Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dia de la Madre

It's indescribable. But I'll try writing this post, anyhow...


For a long time now, my family has gathered together for a Mother's Day brunch. It was really to honour our mother. But for many years, it was a gathering I would dread. I hated going. After losing one baby, then trying trying trying for a number of years for another, then losing a second baby six years after the first baby...

Well, I'm sure you can imagine. It was a bit painful to be out for brunch where I was literally surrounded by mothers being celebrated and motherhood, the focus of the day. Everywhere I looked there were mothers and their little children, flowers and laughter and smiles and, best of all, homemade cards from their little ones.

I bit my lip, my tongue, tried to swallow my envy down with the pancakes and syrup, but it would just get stuck in my throat and I'd go home, curl up in bed and cry myself asleep into my pillow.

Eventually, I had to tell my parents I wouldn't be attending the family Mother's Day brunch. I just couldn't do it. I made a point of going separately to my mom's and giving her a card and gift that morning or the day before. They both understood my decision.


Last year was the first time in many years I attended the brunch. I was so round and ready to burst, literally as I would give birth three days following Mother's Day. I felt safe celebrating it a little early.

But today. Today was my very first official Mother's Day as a mommy finally. There was snow on the ground this morning. This, after record temperatures in April reaching 25 degree, summer-like weather.  On the drive to meet my family, the sky was full of fluffy, white clouds. And I thought that is just what my heart feels like today: bright, white, fluffy, weightless, glorious, breathtaking. Like a cloud without rain. Like a cloud whose precipitation is pure and white and falls slowly and gently and quietly on a May morning such as this.


How do I properly put it into words just how I feel this day? Nursing him this morning, I made sure the tears that flowed down my cheeks didn't hit the soft curls of his hair. Tears of relief. Of pure ecstasy. Of longed for Joy. Tears for the babies I'd lost. Tears for the baby I found. The baby I have now. Smiles and tears.

I overhear people bemoaning parenthood all the time. Rolling their eyes in collusion over the burden it sometimes is, and according to some, often is, as though it is more often than not. And even as a parent now, I remain in mute astonishment towards this attitude. I wonder if I will ever get to a stage where I take this gift for granted? This amazing gift bestowed and entrusted to me. To parent the child I have. Would I, too, be one of these nodding, winking people had I not endured such a battle to have my child? Would I, even if I'd had the struggle I've had, if my baby had been colicky, not so easy, not so perfect as he's been? I admit I have a hard time imagining me ever taking this gift for granted after all the years of wanting it for so long and dreaming of it and hoping for it and having those hopes dashed time and time again.
People say, "you must be tired." "You look exhausted." And I know I do. I am tired somedays. But it's a happy tired. It's a "I'm so goddamn lucky" tired. I wouldn't trade it for all the sleep in the world. People say, "it must be hard on your own." But I know, having lived both sides now: I would rather be alone with this gift of a child, than be with somebody without this gift. If I only had those two options, I know which one I would choose. Have chosen.

I am so lucky lucky lucky. I know so many women who have struggled with infertility. Who still do. Who have had one or more IVFs in their struggle and whose IVF surgeries failed in some way. The fact that mine worked on my first attempt, resulting in the birth of my beautiful Sonshine, is unfathomable to me after all the years of failed attempts and despair, loss of hope.


This day. To celebrate this day, finally! I cannot describe it. But I will say, it feels like heaven. And I am over the moon this day.

Today, before leaving for brunch. I caught a gift outside my front window: a very pregnant robin perched on the wooden stoop in the snow. A sign, perhaps. A message...


Happy, Happy Mother's Day.

13 comments:

Brian Miller said...

happy happy mothers day to you...if you could only see the size of my smile.

the b in subtle said...

thank you, kindly, Brian. it's been a long time coming and is sooooooo joyful, soooooooo joyful, my heart!

järnebrand said...

It's a "I'm so goddamn lucky" tired. I just love that Nancy. I loved this post. It made me cry. All good tears. :)
Hugs and love/ Jo.

Tricia Orchard said...

Lovely! Thanks for reminding me just how lucky I am. I admit, I forget that sometimes, after a difficult day with 3 kids. But as you said, I am lucky, lucky, lucky. As I sit here at this computer, my 3 kids are all drawing and tracing pictures and happily bringing them to me. I am lucky. I am blessed.

I am so glad that you finally got to celebrate being a mother on this special day.

T

Ellen said...

Your thoughts echoed for all of us mothers who wouldn't trade any loss of sleep, piles of laundry (who cares!), messy homes (don't look down), toys strewn around the house because those tender times of holding our children all tuckered out from a day of laughter, tears and play are a blessing. To rock them in our arms and feel the unimaginable joy and love....though my youngest is 14...when I feel his arms around me I still hold dear all the years before...mothering...you have been a wonderful example (and I don't even know you personally) of how mothering as a single mom is light of hope and a dream fulfilled for you...

And now so soon your sonshine will be one....oh my....oh my...

Titanium said...

A very Happy Mother's Day... and Year(s)... to you and Sonshine.

These moments, days and memories are precious gifts of time and space to live.to be.to grow.

All the best to you and Little One.

Mimi said...

Your words are so beautiful.
Thank you, Nancy, for reminding me of how lucky I am, and not to take it for granted.
I suppose if it has been easy to conceive, and you haven't lost a baby, it's easy to take it for granted, but we (I) shouldn't.
These children of ours are only on loan from the universe.
Love the picture of Sonshine nursing- that would be beautiful painted.
Happy Mother's Day, and thanks.

kkrige said...

Congratulations and Happy Mother's Day to you. You are blessed and your contentment is a beautiful thing. I wish you many more perfect days.

Me said...

That was just beautiful.

Dreamfarm Girl said...

Such a lovely post! Warm wishes to you and your Sonshine for this first Mother's Day and many many more to come. Your joy shines through!

AGM said...

Such a beautiful post, such beautiful sentiments. I have my own hang-ups with the holiday as my mother gave up the motherhood-gig years ago. But this post made me smile. I'm glad to know there are such lovely mothers out there, mothers deserving of the day. And that sweet bird--that's you!

0908LonniePettus said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。...............................................................

Nishant said...

I am so glad that you finally got to celebrate being a mother on this special day.
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