Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Dream World

When I was 7-1/2 months pregnant there was a woman in our community who, after hearing me talk of my parenting ideas (cloth diaper, co-sleep, breastfeed, etc) told me I was living in a dream world. I remembered that moment while sitting on the sofa tonight with a snuffly Shira sleeping across my lap and Batya curled up a few cushions away snuggled with Aba. (The girls are going through growth spurts and their sleep has suffered.)

Back then that statement was enough to bring me to tears. It wasn't just the hormones but a deep-seeded fear that it wouldn't work out. I wouldn't have my babies near me as much as I wanted. I wouldn't be able to respond to their cries in a timely manner and have to let them be. We wouldn't be able to comfort them at night but would leave them to cry alone in the dark. I feared that the vision I had of my life with these three blessings would be very different than the reality.

What I needed all those months ago was someone to tell me that my fears were normal and natural and though things might be different than what I had planned and dreamed, they wouldn't be wrong or betray the deep beliefs I had in parenting. Almost four years later I can say without a doubt that that is true.

I wasn't able to breastfeed. I didn't have the birth, hospital or NICU experienced I wanted. There were months of bone deep depression and feelings of total isolation. But on the other side of those experiences and through changes, trials and stages there have been brachot.

No longer will I stand by and let someone talk to me as if their opinion is more important than mine. No longer will I allow someone to belittle my choice because they don't agree. No longer will I quiet that voice inside of me when what she says is against the grain. More importantly my girls will see my strength and have a role model when they are faced with tough choices and pressure.

I do this for my girls. I do this for me. I do this because I like my dream world, faults and all.