I felt empowered, womanly, strong, incredible after giving birth to my first son, Eli. “Girl, you’re a rockstar,” my midwife said as I sat in bed panting, endorphins rushing through my body, tiny bald baby on my chest, and I believed her. And then I went home, high on natural birth but missing half the blood in my body due to post-birth trauma, and I plunged into a depression so deep and dark and powerful that it took me a year to climb out.
Motherhood changed me. Sometimes I wonder where that girl went – that care-free, fun-loving girl sort of withered away, drained out of my body with the blood and in her place sat a small, pale, confused person trapped halfway between girl and woman, feeling like a phony at both. In the months after giving birth when I would venture out alone, without Eli, I felt naked and awkward – who was I without a big pregnant belly or a small nursling at my side? Now I would need to face reality – and people – head on, and I didn’t remember how to. I felt like I’d lost my identity.
But, with time, the color started returning to my world. I noticed the little things – like the flowers in my neighborhood that stood on their hind legs, pushing their faces up into the warm sun. The sticky smell of fresh, black pavement. The way big blue baby eyes and a deep belly laugh light up your world. How fun and free a night with my husband made me feel. And my identity started to creep back in; slowly at first as I regained confidence and felt compassion for myself, and then quickly as the warmth and love for people, place, creation started to fill me once again. That care-free girl, she surfaces sometimes, but a new woman has now replaced her almost totally – earth and soft and loving but fierce and strong, too. I’m a mother, just like you.
I’m a Vermonter, born and raised. I have a BFA in sculpture and I work at home as a freelance interactive producer. We live on 10 acres of land in Westford, where we hear birds and coyotes and crickets and watch fog rise up from the ground after a storm, lacey and undisturbed. I have two boys – Eli, a feisty and fun 2 ½ year old and Bodhi, a gentle, sweet, and joy-filled 3 month old. In my free time I read about birth and breastfeeding and attachment parenting, I philosophize and think about the divine, I sneak down to my basement office and sew, I take 3,702 pictures of my kids, I stand on my porch and watch hawks fly overhead.
Sometimes, when wanderlust and the monotony of the daily grind become unbearable, I dream of escaping Vermont – but then I see those mountains draped in velvet hugging the horizon, deep blue and majestic and my heart aches like it’s going to burst open into a million pieces and I feel this deep tug on my soul and I remember that I’m home. That I’m head-over-heels-stupid-in-love with this state, that I want my babies to look across open fields and rolling hills and apple trees leaning too far into the road and ivy creeping across low-hanging power lines and know that this is the place we chose to raise them. That this is the place we call home.
Thanks liss. I’ve always enjoyed your writing from fake household newspapers to mommy blogs. Though we are worlds away both literally and lifestyle-ly (whatever you made up nursling so I get to make words too) I too understand the pull of home. Washington has momentarily taken over my life, but VT will always have my heart. Miss you, keep up the good writing and mothering (: love, Rol
Haha I did not make up nursling!! It’s just an awesome but not commonly used word.
Thanks Rol. xo
Dang…well now I just feel like a dumb dumb haha (;
When I was pregnant with my first child, I lived in PA. I moved there when I got engaged and got married there. I told my husband that I didn’t want my children born anywhere other than Vermont. I wanted to go back home. We moved 7 1/2 months into my son’s pregnancy and both of my kids were born here. I’m so glad we did that and so glad we’ve chosen to raise them here. I love this state.
For a long time when I was younger, I thought I would never come back to VT but – granted, I’m biased – I’ve found no other state compares!
I’m not a native Vermonter, but I am a native New Englander. Vermont is the place I’ve lived the longest and where I’ve put down my deepest roots.
Wonderful! Welcome to the team!
Thanks Christin! I’m excited to be here
So beautifully written….. love this.
Thanks Callie 🙂
Love this and love your description of this beautiful state that we live in!
Thanks Nissa! And such a beautiful state it is.