You are a mother. Maybe it is seen, maybe it is unseen—it doesn’t matter; it’s felt by you.
Mother’s Day has passed on the calendar, but each week that passes brings you closer to your baby; brings you closer to your first Mother’s Day.
Your baby is there, depending on you as much now as it ever will. You may not feel like it—you may feel a lot of things except it—but you are a mother. Happy Mother’s Day.
Your feet are swollen. Your rings don’t fit. You’re nervous about getting enough protein, enough water, remembering prenatals. You have lists everywhere—in your phone, on a post-it, scrawled across the ever-filling pages of your mind. Finish nursery, buy maternity pants, Google co-sleeping benefits, research breast pumps.
Doctor’s appointments are not what you expect. Why did I drive here for 20 minutes, take 7 minutes to find parking, wait for 15 minutes, only to be weighed and met by the midwife for 15 minutes? Can’t we do this over the phone? Then you hear the heartbeat again and remember you would have driven an hour, parked a mile away, waited twice as long to listen to the sound of your baby’s being. You’re a mother. It’s been confirmed by doctors, midwives, tests, and your body in constant flux.
Heart chin, round forehead, tibia, fibula, femur, spine. Everything is there. Half you, half him. All yours. That’s your baby. You’re a mother. There are pictures to prove it.
First a swishing—goldfish swirling around the liquid bowl of your belly. Gentle jabs give way to stretches, hard kicks, belly-dropping roller coaster rolls. Space is getting tight like your skin. The nursery of your body is running out of room. You’re a mother so you’ll always have space.
You read books, take classes, prepare for all the unknowns. Learn to swaddle, learn to pump, learn to breathe through contractions. Breathe through pain, anxiety, sleepless nights, aching joints. You’re ready for none of it and all of it. You’re a mother so you’ll meet it when it comes.
You’re a mother. From now on you’ll always be a mother.
No matter what happens, no matter how many times you conceive a baby, deliver, feed, comfort, carry, teach, discipline, —you’re as much a mother now, as you will be then. Happy 1st Mother’s Day to all the mothers waiting to meet their babies and celebrate motherhood.
**All photo credit goes to Jessica Sego Photography! Jessica is a great Albuquerque-area photographer.