Ten years ago today I became a mother. Something I never thought I would be. Something for most of my life I never really had a desire to be. Yet a decade ago there I was ready to welcome into the world my baby, my son, my life changer. As soon as my then husband and I married we decided to try for a baby. I wasn’t get any younger so there seemed no reason to wait. I had also changed my view on having kids and knew it was something I very much wanted. When I try to think what it was that changed in me I am not 100% sure. Partly at that stage I felt in a secure relationship and it seemed a natural progression but it was also something quite personal. I longed for a connection with another human being that was totally unconditional, a unique bond, to feel selfless in my love for another, to think of another before all else, to nurture and to find complete joy. After 18 months of trying in 2004 I eventually fell pregnant… Twice in fact. Both pregnancies were lost. I felt a failure, incomplete and scared that I would never be able to sustain a pregnancy full term. Then in January 2005 I was pregnant again. Third time lucky? It had to be and it was. This pregnancy was not straightforward with gestational diabetes, a separated symphysis pubis and high blood pressure just for starters but what I found most challenging was the psychological effect it had on me. The worry that I would miscarry again and only till I was fairly showing and feeling strong movement did I relax on that. The worry of the diabetes and trying to keep on top of the endless hospital appointments, scans and blood checking. Given all that I still had the biggest concern of all. The fear that I wouldn’t be a good mother. That I would fail. That I wouldn’t meet the requirements of the job. What if I was rubbish at it? What if I couldn’t give my baby what it needed? What if he felt rejected by me? After all Nana had told me enough that I wasn’t a great daughter ( based on the fact that I was just different to my Mum and didn’t pander to her ego like she did) so surely I wouldn’t be a good Mother? These fears were in the back of my mind the whole time as well as the sheer excitement at what lay ahead.
Then after yet another hospital appointment I was kept in for observation due to high blood pressure. The following morning I was informed that although 11 days early they were going to induce me. You’re not ready! I could hear in my head. You are not ready! Well I had to be. There was no going back or stalling this. My induction began on Friday 2nd of September at a around 6.30pm and my son …our son Max was born at 2.14am on Sunday 4th September. After a monumental 31 hours and 44 minutes, pain, examinations, epidural resulting in what was akin to a near death experience, vomiting, more pain, needles, more examinations, blood, fluids, drips, catheters, cesarean section, anaesthetic, fear, exhaustion, terror, emotion, joy, relief and laughing there he was. A little blue due to low blood sugar but there, big, strong and beautiful. He was the most glorious thing I had ever seen. I remember every time I looked at him I couldn’t believe he had been born from me. That he had grown inside my womb. That he was of me. Of both of us.
So much has happened since my son was born both good and bad but one thing is clear. Regardless of what departures have been made between the two people that created this human being, this clever, funny, sensitive, loving, supportive, caring, sometimes grumpy young man that is forming in front of my very eyes we did get one thing very right. Our son. In fact little did we know over those life changing hours that only 19 months later the second thing we got right would happen. The birth of our daughter. Whatever isn’t there anymore we always have the joy and pride of sharing the creation of these two perfect children.
My motherhood has changed me completely. It is by far the most rewarding, loving and special aspects of my life but equally can be the most challenging, soul destroying and exhausting. There is not a day goes by that I do not question myself as a mother. Sometimes my insecurities are hard to bear and the self doubt is overwhelming but that is something I need to work on constantly and now a single parent I am finding my strength in that and it is liberating. Regardless of what mistakes I make the bond is forever, unbroken, unconditional. The love I give and receive is solid, unending and perfect. I am blessed.
My son you were not the only one born that day. I was too.
I love you always and forever.
Your Mummy xxx
Ps 520 days
Max only hours old.
Max’s first day at school ( aged 5)
Max on his 10th birthday.