They say that when a woman is pregnant with her child, she will develop a bond almost immediately. Some women speak of an intense connection that comes from the sheer intimacy of the relationship between mother and child. Instantaneously; the mother is driven entirely by the need to protect and provide for the baby.
I found out I was pregnant with my oldest daughter on my 19th birthday. I’ll be honest. I didn’t feel that bond at first. In fact, I was convinced that there was something very wrong, solely because I couldn’t feel the connection. I felt many things. My stomach was bloated, I hurt in places that didn’t make any sense. My back began to twinge with pain from the moment I woke to the moment I collapsed. What I didn’t feel, was this monumental change I had expected. Was something wrong with me?
The day it happened, it happened all at once. I was at the second ultrasound, the technician trying – unsuccessfully – to find evidence of gender. As she slowly moved the ice cold probe from side to side of my swollen belly, I was granted a view of my child’s face. Right there, on the grainy black and white screen – was a real, human face. I could see the soft, chubby cheeks; the tiny little mouth opening and closing like a baby bird. Then, the little nose. Just seeing that tiny nose, a perfect reflection of my own – hit me like a title wave.
This wasn’t just any baby, this was MY baby.
A million thoughts spun through my mind as I realized that this child would be completely and totally mine. They needed me, not only right then but for the rest of their life. They depended on me, completely. Every single moment of their early life would be influenced, planned and shared with me.
All of the sudden I was faced with the reality of my world. Where I had trudged through blindly before, I stopped to take notice. Every street corner was a place my baby may one day cross. Every park was now a place to make family memories. Would we play here? Would this be the place that my child would tell their children about visiting with me, every week? Was it good enough?
In just a few short minutes my focus changed completely. I had been a selfish teen, and I had only sought out my dreams and goals in life – with little regard for others. Now, I looked at everyone and everything in my life, from the perspective of my baby. Was this friend the one who would become their role model? What would I look like to my baby? What did I want to look like, as a mother?
I realized I was in the position to create a life for her. I had always felt as if I was being pushed down my path of life by an invisible force or current. Now I knew that I could – and always could have – create my picture of a life, as long as I was willing to make it.
In becoming a mother I learned that I could do anything. I used to let my anxiety hold me back from the things I had to do in life, but the moment I became a mother I knew she had to come first, above everything. I draw strength constantly from knowing that she believes in me completely. Even when I am exhausted, my daughters always have a way to make me smile. They believe only in my best self, and this inspires me to be that person for them.