Alternatively I could call this "That weekend when I was in labor with my first child and I also found out that I had won the Listserve Lottery and the subsequent mixed feelings I experienced"
I was laying back in the hospital bed, with the belts hooked up watching the baby's heartbeat, when I happened to also check my email. Initially I was excited to learn that I had, after four years of faithful reading and wondering when it would be my turn to share something witty and engaging with 20,000 strangers, finally won the Listserve Lottery. But then the reality quickly set in; when birthing a child, there is neither time nor energy to focus on other aspects of oneself. All that exists are bodily sensations and wondering/worrying/hoping about the baby, the future, the birth, how everything is changing.
Which reminds me that this is just another example of choosing between doing what my daughter needs and what I want. I'd like to share something right now that causes you to feel something. But I have to be flexible today; I have to get back rather quickly to paying attention to the labor. And that is just it; Sometimes I just won't have control over what is happening in my body, my baby's body and life in general. So if the Listserve Gods have chosen this freaking weekend as my one opportunity to connect with 20,000 strangers, I'll wing it and address the contradictions in this situation directly, because that is what moms do. I'm not going to edit this or think it through too much. I'm willingly sharing the most personal moment in my life in a very public way. Isn't that what everyone yearns for anyway....for the most deep down, vulnerable feelings to be validated, heard and ok?
I need your help my fellow Listservians, to finish this Listserve entry. The blood is not flowing to my brain properly right now. I've learned that people usually rise to the occasion (especially when you're pregnant)., I have a unique chance today to have 20,000 people welcome my baby to earth. Would you please join me in greeting this new life to this old planet? If you respond, I promise to gather all the welcome notes into a little book to give to my daughter on her 18th birthday. A simple "hello" is enough. But you can say whatever you feel moved to say. I read all your stories; I'm aware that you all represent such a diverse range of lived experiences. What a gift!?!
We don't have a name for her yet. All you need to know is that she is so loved, so wanted by her mom and dad. And since I realize that her dad and I have brought her into a world that is often unfair, harsh and meaningless, it might be comforting and inspiring for her to have a place to go to remember that life can also be beautiful, hopeful and surprisingly random.
In my professional life as a child psychologist, I often meet children and adults who once were children, who wonder about their own worth and whether there is safety in seeking out relationships with others. My hope is that I can parent my biological child (as well as the children and inner children in my patients) to develop an internal compass to her value and to try at least sometimes to see the positive from her limited time here.
San Francisco, CA