I don’t know about you, but, when my kids were born it didn’t feel like “bearing” or “bringing forth” anything, it felt like someone ripped a tiny human being out of my body. Oh, wait, that's EXACTLY what happened.
Birth, they say is the easiest pain to forget. Well, I call bullshit. I totally remember that pain…even with an epidural.
Four years ago today, I gave birth to The AWEnesty of Autism and yeah, sure maybe using the word "birth" is an exaggeration, but, there were times, bearing my soul felt like something was being ripped from my body. Although I may have a flair for the dramatic, I do recognize that “bringing forth a blog” is NOT like having a human ripped from your body, but, there are quite a few similarities.
Just like most of us before we decide to bring forth offspring, we put some thought into it. We recognize the impact it will have on our lives, the responsibility, the love and the nurturing we must provide in hopes that our offspring will do good in this world. Before I started this blog, I wrestled with the responsibility and the impact my words would have on others and I wanted to make sure, just like with any of my human children I gave birth to, when I bore this blog, that I did everything I could do make sure something good would come from it.
After we have mulled over the good (loving someone unconditionally) and the bad (goodbye bar hopping) to this whole birth thing and we decide to go for it, the actual birth hurts like hell and while enduring that pain we start to wonder, “What the hell was I thinking?” I have to be AWEnest, digging into the depths of my heart and mind reliving moments that were so hard for Ryan and for me hurt like hell too, but, this time, no one was around to give me that beautiful epidural. I kept telling myself, just like I did in childbirth, "It will be worth it".
After you bring forth that child, you start second guessing every move you make. OMG, will he hate his name one day (at some point, yes)? Should I have made my own organic baby food (Hell, no)? Will this preschool increase his chances of getting into Harvard (Hell, no)? As with my children, I do a lot of second guessing with each and every word I type on my blog and on AWEnesty's Facebook Page. I worry that this belief may impact this person negatively or these words may give false hope to these people. I feel a sense of responsibility for this blog as I do for the actions of each of my kids. Just like raising an offspring you want to make sure you do your best to ensure your children do more good than harm and when mistakes are made, you can only hope that forgiveness will follow.
Here is the kicker though. Whether it was after a few glasses of wine or a very thought out plan, after a decision is made to bring forth an offspring into the world, although there are times you may feel alone, like when you are up nursing your baby for the fifth time and your husband is snoring loudly next to you and you fight the urge to suffocate him with your pillow, you really aren't. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it does. Most of us have family, friends, teachers, doctors and other mom friends who impact our decisions as we raise our children after you bore your offspring. "Raising" a blog is no different.
Thanks to all of you, I have been able to bring forth this blog into the world, and you all have played a part to make sure I am making the best decisions as I raise it. Whether it's words of encourgament, criticism or helping me see another point of view, you are helping my "offspring" make a difference in the lives of the people it touches. I could not have done any of this without all of you...my village.
So, thank you. Thank you for four years of sharing, advocating and raising awareness. Thank you for inspiring me, inspiring others and inspiring hope. Thank you for helping Ryan and me teach, "different, not less". This whole birth experience and the years that followed would have been a lot more painful without all of you. Who needs an epidural when you have a village?
AWEnestly, I still would take the epidural...and all of you.