Motherhood was something I once thought of vaguely. I assumed it would happen, but never dreamt of as a girl. As the oldest of 6, I had dreams of travel, of University, speaking French and studying art. I was slightly dismayed when I fell in love so young, but since I make major life decisions on whims but return the same pair of pants 5 times, I jumped into the Love part, but not the motherhood part.
When the dreams of motherhood came, they came slowly, hazy around the edges. Questions nestled in deeper and deeper and one day it wasn’t so much a question, but my heart soaring.
Only not so much. As soon as the soft outlines crystallized, the story of infertility began. What started as a maybe morphed into the fiercest wish & the loneliest of journeys.
When I first held Lucy I was transformed. I never fully trusted in the pregnancy, but my arms knew her, our hearts had already met. I was hers & she was mine. It was the beginning of a million heartbreaking ends, and an infinity of firsts. I imagine armfuls of butterflies. I mourn each one that flies away, but the next one is so beautiful, my breath catches.
You pack away the newborn clothes; she stops sleeping on your chest, but then she crawls into your lap, and says, “My Mama,” & holds your face.
Three times a baby was placed in my arms, & Nora was my last. The hardest in all the ways, the one I said goodbye to growing babies with. I never knew that piece of the puzzle would be the hardest. I thought the starting was the one to break my heart, but, it turns out, the stopping is the piece that stays with you.
I’ve been so lost in motherhood, that I’ve wanted to run, and scream and cry, “Where am I? Who am I?” And yet I yearn for them when they are sleeping and sneak in their rooms to breathe them in.
I fail every day in my imperfections, but I hold their dreams closest to my heart.
Motherhood is transcendental. It strips away everything you thought you knew. It humbles you in the deepest of ways. And yet, you become a warrior in your love. You are fiercer, you are gentler. You are deep in it. You now hold a million butterflies in your arms.
I love you Lucy, Jack & Nora, so, so much.
Photo: Jessica Haderlie Photography