Friday, 7 March 2014

Happy Frankie Day

One year ago, in the very early hours of the morning,  I gave birth to a beautiful girl named Frankie Rose. 
She came into the world as fast as an earthquake, at least it felt like an earthquake...
I woke sometime after one a.m. that night, with the slow ache of contractions in my belly. I waited for some time until waking Brian, and we waited together until after three a.m. with contractions that never picked up too much speed or intensity - I thought it would be the same deal as my first birth, in which there were about twelve hours like that, so I figured I should try to go back to sleep, and stood up to go to the bathroom.
That was when the the earthquake started; it was bigger than me, bigger than my body, bigger than my mind. I couldn't contain the intensity so I let go into it. I've never felt as much like an animal as I did that night.
It was less than thirty minutes like that; back to back contractions as I stood over my father's antique roll-top desk in the den. I couldn't sit or think or stop, I just had to move my hips and breathe and allow for the earthquake to happen.
And then, there she was. The midwife barely caught her. She slipped from her hands and landed on a towel on the floor. I looked down and saw her face for the first time: my daughter. Her cheekbone looked like the moon, like a little crescent moon.
And so it began - I birthed a girl, on the powerful occasion that is International Women's Day.

There is something that happens to me when I look at my daughter. I don't just see a baby, I see a woman in the making.I see the body that will shift and change so dramatically in her lifetime. I see my own dreams - the ones I haven't fulfilled yet, and I see a girl who I hope will not go through a lot of the things I went through in order to find her place on this earth. I finally understand why things between mothers and daughters can be so hard, and so charged, and so full of emotion.  While she is, of course, her own little person, Frankie is also the greatest reminder I have to reach for my potential, birth my dreams, and honour myself. It is easy to look at her and want all those things for her, but if I don't fulfill those desires for myself, I may resent her later on, or grow jealous of her, or compete with her - all the things that run rampant between mothers and daughters.
I don't want those things between us, so that is then my work to do.

Often when I look at her I think of what I want for her, what I really want for her, and it is this: self-worth. Sure I want her to follow her dreams and her truth and have fun and grow and be true to herself, but mostly I want her to feel the value of her being. In feeling and knowing the value of her being, she will not have to go seeking a false sense of womanhood from shady places.

My dear Frankie girl - happy birthday. Happy International Women's Day. Welcome to the sisterhood.  We've got your back.