What does it mean to be a mother?
What does it mean to be a mother? If I had to only use one word it would be “privileged”.
Yes, I am privileged to be the mother of a fantastic young man, Alex.
But the road was not an easy one. From the early age of 17 I was made aware that I may never have children. I was not devastated but relieved because how the chain of events in my life left me cold, unwanted and alone. How much I despised that I was raised by one parent because the other did not want to be there.
For years I accepted and embraced that I never could, and I added, would, have children. Looking back, I was lying to myself. It was my best coping mechanism at that time, and I had no one to talk to, or to help me make sense of the whole thing.
I was even called cold and heartless because I never wanted children when I was married at 20. Mind you, this by the same person who chose not to be there to raise us and knew very well of my medical predicament.
Years were passing by, technology in the in-vitro area was doing leaps and bounds of progress. A small window of opportunity opened up and we took it.
If you ever went thru in-vitro, you know that your life and psyche changes. Romance gone. Day, hours counting. Your shot schedule is your best friend.
A miscarriage happened just after the elation of hearing the heartbeat.
A miscarriage due to vitamins that contained an ingredient essential to your body and yet that I am highly allergic.
Another round of in-vitro, this time success and having a little girl. Rough pregnancy due to my age, it was all taken into stride and comfort that I was going to be a mother.
The bond that grows between you and your baby is one that is magic. They sense you; you feel them. In womb you know their likes and dislikes. Our daughter, Francesca, loved Bob Marley. The music came on and she literally danced in my belly. Unfortunately, she died the day after she was born.
The pain has never gone away. The guilt of me never wanting children grows even bigger. Was I the one who created this because for so many years I did not want a child? Was I being punished?
I believe that things happen in life because they are meant to be. My daughter would have never made it past 8 years old. She would have had an in and out of hospital life and still would have never made it.
Nothing that was said made any sense. The only thing engraved into my mind was the last breath that Francesca took. Her little body getting cold in our arms.
What I did not realize, was that she was taken to give us the gift of our son. She gave me the gift to become a mom, to be parents, to become a family.
With only three eggs we did our last in-vitro. All precautions taken as we found out that when I am pregnant two genes mutate, and my body naturally create pre-eclampsia and I was a time bomb. My liver, kidney and heart could all fail and I would have to deliver the baby at any given time.
Talk about stress. Bed ridden for seven months and again emergency C-section as my liver started shutting down.
Perfect little baby boy, who even though was born seven weeks too early, was breathing on his own and was healthy as he can be.
My world turned upside down in so many wonderful ways. That precious look, smile, and giggle melted and still melts my heart to this day. The gift of a beautiful little boy full of love and life. The gift of being a mom.
I have made a point to be the present mother. Not the overbearing suffocating one, but the one that is there when needs to be. I always let my son spread his wings and let him learn on his own. Quite often we learn the lesson together.
Children do not come with manuals. Added to the fact that I pretty much raised myself and raised my younger brother, I had no reference to look back to and was in the dark.
However, the best part of becoming a mother is that I was able to break the chain of coldness and dismay and be there, raise, cuddle, clean tears and snot when needed and love everyday of Alex’s life.
The best gift of all. A true blessing given to a mother. One that I cherish to the deepest of my heart until the end of time. Seeing this beautiful creature grow, learn, love, express himself, reason, live life.
My role as a mother is ever changing and I am looking forward to this new step of life. What I know is that I love my son. Love his spirit. And I love that he still wants to spend time with me, and I get the “I love you Mom” every morning at school drop off.
Love that each night he still wants to hug me good night. Love that we can have a heated discussion and he feels free to share and defend his thoughts and convictions with no fear.
Blessed with this beautiful internal love that has no boundaries.