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Robin: The Way I Give Birth Now

The running joke in military families is that you can predict the ages of the children in a deployed family by knowing the dates of scheduled homecomings and R&R (meaning during the time the couple is being “reacquainted” the chances are higher that a baby is conceived!). While my husband and I do enjoy these “catching up” segments, conceiving more children is definitely NOT ON THE AGENDA. With my body fast approaching 42 and Mike having already crossed that threshold, we are content to have biologically produced one little princess together who just turned 4.

As I was working on a mosaic project this morning and gazing over at the potential of a piece of plywood I have sitting on my dining room table, the thought occurred to me: this is how I give birth now. The excitement of a new idea, the purchasing of the materials I need in preparation for the new arrival, fantasizing about what form it will ultimately take once I begin to apply my hands to the materials. Even that certain point where the creation begins to move in another direction than I had anticipated and my response to such change reminds me of raising and then releasing a child (my oldest is now 21).

And then, at least with mosaics, as you begin to dust off the excess grout and the beauty comes through after the piece goes through its own version of the birthing canal, the creation sits before you. You feel protective and defensive about her. You almost could not bear to part with her.

Honestly, if I were younger perhaps I would be willing to entertain conceiving another baby with my guy. Realistically, we choose to remain content to raise the one we have. So I have a studio instead. I find this birthing process to be FAR LESS painful (sometimes).

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Robin, I simply loved this piece. I actually got a little weepy. Yes, this makes perfect sense — and what a beautiful way to let go of the childbearing focus. Even with 5 kids, it isn’t easy to say goodbye to all of that. This really helped me re-frame. Thank you 🙂

    March 31, 2010
  2. Thank you Miranda-the head and the heart CERTAINLY do not always meet up. I am still a bit sad about it. I am grateful I started this creative journey when I did, not realizing it would be the vehicle to help me “let go”

    March 31, 2010
  3. yep, thanks, robin. the one i gave birth to at 42 turns 2 tomorrow…right about the time with my older 2 when i felt (and still do to an extent) that maternal pull for another baby. but after all i’ve been through to have her, etc, i really am too old to consider another.

    and i’m finally doing those edits i need to to do in my manuscript!

    March 31, 2010
  4. Cynthia #

    I saw this post on Facebook, and am so glad that I took the time to stop and read this post–it’s a really helpful way to look at life and creation and birth. I, too, have one beautiful four-year-old daughter, and I, too, will not be having any more. This is because of health reasons. I would have loved to have had another, and struggle with that sometimes.

    But I write and I edit and I move forward–every day enjoying my daughter, and every day thankful for my writing life, too.

    March 31, 2010
  5. hi Cathy and Cynthia, It is a wonderful thing to know that we each go through this period in our own time. I am so grateful I do not have to go through it alone.

    March 31, 2010
  6. Diana #

    Hmm. Maybe this is why I feel like I still want to have 7 or 24 more babies.

    March 31, 2010
  7. o Diana, a nice rich CREATIVE life you have there!

    March 31, 2010
  8. Diana #

    *sigh* That’s the problem. I haven’t found my groove again. I feel like babies are my groove. Not like this bothers me … well, sometimes it does. 😦

    March 31, 2010
  9. I do think that it takes a while. It took me about a year to first get kind of a creative “routine” and then recognize (sometimes sadly) that my love for having babies was being transitioned.

    March 31, 2010
  10. great post, robin. i definitely find that i’m still wanting to “birth” things, be they children or art or projects. working on the latest now that combines a project with children, art and motherhood. i’m 44, and i still say i’d have another child if i didn’t have to go through what i had to go through to have my girls. i started out with triplets and lost one of them at 14 weeks and i wonder every day what it would have been like to have three. but maybe not all at once! 🙂

    April 2, 2010
  11. Happy to meet another military momma…enjoyed your post. thanks for sharing! (We’ve got 3 and we are sooooooo done.) whew!

    April 2, 2010
  12. Hi kelly, Your project combining 3 loves sounds very intriguing. And I am so sorry for your loss.

    April 2, 2010
  13. Howdy Megan! I just checked out yor blog; lovely work!

    April 2, 2010

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