Last year, on Mother’s Day, I was pregnant. I was still getting over being horrendously sick and was sporting a flatter-than-average stomach thanks to the 20 pound weight loss associated with Hyperemesis. Inwardly, it was difficult to feel pregnant, because pregnancy had been, up to that point, so much more like being ill. Outwardly, I didn’t look like I was pregnant. So, it was easy to feel… kind of ordinary.
Still, last year, everyone wished me a Happy Mother’s Day, and I remember being asked if I felt like a mother yet. I wrote about how I was feeling here, and I still remember that feeling of being on the brink of something.
Now that my baby is on the outside, people ask me how it feels to be a mother. They ask how my life has changed. They ask if it is everything I expected to be.
And… it feels wonderful being a mother. I know that today, with Margot, I am closer than ever to being the person that I want to be. She makes me feel strong and important. She makes me strive to be better. She makes me appreciate being alive.
And.. my life has changed in a million tiny ways and in a million bigger ways. From the most insignificant changes like the fact that I always used to sleep on my stomach and now I sleep on my side so that Margot can nurse through the night. To the bigger changes like the fact that I am no longer my own top priority.
And… expectations… how can you ever expect or prepare for what motherhood really is? It far exceeds my expectations for how wonderful being a parent is.
But, also, it feels… the same. I still feel like me… there was no seismic shift the moment Margot was born where I became OTHER. There are moments in my life that I can point to where there was a strong shift from the person I was before and the person I was after, but Margot’s birth is, surprisingly, NOT one of those moments.
Becoming Margot’s mother was a process. It started the moment Todd and I decided to become parents. The months of heartache as we tried unsuccessfully to conceive a child changed me. The moment I knew there was life inside of me changed me. The months of bed rest as my body was wrecked by Hyperemesis Gravidarum changed me. Feeling my baby move inside of me changed me. Feeling my baby come out of my body changed me. Holding my new child to my breast for the first time changed me. Watching her grow and change over the last six months has changed me.
Those changes were sometimes huge and sometimes barely noticeable, and they have all brought me to today.
Today I am a mother.
I am Margot’s mother.
I’m her Mama.
And it changes me every moment that I am her’s.