But baby was born and she was just perfectly beautiful. She latched on and started nursing eagerly, and I thought, “when she’s done, we’ll just sleep and sleep and sleep.” She didn’t finish, though. She was insatiable. And, it turns out you have to do stacks of paperwork before they let you go to the room. It took hours to fill it all out, administer exams, tests, shots, eye drops, the whole nine yards. When we finally headed to the room around 4 am for some sleep, guess what? Baby did not want to sleep. Baby wanted to scream. She wanted to nurse. She would not be put down. This frustrated me to no end. I had made a rational and informed decision that the baby would sleep in her own crib from day one so I wouldn’t ruin sleep patterns for the whole family as well as end my sex life. It had never occurred to me that the baby might have her own opinion on the matter. She wanted to be held. At all times. She nursed relentlessly, and when the colostrom was gone and my milk had not yet come in, she bit at me until my nipples bled. “See?” I thought to myself. “It’s because you weren’t well-centered enough throughout the pregnancy. You didn’t do enough yoga. You harbored bad thoughts about your hippie birthing coach. You didn’t sing stupid twinkle songs to the fetus. Now you’re fucked.”
“My main concern about art school was a vision of quirky painter types, holing up in their studios and spewing arty masturbations about their tiny inner lives onto giant canvases. What if I got sucked into their self-indulgent little cult? Ugh. But I was studying photography! I would journey out into reality, recording lives legions away from my inner world.
Sadly, when I found out I was pregnant, I felt tremendous pressure to turn the lens on myself. “If not now, when?” my teachers queried. Here was this tremendous opportunity for self-exploration, they persisted, a once in a lifetime chance! And so my work devolved into self-indulgent arty masturbations about my tiny inner life. As I transformed into my own worst nightmare, at least I was too broke to make the ginormous prints that would have reified the accompanying self-loathing.”