From the very moment I saw that grainy image of a tiny human forming inside my body, and I heard that small pulsating heart, motherhood changed me. I was no longer just me, but we.
As my belly grew, so too did the feeling of we. With each flutter in my tummy and every sleepless night spent wondering who my baby would be, I became increasingly aware of the changes to come. I became preoccupied with the well -being of someone other than myself, and yet somehow more in tune with myself as well.
I wished for both, my due date to arrive and more time to prepare. I questioned whether I was ready, whether I could handle what was about to become my life, and whether I would be a good mom.
There were so many expectations to live up to, so many people to who had gone before me, and so many people who would judge me. The thought was paralyzing.
I doubted myself.
Finally, the day arrived, and I was both terrified and excited to give birth. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain. I worried that my baby wouldn’t be able to handle the pain. I worried that something would go wrong. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to breast feed. I worried there would be something wrong with my baby.
Then, she was here… perfect and beautiful.
I realized that I had never truly worried in my life. Now there was so much to worry about.
Suddenly, we was my reality, and I would have to care for and nurture this small child, but how? How would I know what was right? How would I be able to keep this baby safe? How does someone with no experience take on such a tremendous job?
With all those questions floating around in my head, I was released from the hospital to try to figure it all out.
I sat staring at my baby, asleep in her car seat. Every so often I would check to make sure she was still breathing. She slept a lot those first few days. She slept, and ate, and pooped. Then she slept and ate and pooped some more.
We developed a routine, and I developed some confidence. I began to realize that no-one knew my baby the way I did, that no-one could make better decisions for her than I could. I understood that she was teaching me to be a good mom every day, and we were going to be okay.
It was then that I realized; mothers don’t make babies, babies make mothers.