Mother’s Day – One Mother’s Story
By Heather Green
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~Rajneesh
This is my third Mother’s Day and before my daughter was born, Mother’s Day was always a bittersweet holiday for me. I was thankful that I could commemorate the occasion with my own mother, but I really wanted to have a child of my own. I prayed, hoped, and wished for a child but I began to wonder if I was meant to be a mother. In March of 2012 when I found out I was expecting, I was overjoyed – there really are no words to adequately explain my emotions. I was truly “over-the-moon.” However, my elation was soon tempered by phrases such as “low hormone levels…if it’s a viable pregnancy…advanced maternal age.” Throughout it all, I prayed. My mother prayed. My family prayed. My daughter was born 2-1/2 months early in the fall of 2012. I can still remember every detail of my precarious pregnancy, but all the praying, hoping, and wishing for a child did nothing to prepare me for actually becoming a mother.
When my daughter came home at just under 5 pounds, I felt helpless. This tiny baby was dependent on me to know what to do for her. She was so small at times I couldn’t believe she was real. Then I had my first experience with projectile vomit. After that, there was no doubt in my mind she was real. After several episodes, the doctor started her on reflux medication. Then she had umbilical hernia surgery. I started to feel a little more confident that I could handle motherhood. I should have remembered, “Pride comes before a fall.”
Fast-forward to the terrible two’s. Nothing prepared me for the unexplainable tantrums. One moment my adorable, happy little girl became a living nightmare – the screaming – I remember thinking, “How can someone less than 3-feet-tall be so loud?” Since we were dealing with a “speech delay” which was a result of her prematurity, most of the time I had no clue why she would get so upset so quickly. I kept thinking, “It will be better when she starts talking.” Again, I was so, so wrong.
Fast-forward to the “threenage” years. She is talking. She is talking non-stop. The questions. The endless questions. The demands. The unending demands. But, surely, now that she can talk, she can tell me what she wants or needs, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes it is still a guessing game. Like when she spontaneously bursts into tears at dinner. After asking multiple questions, I find out she wanted a little plate instead of a regular size dinner plate, or she wanted the “Princess Sophia” fork instead of the “Frozen” fork. Somedays the questions, demands, and tears seem never ending.
But, when I think back to where I was before my daughter was born, I realize I would not trade one question, demand, tantrum, or tear for the world. I do not have all the answers and there are certainly days where I am positive I could uncork a bottle of wine with my teeth, but I am a mother. I have a daughter. God answered my prayers.
Each Mother’s Day since my daughter was born has been magical. I can now celebrate with my own mother and my daughter. I feel doubly blessed. I have a number of close friends who still struggle with infertility or who are facing Mother’s Day without their own mother. I honestly cannot imagine life without my mom – I still call her multiple times a day with questions or to ask her advice. At this stage in my life as a mother of “advanced maternal age,” I am not sure why God answered my prayers to be a mother, but I am so glad that He did. But, I cannot help but think of the women who still struggle with infertility, miscarriages, or child-loss and remember how difficult this Mother’s Day will be for them. Please, say an extra prayer for the women who are struggling with this day. And, no matter how crazy your own child(ren) may make you feel at times, remember that God blessed you when you became a mother.