It frightened me. I mean truly scared me with such intensity that I could not put it into words. It was more than any fear I had felt before. Worse than the fear of jumping off rocks into the sea, worse than riding your bike with no hands down a hill, worse than singing in front of people, worse than starting a new school, worse than acting on stage to a theatre full of strangers and worse than swimming in the Devils pool at the top of Victorian Falls (Although I do believe it was a similar feeling to this). The day I became a mother was the day I realised what mothers really are and what women are capable of. The sudden responsibility that hits you like a freight train. There is no manual, no guidebook or mini pamphlet to get you going. It is wham, Bam and now you are a Mam! It is now over to you to protect this human from all that life throws at them. To know what to do to care for this little being. Yesterday you were ‘You’, an individual with a purpose and with your s*** together (Or so I thought) but in an instance it will never be the same again. Everything changed; my mind, body and soul and just like that I needed to be mothered, despite, in that moment I was now a mother myself.
Alfred (Freddie) Strongman was born at 12:31 during a Perseid meteor shower, unexpectedly on the living room floor with the crew of two ambulances, as witnesses and a midwife who arrived 10 minutes before he arrived. My labour lasted 4 hours and 5 minutes, from start to finish, and it was so speedy that we went to hospital to get checked over and when we came home my mom was waiting. There are no words that I can write to explain how she helped me in those first few weeks, I’m not sure we even talked much at all she was just there, helping me, showing me, teaching me, caring for me, mothering me. She was an angel and my husband was my hero and there is no way I can ever thank her enough.
So for this mother’s day I wanted to share what my mother did for me when I became a mother for the first time:
- she cleaned the kitchen cupboards
- she made me egg sandwiches even when I wasn’t hungry
- she helped me breastfeed
- she washed and bathed me and helped me to get dressed
- she cooked for us all
- she cleaned and tidied
- she drove to France and dropped off my step-dad and then drove all the way back in the same day because she just knew I needed her.
- she made me sleep in the afternoon – even for just 20 minutes
- she slept on the nursery floor and woke me every-time Freddie woke up for feeding so I could get maximum sleep (I was so worried that he was in his own room because we just didn’t have the space for him to sleep in with us but ‘they say’ the baby must sleep in your room for the first 6 months). She also slept on the sofa whenever she visited as we did not have a spare room.
- she made me so many drinks to keep me hydrated
- she reassured me constantly
- she told me how amazing I was doing – ALL the time!
- she made me go for walks and get out of the house
- she burped Freddie in her special way (we just didn’t/don’t have her bosom!)
And these were just a handful of deeds she did. She did so much more.
I can honestly say I have never felt so much love for her. I can barely remember if we talked or spoke to one another. My hormones were raging, I was still in shock and my brain was trying to catch up with my body about that fact we had just given birth to a baby on the wooden living room floor. But, I do know that without her love it would have been so much harder. I can appreciate it now, the thread that is so strong between mother and child, an invisible force, intangible but palpable. It will be there for forever. To make a human, grow and nurture it inside your body and then love that small person; the journey is full of alchemy and the love is like nothing I have ever felt before and at the age of 32 I can honestly say I felt it move from my mom to me , like both ends of a ribbon had been tied together. It feels like an exhale of breath signifying a true understanding – we are now part of the same club. It is still frightening but nearly 7 months in and I absolutely LOVE being Freddie’s mama. I feel so much stronger and confident and have learnt so much. I am certain there will always be an element of fear and slight self-doubt but in the same way I repeated my affirmations before birth, I am repeating some now:
‘I am enough’
‘You got this Mama’
‘Breathe and be calm’
To all the mums, watching over us, in heaven, on earth, near or far, new or old, step-mums, mother figures, grandmothers, mums- to- be….. you are, have been and will always be the most amazing people. Today is your day.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
A mother’s love lasts forever and its bond can not be broken.