Friday, January 15, 2010
When I found out I was pregnant with Emma, I couldn't believe it. I was totally shocked, floored beyond belief. As my body changed and I started to feel the first flutters of a human life inside of me, it all started to seem completely unreal. This happened to other people, not me.
My sister is 7 years older than I am. When she was pregnant with her first baby, 19 years ago, I remember her staying the night at our house. She was just starting to show and was just starting to feel the baby move. We were laying in bed and she grabbed my hand and put it on her belly. It was the first time I remember feeling a baby move in the womb. For the longest time, I was the “Cool Aunt”. With 14 nieces and nephews, I had a lot of practice. But, I never really thought I'd get to be the Mom. Then, in March 2002, I found out I was pregnant and it was my turn!
Emma's birth was not at all what I'd anticipated. I trained in Bradley Method for a natural childbirth. I had a midwife to use at the hospital. I had a birth plan. It was to be my start at being the perfect Mom. What I didn't plan on was a footling breech baby and a c-section. So, when she was born, it was completely and totally surreal. They gave her to me in recovery and I went to nurse her. It wasn't the natural experience I expected. It was much more technical and awkward than I had anticipated. I remember thinking, “I can't believe I am doing this and she is really mine!” When it was time to go home from the hospital, I still couldn't believe that they were going to let us take this perfect little person home.
She and I got into a groove and I was doing pretty good at Parenting. I knew what her different cries meant and what she needed. It was good.
We have since thrown 3 more children into the mix! The last 3 were all born at home, with a midwife, in the water. I have learned that I am not the perfect Mom and can't be. They are each so different and each need such different things! What works for one, doesn't necessarily work for the others. They are each so individual and there is a learning curve to parenting each of them.
It has been 7 years since Emma was born and I still have the “I can't believe this is my life!” feeling often. As I watch my children growing up, learning to read, write, draw beautiful pictures, telling jokes, getting ready to go to school, making friends, being best friends with each other, the list goes on and on. I can't believe that I am really the Mom. I can't believe that I am the one that God has trusted with these beautiful souls. I can't believe that I get to be so lucky.
I am far from the perfect Mother that I dreamed of being when I was a little girl. I yell, I get frustrated, I cry. But, I try. I try everyday to be better. I pray every morning that I can be the Mother that my children need today. I pray everyday that I will see my children as God sees them and know what they need when they need it. And I pray that through doing that, I will be what they need when they need it and always give them a soft place to land.