tammy, canon digital rebel xt
This is my dear friend Tammy and her 8th month swelling belly. She has been the mother of sweet Jonas for 7 years and for five years, tried for this little darling girl in her womb about to arrive in a month's time. She had a baby shower this past weekend. I had expressed to her earlier that I may not come because I was afraid that it might open up a well of emotions within me that I felt I had moved through. I knew she would understand because she had tried to conceive for five years and still felt quite close to that journey.
The few days leading up to the shower, something shifted within. I was feeling quite free of my usual slight depression. I was feeling hopeful and well taken care of by our doctors. I felt so close to the possibility of being a mother that going to the shower, I may not feel like an outsider but like one of them, one of the "mothers", so to speak. Most of all...I just really yearned to celebrate her miracle and her womanhood.
For the first three hours, I held it all together. My focus was completely on Tammy and her luscious belly and glowing self. Being behind the camera lens the entire time was like a security blanket for me, keeping me distracted from that well I spoke of earlier.
Then it happened. The minute I relaxed, sat down and actually paid attention to the gifts she was opening (rather than taking pictures of them), I saw her pull out a few adorable little bohemian girl outfits. I felt that all familiar longing in my heart. Then an all consuming heat moved up my face. The room began to close in on me. I could hear my heartbeat. I looked around and for the first time realized I was the only one in the room, besides her young nieces, that wasn't a mother. I tried four deep breaths to stop the tears but I felt them coming, so I quietly stepped outside. I paced back and forth, went back in and knew it was over. The dam was about to break. I apologized to the lovely hostess and tip toed out the back door and the flood began. I sat in my car and let it flow and later when I arrived home, talked it all out with my husband.
My first reaction was to be disappointed in myself. I wanted to support Tammy, to be a part of the celebration for all of her efforts and patience on her journey up until now. I felt so frustrated that right when I was feeling so good, I had taken what felt like many steps back. The few days following, I felt completely traumatized. Numb. Energyless. Weepy. Overwhelmed. Thank God I have an amazing husband that never tires of these emotions. I know he is right there with me, just expressing it differently than I do.
I allowed myself time to be still and feel everything and am rediscovering my strength again, picking up the pieces and creating art from it all. I talked to a few wonderful souls that loved me into a more peaceful place, reminding me that everything that I was feeling was perfect and just as it should be. I am finding my center, focusing on all of the other aspects of myself that make me whole.
Instead of being angry, I am now proud that I lasted three hours, proud that I went out of my love for Tammy and thankful for the lessons I learned through the pain.
Note to self: No more baby showers until I get pregnant. *smile*