Monday, September 11, 2006

Has It Really Been A Year...



Right now a year ago today I was in labor. I was having mild contractions every 7-9 minutes. Peter and I were at our church picnic. It was undeniable, I was going to be a mother. I couldn't press pause on life and say “Hold on, I'm not ready for this.” I remember telling people at work that although there were similarities, getting ready to have a baby was a lot different than getting ready to get married. With a wedding you could always decide even at the last minute to postpone or even, to CALL IT OFF! Sure, it might be embarrassing, costly and would likely cause your fiance irreparable emotional damage. But it can be done. You can decide against going through with it. Not so with birth. Everyone laughed at my anecdote but the truth was I was serious. I wasn't so sure I wanted to go through with this. But I should have thought about that 10 months earlier. I couldn't change my mind now.

It wasn't the pain I was afraid of. In fact, I'm kind of a freak like that. I wouldn't say I like pain, but I like a challenge. Since I had a midwife the plan was – no drugs. If need be, she could administer Demerol or laughing gas. There was also some kind of fancy thing she could do for back labor which involved injecting purified water into my back. I could have an epidural or a C-Section if needed but then my care would have to be transferred to a physician. I was determined for that not to happen. And I was determined to do it without drugs of any kind. I was all like, “Come on labor, show me what you got!”. Looking back I am so happy that I had the kind of birth that I so badly wanted. That I did it the way I hoped I could. That I was proud of myself. Because once Baby A arrived nothing was as I hoped it would be for a long, LONG time.

A year ago today I was just a girl. A woman. A hairstylist. A wife. Not a Mama. Not a food source. Not a rocking, shushing, patting, bouncing robot. Not a sleep deprived zombie. Not a hormonal disaster. Not yet...

I looked in the mirror and I saw me. Me with a huge round tummy, but still the same me. The process of growing our baby inside me had changed me. I was different. But not as different as I am now. Now I look in the mirror and I see a Mama. I see someone who made it through the biggest challenges she's ever faced. Someone who gave birth, fought to feed her child, fought depression, fought self hatred, fought self pity, learned to be a Mama, learned to be patient, fell in love with her baby. I am so much more than I was a year ago.

They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. This year proved to me that 'they' are right. Not only am I stronger, I'm smarter, I'm happier, I'm better.

11 comments:

Rachelle said...

What an awesome post! Is motherhood the grandest thing?

babydmama said...

Wow - you really made me cry and my girl is only approaching 6 months - but I really powerfully related to what you posted. Happy Birthday Baby A!

bon said...

This brings back the first year of being the Mama to me. Looking back, I can hardly belive that one wee baby was soooo hard, but she WAS! It really was that hard, everything was so dark and yet so magical. Happy Birthday little one and congrats!

(in a funny way it's easier and yet scarier with the next baby. for sure it all goes faster!)

this single spark said...

My best friend always like to say, "What doesn't kill you makes you stranger." :]

You are a fantastic mother, and you always have been, even in those moments that you didn't believe it. I really admire the way you handled this past year, and Baby A is so lucky to be your little girl. Can't wait to see her turn 1!

LynAnne said...

Wow, what a beautiful post! Wow...I'm at loss for words. So touching!

Dawnyel said...

Isn't it amazing what one little person can do to a grown woman?! Beautiful post! :)

beth said...

I love this.

Sugarmama said...

Woo-hoo! Congratulations on your membership to the mama club! It really does make you a different person, doesn't it? I never knew this til I got through my child's first year. I can totally relate.

Jenn said...

I think you just put in to words what most mamas feel but don't know how to say. That was great!!

From what I have seen, I think you are a wonderful mama and Baby A's birthday should be just as big a celebration for you as for her.

Ali said...

i loved the paragraph defining what you were a year ago and not yet being a shushing, patting, bouncing robot and hormonal disaster etc. so, so funny and well put!

Nikkie said...

Wow, you put into words what I've been thinking but couldn't express!