I once thought that I could not have children. For some odd reason I made myself believe that I could not get pregnant. So, then I started saying that I didn’t want to have any children. I envision my life as the “rich Auntie”. So, of course, I was SHOCKED and excited to get a positive on a home pregnancy test. Oh my God, my uterus works!
My pregnancy was wonderful. No complaints whatsoever, except for labor pains. My midwife was heaven sent. I had the most beautiful water birth. Calming music, essential oils burning, my child’s father, my Aunt, my midwife and little brother…in a bedroom setting environment, the energy was almost perfect. My Mom couldn’t be there because she had a knee replacement a week prior. My Aunt had my Mom on the speakerphone during my labor; I could hear her yelling “hold her for me, hold her for me”!
My labor started one hour after completing a 12-hour shift! I didn’t have a car at the time, so my child’s father picked me up as usual to take me home. We didn’t live together at the time, however I would spend most nights with him. He walked me in my apartment, that I shared with my Mom and younger brother, I changed my clothes and as I was walking to the front door, I felt nauseated. I went over and sat on the sofa and the contractions started coming hard and fast. By 9:30pm, I was at the birthing center- screaming, hysterical- I wanted this baby out! By the grace of everything good and high, my Son was born with only four good push. I had a baby four hours after working a 12-hour shift…and my new bundle and I were home four hours later. Perfect.
Throughout, my entire pregnancy, I remained positive. I knew if I said to myself that my pregnancy would be healthy and good…then there was no other way it would be. Becoming a Mom was complex state of being and becoming for me. There is no instruction guide or How-to book, on how to be a Mom. There’s nothing in the world that can prepare you to have children…nothing! And if you say otherwise, that’s a lie! The sleepless nights, the constant crying with no direction, the heavy boobs, the uncomfortable toilet trips, not recognizing my body and thoughts…on and on and on. I don’t understand how people could handle multiple child births.
My Grandmother, had 16 children…15 births…the last two were twins. She had them all at home, naturally. She inspired me to go the natural route. I felt that if she could have 16 children at home with no issues…why can’t I? I wanted as much control as I could have over my pregnancy. I empowered myself by reading and researching information on healthy pregnancies. I wanted to eat all the right foods, remain active and stress-free. My Son’s father was happy to be having another Son, and my Mom was excited to be having her fourth grandchild.
Like I said before, becoming a Mom was a complex thing for me to grasp. I wasn’t ready to stop thinking like a “single-child-free-one-bottle-of-wine-a-night-yoing-woman” to a “diaper-bag-toting-where-the-heck-is-the-pacifier-Mom”. Even though I was optimistic throughout my pregnancy. After the birth of my Son, I went from a single woman doing whatever she wanted…to a unmarried Mother with no clue. I thought about how my Mom raised my two brother and I. My Mom raised us mostly on her own. I remember her working multiple jobs to provide for us. My Father was in the picture…but not steadily. I guess for that reason, she had to be strict.
I wonder how would my upbringing would influence my parenting. There were things I did not want to imitate from my Mom, at the same time those things were going to mold me into the parent I wanted to be. I can recall , when I was about 8 or 9 years old, my Mom would call me while she was at work, to prep food for cooking. While she was cooking, it was mandatory for me to be present in the kitchen to assist her and observe. I didn’t like doing it at that age, but I’m grateful she made me because I enjoy and know how to cook as an adult. Why did my Mom do this? Well, her Mom, made her help her in the kitchen as well. And guess what? You can ask any member of my family and they will tell you…the best cook in the family is…MY MOM! We surely did have delicious meals growing up.
The American Psychological Association says that parents share three major goals: ensuring our children’s health and safety, prepare our children for life as productive adults and transmitting cultural values. Every parent has their own way of achieving these goals for their kids. I’m sure no parent wants to be labeled a “bad parent”. No matter how much research done, how-to books read, experiences had…being a parent really is a day-to-day life changer. When I wake up every morning and go to my Son’s room to greet him, I don’t know what the day will bring…all I know is I am his protector, his teacher, his provider, his best-friend…I am his Mommy! He knows that and I know that…everything else will fall into place.