I received this about 2 weeks after Payton was born and still cry every time I read it. This is so amazingly true.
A MOTHER IS BORN
My first child, a daughter, was born on July 27, 2000, and I was completely unprepared.
I thought I was ready for her birth. I had read my books and articles on childbirth and baby care; I had bought everything on my shopping checklist. The nursery was ready for use, and my husband and I were anxiously awaiting for her arrival. I was prepared for wakeful nights, endless diapers, sore nipples, crying(both hers and mine), and the feeling that I can't get anything done. I was prepared for sitz baths and hemorrhoids.
What I wasn't prepared for was the way the entire world looked different to me the minute she was born. I wasn't prepared for the fact that the sheer weight of my love would reduce me to tears on a daily basis. I didn't know that I wouldn't be able to get through my first lullaby to her because I wouldn't be able to sing through my tears. I didn't know that the entire world would suddenly become unbelievable beautiful and yet infinitely scarier. I didn't know that it would seem like a new place had been created inside of me, just to hold this incredible love.
I had no idea what it would feel like when the nurse wheeled my daughter in to me saying, "She's looking for you," and the way the image of her deep-blue eyes looking right at me would be seared in my heart forever. I didn't know that I could love someone so much it literally hurts, that a trip to Walmart would make me feel like a protective mother bear guarding her cub, or that my first trip to the grocery store without her would break my heart.
I didn't know that she would forever change the way my husband and I look at each other, or that the process of giving birth to her and breast-feeding her would give me a whole new respect for my body. No one ever told me that I would no longer be able to watch the evening news because every story about child abuse would make me think of my daughter's face.
Why didn't anyone warn me about these things? I am overwhelmed by it all. Will I ever be able to leave her and think of anything else but her, or see a crust in her eye or spot on her skin that doesn't make me nervous? Will I ever be able to show her and express to her just how deep and all-encompassing my love for her is? Will I ever be able to be the mother I so desperately want her to have?
I have heard it said, and now know that it is true, that when a woman gives birth to her first child, there are two births. The first is the birth of the child. The second is the birth of the mother. Perhaps that is the birth that is impossible to prepare for....
Written by Regina Phillips
5 years ago