The bold type

Starting next month, I want to make you all part of my journey towards motherhood. So, to start off with, I would like to introduce you to the outrageous person that is me.

 

“You are not your mother, your father, your history, or cultural influences. 

you are uniquely and originally you.

Be bold and daring and fearless and unconventional.

Be willing to use your voice in service of your soul.

Go on. Rock that damn boat

The wave you create might just change the world…”

~ Cheryl Richardson

 

I don’t think I have to tell you my name since it’s splattered all over this blog but to be sure, my name is Aura. I live in the Netherlands in a beautiful two bedroom, wheelchair accessible home with my service dog Aki. I am currently 23 years old and live by the idea that my wheelchair should adapt to my life and not the other way around. So I tend to make choices that are regarded as bold. With my service dog, I chose a breed that has never been used for this purpose before. When I moved out of my parent’s house, I decided to go live somewhere far away from my parents. Living on my own I chose to live a vegan lifestyle. Some of you may wonder if I’m just being difficult for the sake of it. To answer your silent question: no I most certainly am not! I love my life. I am aware it isn’t the path of least resistance. It is the path with the highest reward. I try to live every day in such a way that I never have regrets. Everything I do, I go for with everything I have, win or lose I will know I fought my hardest to reach those lofty goals.

Huge dreams, the long shot, I always go for the long shot. I mean the bigger the risk the higher the rewards, right? So, here we go. On the road to my biggest dream ever, the hardest road I ever traveled, the road to motherhood… And yes, you figured that out perfectly, I am single. So, I choose to become a single mother. I will be a single mother by choice. 

This choice was definitely not made overnight. It took me years, first I had a hard time letting go of the dream of the so-called “perfect family”. The idea formed because I knew I wanted to be a mom more than anything when I finally found what I wanted to do with my life. So I passionately started dating, desperately trying to find a partner to form that “perfect family” with. As you might guess, that didn’t work out so well. Lots of heartache later, I decided I didn’t want to be depended on anyone for my happiness. I tried adoption, called the local adoption agency and was discouraged in such an extremely negative way because of my age, single status and the wheelchair, which they were really negative about. I knew that convincing them I can be a good parent would be more than a long shot, It would be impossible. So, I decided this country isn’t ready for a single wheelchair using adopting mother and figured I could do foster-care…

However, I wanted a baby, an infant. Again with the long shot, right? Like with all the choices I make there’s an elaborate reasoning behind it. Single parenthood is hard. It is hard for everyone, almost impossibly hard for someone like me. So I figured a baby is born at a certain stage in its development for a reason, not only for the baby and the delivery but also to give the parents a doable learning curve in how to parent. In my opinion, I need that learning curve physically and emotionally more than anyone. And there’s another reason for the desire to get an infant in foster-care, I don’t know if I will ever be able to handle raising more than one child. So, If I’m only going to do this once I want the full journey. But I also really wanted to help a child. In my mind, there are already so many children without parents, the least I could do is give one a loving home. So, I went to the first mandatory meeting, I went by myself (and Aki of course) and people stared at me like I was an animal in a zoo. The hosts working for the agency treated me like I was a child with a cute infatuation. Because of all the research, I did (I have a slight obsession with being prepared) they didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. Even though I knew they weren’t taking me seriously,  they handed me the forms I needed to fill out at the end of the evening and I left. Excited as I was I filled in the forms the next morning and mailed them. My excitement was short-lived as I a person working for the foster-care agency called me to discuss my application. She said she saw I wanted an infant and that I was using a wheelchair in my daily life, she also said her colleague told her I am “severely disabled” so they were having a hard time with my application. I told her I don’t regard myself as being severely disabled and that she was being unfairly judgemental because she hadn’t even met me yet. The entire conversation was based on a huge prejudice but we decided to continue the discussion further at a later time and I ended the call. To make a long story short, the entire thing became a fight about me, about me right to become a parent, about their prejudices about my abilities. We lost sight of the most important thing, the child. So, a few weeks later when I decided to move house because I and my future child would have better living conditions and I had to start the process all over again with a different agency I chose to go a different route.

