“Congratulations, you’re pregnant!”
The most terrifying statement to be uttered in my direction.
My immediate reaction, was of course, denial. The test must be wrong. The next 4 tests must’ve been wrong too.
My secondary reaction; tears and the familiar need for my mother to fix it. I do feel slightly guilty admitting this, as my mother, among many other things, happens to be my best friend and has shared so much knowledge with me. Knowledge I didn’t always apply, for example regarding birth control. But thanks to her I knew caring for a baby could be rewarding. Still, I was terrified when I found out I, at 20 years old, was going to be a mommy.
Because a mothers role is so important and never ends! I enjoyed selfishly using my own mother whenever I needed her. I was not prepared to be a force of good for my own child. I needed my mommy! There is no denying motherhood is forever hard work. Too hard as far as I was concerned. And during the early months of pregnancy my fears became stronger.
Waking up exhausted and nauseated made motherhood very unappealing. This mommy business was difficult. I couldn’t help but feel that I was not cut out for the job. Other women are born with this ‘mommy-ness’ that just comes naturally. Where was my mom force? Somehow the gene skipped me, why didn’t anyone tell my ovaries! Alas, any of you terrified non-mother material mothers-to-be out there, things will be alright.
I will confess, the 38 weeks of pregnancy were worrisome, but the day I held my baby in my arms, woah, I learned where the mommy-ness comes from. Seriously, it’s like WOAH. Yes it’s true you have no choice but to do everything possible to keep the helpless creature of love happy and healthy. Doing so does includes countless sleepless nights, and some long repetitive days. But we get through it, and crazy as it sounds we start to enjoy it! Things that seem so unpleasant at one time in your life actually give your life meaning.
My baby is now 2 years old, and although I don’t have any magic words of wisdom to help the other caregivers out there, I do now know where that mommy power comes from. It comes from the tiny being that looks to you for support, for answers, for food. The love of a parent can change a person from who you thought you were supposed to be and transforms you into this unrecognizable selfless warrior.
Before having my daughter I would never turn down a night out just to kiss a baby goodnight. Before having my daughter I would never cringe at the idea of having a weekend away with just my husband. Before having my daughter, never would I have spoken to an attractive doctor without brushing my hair or teeth, while wearing a ratty men’s T-shirt. Yet there I was oblivious to how unacceptable I was. And I would do it again.
Why the change? Because my daughter is the source of my power! Even when I feel I’m failing her, the smile on her face and innocence of her giggle picks me back up and pushes me forward. The impossible job of motherhood is only made possible by our crazy children. It’s so incredible how the power to be a mommy comes from our children. Somehow they both drain us of all energy and provide some kind of sanity to continue on. An experience like no other!
Motherhood in all its messiness is a beautiful blessing and I wear the title with pride, and sometimes a smear of peanut butter.
This story is part of our New Baby Guide. Check it out for more info on bringing home, planning for and surviving having a new baby.