Saturday, May 7, 2011

On Motherhood

When I was just 22 or 23, I was told I'd never have my own children. My body was 'broken' and the odds of me having a natural child was slim to none. I remember at the time being devastated - heartbroken. I felt empty, I felt alone. I wasn't even trying to have children when I was told but that one moment rewrote what I had always envisioned as my future.

Years passed and my life changed. I moved forward as a strong woman, empowered by my desire to be identified as more than just a vessel for procreation. I wanted as much distance between me and children as I could put. The wound was fresh within me still and thinking about it too much hurt in a way that I just couldn't erase.

Fast forward life several years and I came to the realisation that I needed to know definitively, one way or another, if I was truly unable to conceive. Add a few weeks of drama, five months to plan a wedding to my partner of 8 years and a fantastic time as 'newlyweds' and we found out we were pregnant.

Really and truly with child. It was likely one of the most amazing moments of my life. a child, my child was inside of me. It was surreal and joyous and scary and exciting - it was a dream.

And 13 days later, I began to miscarry the pregnancy. I don't think I will ever forget the pain of that miscarriage... Physically, I laboured for two hours but the emotional loss was like something I've never experienced before and hope I will never have to experience again.

But time does help that great sense of loss and almost out of the blue, six months later - with all the odds against our 'timing', we conceived again. It was difficult - emotionally, mostly - because I was so very fearful of losing another pregnancy... We didn't talk about it and we didn't celebrate. We'd been devastated once and we were not wanting to show our joy too soon.

And again, like the first time, I began to spot... We went to the doctor with no hope, resolving ourselves to another loss... But then, during the early ultrasound, we saw the flicker...

The flicker of our baby's heartbeat. Our baby's heart was beating. 140 beats per minute. My husband and I held hands and our eyes filled with tears. For now, our baby was alive.

There was more ups and downs throughout the first of the pregnancy but finally, at about 24 weeks, I felt our baby move. And it all became very real... But not wanting to 'jinx' anything, we still held our breath at each appointment hoping with all we had that they would again find our baby's heartbeat... And each time, they did - and it was beating it's steady pitterpatter rhythm and was constantly 140 bpm.

Soon it was time for the baby's arrival. We'd planned, we'd painted, we'd practiced diapering a very cute polar bear.

But nothing we did or could have done could have prepared us for him.

And as I sit here, preparing for my fourth Mother's Day, I still think my son is the best gift I've ever received.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's in my life and in the world. May we all truly appreciate the gift we've all been given - the best job in the world - motherhood.


  1. Happy Mother's Day to you, too. And, yes, motherhood is a gift - a gift that is sometimes bestowed only once, or, perhaps several times. It is a gift that never ends and each year that passes, I appreciate it more and more. I look at my children (3) and I am so thankful for their existence for without them, I am only "me". With them, I am whole and complete and I have a sacred purpose that motivates me to continue on my lfe path. I am needed, even after these many years, and there is no better feeling than being needed by these lives that I helped to create.

  2. Thank you... I never truly understood motherhood and children - until TroubleMaker's arrival. Each day I have more admiration for my own parents - and yes, there is nothing better than knowing you are needed! And yes, Mom, you will always be needed and loved and missed. Happy Mother's Day to you and thank you so much for everything!



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