I had been playing with this idea for a while, complaining to my best friend that no government agency would question my ability to parent if I just got pregnant, she said: “you don’t need a guy to get pregnant.” and something just clicked. I had researched pregnancy before and it always got my adrenaline pumping. Also when I researched parenting styles and came to The Continuum Concept, everything fell into place for me. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to do parenthood the most natural minimalistic way. Breastfeeding, babywearing, elimination communication ánd a home birth. 

 

“Birth is not only about making babies.

Birth is about making mothers;

strong competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”

~ Barbara Katz Rothman

 

So, to conclude, I have decided I want to be a vegan, continuum concept, single wheelchair using mom by choice by a non-anonymous donor. And even though lots of people question my choices on this matter I’m determined to do it. I am sure that I can do it, without a doubt.

I am a woman of the bold type! Welcome to my journey…

 

“To me, freedom means having the power,

the inherent right,

the capacity and the ability to make choices that honor who I am.”

~ Iyanla Vanzant

 

Pain, the slain dragon (2)

A few weeks ago I faced my biggest challenge yet. The surgery that has changed my life in more ways than I could ever imagine.

It was one hell of a fight; sometimes the pain would be so severe all I could feel was my mind entering this black hole. At that point, there was no past or future, just pain. Only pain. It reached into every corner of my mind, turning off all the lights one by one. Just before I lost my mind and all the lights were gone, I found a way, some small crack in the darkness to fight back and be the master of my pain.

The days in the hospital were hard, tedious and extremely painful. I kept getting sick and vomited for days. It made me weak and unable to heal. My body was fighting to repair the damage done to its sacred self. My heart rate was very high for days, and so was my temperature. My body was craving nutrients, but I couldn’t keep anything down. I found out the painkillers were what made me sick, so I stopped taking them. During those days I found the corners of my mind. The edges I never needed to visit before. Although the pain was excruciating, I could feel my body recover. I managed to keep some food down. I was craving my whole foods plant-based diet. But couldn’t muster the strength to fight for it. The hospital did provide me with vegan meals, which I am very grateful for. But it just wasn’t the same. I craved my fruits and at the same time didn’t have the strength or energy to eat much.

After a while, the doctors found me a painkiller that didn’t make me sick. So the day before going home I could finally leave the four walls of my room to go for a walk around the hospital. It was so wonderful to take Aki, my service dog for a walk. He supported me every single minute I needed it. He never once complained although it must’ve been hard for him to spend day after day confined in such a small space. He helped me deal with the pain; he cheered me up when I needed it and brought me peace when I felt overwhelmed.

Discharged from the hospital, I spend some time with my parents. I needed to, I was in too much pain to be able to go home and take care of myself. I couldn’t even sit in my wheelchair for an hour. The first few days were great, having my mother take care of me like that. We all know the feeling when life sucks, and you’re sick and feeling sorry for yourself you crave motherlove. However, after a while, I was longing for my own personal space as well. I mean, I was feeling better every day, and the house was getting a little crowded since my sister was also staying there with her awesome son. I mean I love the little guy to pieces but I needed everything I had in me for my recovery and to then also have a two-year-old running around was just way too much. At some point, I could feel myself losing it a little bit, that is when I knew it was time for me to go home. I needed my own space. Unfortunately, I needed my mom to help me get settled back in, and she was swamped for a few days, so I had to wait. Waiting is not my strongest suit…

Those last few days of waiting were hard, I was mentally exhausted and very emotional because of the exhaustion. At night, when everyone was in bed, I would text with my best friend and just cry silently of exhaustion, unhappiness, and sadness. I reached my breaking point, and there was nothing else to do but hold on and hope life would get better soon.

So now I’m home. Been home for a few weeks now. It was and still is so good to be in my own home again. It does come with its own struggles, I mean I can’t wait for my recovery to go faster. I want my life back, I am so damn tired all the time it’s hard for me to even make food and eat it sometimes. But let’s be honest here, there are good days, and there are bad days. I do have some days where I almost feel like myself again. Like I can take on the world (read: finally get pregnant). But those are not most days. I still have a long road ahead. But I am grateful and determined to make the most of this extraordinary opportunity I have been given by this fantastic surgeon who has changed my life in more ways than I can count.