Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day.

Nineteen months ago tomorrow, I officially became a mother. It was October 11, 2007. I was rushed into the OR as my baby's heartbeat dropped dangerously with each labor contraction. I hadn't slept in over 24 hours; I was exhausted and I was scared. But calm. I knew that soon, I'd be holding my sweet little girl in my arms.

The operating room was frigid. Doctors wearing green scrubs wrapped me in warm towels as I shook like a leaf. They inserted strange tubes in strange places. Then, they put some medicine in one of them which promptly made me 1) dry heave violently and 2) feel like I was suffocating. The calmed me down and gave me some oxygen. I was going to be OK.

Then, the surgery began.

Cutting. Pulling, Cauterizing. Tugging. BIG PULL. Lots of pressure...

Then, the doctor behind me pulled down the tent.

And there she was.

The first thing I thought was, Wow, what a large, pink child I just birthed. The second thing: She looks just like me.

That first glance took my breath away. They whisked her away quickly to clean her up.

I was in love.

It was a new kind of love I'd never experienced prior to that moment. I knew what it felt like love my family members, I knew what it felt like to love my husband. But this ... this was different.

Earlier in my pregnancy, I experienced an immature form of mother's love when I first saw Bubby's image on the ultrasound machine. It was more of a childish wonderment than real love. Maybe like a schoolyard crush. She was beautiful and perfect; I was infatuated.

As the months waned on and my due date waxed closer, I thought I knew what a mother's love really was. I was suffering for this child, after all. I had endured the aches and pains only a pregnant woman can ever experience, I'd exchanged my lean figure for lovehandles, cellulite and stretchmarks, I'd given up sleeping. I'd made sacrifices, and had consequently learned to love the baby inside me.

But once I saw that beautiful baby, my love changed in an instant. It became real. It was unconditional. It was unlike the love I had for anyone or anything else in the world.

In that moment, I knew what mother's love was. And I had it bad.

Of course, this feeling grew and evolved over the next 19 months, and it will continue to do so forever as my daughter turns from baby to girl and from girl to woman. But the seed of motherly love was planted in my heart that day, and it all began with the first look. I was forever changed.

Author Elizabeth Stone said, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

And to that, I can attest.

Happy Mother's Day.


  1. Awww, happy mother's day Jenna!! You're such a great mom, and a great writer! Oh how I miss you girl!!

  2. Jenna-ey! That was such a great post! You ARE a wonderful mother and friend, and I admire you! I can't wait to have playdates! :)

  3. Thank you, Jenna, for sharing your wonderful story! What a blessing and a joy Audrey is to everyone. She lights up every room and is the life of the party!


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