our little one’s birth (and actually enjoyed them). We didn’t think we’d have the opportunity to be parents due to infertility but we were blessed with Kenisha right when we’d given up.

Kenisha is the most amazing child that a mother could have. Even though she is only 8 months old, I see in her so much compassion, intelligence and determination. She has not stopped challenging me since the day I started having morning sickness! But, I appreciate her ability to keep me constantly aware and  critical of my thoughts, rational and approach not only to parenting but to life itself. She is the reason I am a mother and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To Kenisha’s aunt, for who she is named: You gave O’Neil a piece of your body so that he could live and be healthy. There are no words that can express my thanks that you saved his life and allowed him to be here so that we could meet and have this wonderful little person in our lives. I’ll make sure he takes great care of that kidney. I love you!

Next, there are a few people that have supported me through years of infertility and the end of a marriage. Kelly, Tasha, Christine, and Bobbie you ladies were there with me every step of the way and every complaint, cry,  and false positive. You were there when I finally got that BFP (big fat positive for those not fluent in TTC (trying to conceive) talk) even though I was the absolute last one to get pregnant. Thank you all 100 times over for not leaving me behind when it didn’t look like it would ever happen. I can’t tell you how much your love and support got me through when I thought I’d never be a mom. I truly love you all (even if we’ve only known each other through the internet).

Along the journey of pregnancy I took a birthing class in the Bradley Method and my instructor Laura was the greatest source of “real” pregnancy information. She taught us the truth about pregnancy, delivery and the capabilities of the female body. She also taught us the importance of support during the whole process of creating a human and showed us how to support each other through it all. Thank you Laura for you support and knowledge! We could not have had the wonderful natural birth without your tireless preparation!

In that class we made friends with two couples: Randi & Mike who now have Eli and Lisa & Eugene who now have Caitlyn. These two families were a sense of support and co-misery throughout my pregnancy. It was great to have other male partners for O’Neil to relate to and realize that he wasn’t the alone. These three guys have such great senses of humor and when they are together, as they were in our classes, they are hilarious (or at least they thought they were 😀 ). Lisa & Randi it was wonderful having you two strong women there to listen to me and to hear your stories, worries and concerns. Thanks to you all! You will forever be friends and I love you all dearly.

To Yazi, thanks so much for being at Keni’s birth. Thanks for begin there when I was having a feminist crisis (or two or five) and for having such thoughtful input or just an open ear when need. Thanks for studying the Bradley Method with me and really taking the time to be so well-informed about the birth process. Thanks for being my source of reason and knowing how to appeal to my logical feminist mind in the midst of the excruciating pain of transitional labor. Oh, and thanks for helping me stretch my leg out when I go that cramp in my leg while I was pushing! Love ya, girl! Could never replace you!

To Ingrid, you might not realize that you were a part of the process that was Kenisha’s birth but you were a pretty big one. You gave me the arena to intellectually process and examine the ways that feminism and parenting intersect. You gave me the opportunity to really understand my apprehensions to parenting and the ways in which parenting would be the next level of activism and NOT a submission to traditional sexist ideas of what a mother should be. Thank you for being a mentor to me and for always having time to listen (even though you are always busy educating  students and eradicating social injustices).

This is not exhaustive of course there are many more people who deserve thanks in the process of making me a mother but these are those that have played huge parts in making me the mother that I am.

——

There are a few more people I’d like to thank quickly.

My “gramma” Mary Elizabeth Mitchell for being the first person to really accept me as I was without fail. I miss you and I love you and I think of you daily. I gave Keni your middle name so I could never forget you.

To my own mother, who gave birth to me even though she didn’t really want to and who taught me exactly the opposite of what a mother should be. This is not sarcasm but an honest thank you. I would not have the perspective I have with out her. I finally understand what she was facing although I’ll never understand why she handled things the way she did. I hope someday she’ll understand what happened to me as a result. But mostly I just hope someday she finds peace. Thanks Umi, I love you. Maybe someday we’ll meet again.

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