Loosening the Grip: A Year of Letting Go


It has been well over a year since I wrote. The words simply haven’t come close to my fingertips and the idea of typing the first sentences felt too overwhelming. 

If you’re new to visiting our site, I’ll do a short reintroduction here. My name is Kristin, I live in Philadelphia, with my husband, Bob, who restores old buildings. We have two sons, Alfie Guy (4) and Felix (11mo). I launched Mother Butter on Mother’s Day 2021; inspired by my personal path to motherhood, my life living with autoimmune conditions and simply by my desire to serve, protect and uplift women… (that can be done via butter, right?). It has been a joyous little business and purpose; my third baby.

It was this time last year however that I would walk through a personal threshold of transformation (as if motherhood itself wasn’t enough). It has been a long hallway to walk since, but maybe I am turning a corner? Maybe things are making sense, in ways, again? And I trust sharing my stories with you might help you understand all that’s behind the butter today, which includes the hope to help someone else.


1 year ago…

I was 9 months pregnant in the backseat of the car fighting with the faulty oxygen tank. It was connected to my father sitting in the passenger seat while Bob was at the wheel. We were only a few blocks into our drive to the emergency room when the tank had stopped working and my father’s oxygen levels were dangerously low. I called 911 while twisting the lines; an eventual smack to the tank got her going again. I hung up the phone and we continued the drive, smacking the tank every few minutes along I-95, blasting The Rolling Stones to keep my father awake. Once we arrived to the hospital I ran through the ER doors and yelled for help—they grabbed a wheel chair assuming I was having my baby until I quickly redirected them toward the car so they could save my father’s life.

It was incredible what happened next. My husband and I watched in awe as the team worked together to bring my lifeless father back to himself. Maybe 10 different people in a dance around one another, around us, surrounding my dad. There were minimal questions asked, no paperwork, it was a harmony of intelligence and care, and it was beautiful. He came back. 

Little did I know, the following 48 hours would be our final hours together. 

They call us the “sandwich generation” — those of us “older” parents who are caring for young children and our aging parents. As part of the wave of millennial women swooned by fanciful careers and companies toting the benefit of freezing your eggs so that you can wait until your late 30s/40s to have your children; we weren’t exactly forewarned about the sandwich. I always wanted to be a mom, but I imagined my parents would be a part of that too. They weren’t going anywhere, ever, right?


On January 1st, 2023 I woke after a full night of sleep to realize I was in labor. I packed my bag while Bob made eggs and we waited for my mother and brother to pick up Alfie. After a day at Pennsylvania Hospital watching the New Year's Day Mummers parade and the Eagles game (sadly, a loss), three good deep pushes (thank you pelvic floor therapy!) and at 6:23pm, baby boy (aka Baby Butter) Felix was born.  

 

shadow self

Experiencing grief on top of postpartum is a bizarre cloud of beauty and darkness; losing my father at 9 months pregnant, with a three year old, and trudging forward through birthing, breastfeeding, “balancing”, turning 40… The year revealed "trigger" days (or months) that I am now forewarned of.


Above anyone else, my father believed in me to an exaggerated degree—and I took it. To lose that ringing bell of confidence, I have felt like I lost my strength. But you know what? Today I feel different. Today I am seeing the moments of the last year, recognizing them and accepting the sadness, the anger, the pushing down and away, and the eventual processing, and I understand this very human experience. I have learned a lot and especially the fact that multiple emotions can exist at once and carrying them, allowing them to be, is strength. 

More to come my friends. Thank you, as always, for supporting me here and allowing me to support you. I do want to hear from you. Please comment, call, DM or email. To be continued...


2 comments


  • Susan

    Beautifully said, Kristin. I am reminded of the quote “Grief is not a disorder, a disease, or sign of emotional weakness. It is an emotional, spiritual, and physical necessity – the price you pay for Love. The only cure for grief, is to grieve. “ ❤️


  • Tom

    Cherish the fond memories of your Dad, he sounds like a Cheerleader and loving Dad.


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