"When Kelly asked me to write about my recent journey into motherhood I was hit with a wave of excitement, overwhelmed with all the things I wanted to share. A part of me sits here at a loss for words, wondering how I could possibly begin to express the ways being a mother has changed my life- how beautiful it truly is. There aren’t enough words in the world to even begin to explain it all, but these are my best efforts.
I guess the best place for me to start would be the day I found out I was pregnant. I remember holding the pregnancy test(s) in my hand, clutching them for dear life. I was thrilled yet fearful; Life as I knew it would never be the same. I, from that point on, would be responsible for another person’s life. Terrified and anxious, I couldn’t wait to set foot on this new chapter in my life.
The minute the baby bump pops, you’re hit with an immense amount of advice. From strangers, friends, family, coworkers- you name it. I remember feeling horrified and confused. Every article I read, all the advice I was given, made motherhood sound like a nightmare. “You’ll never sleep again,” “Enjoy your freedom now,” “You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into." Wasn’t motherhood suppose to be the most beautiful adventure of all? This is what women dream of. Bearing a child, feeling her baby kick inside, and care for her squishy little newborn. And if so, why was everyone making it sound so awful?
You see, I was well aware my life was going change. Despite the fact that I was told I “had no idea” how much. I knew things would never be the same. Going to the grocery store will be a task, simply grabbing a coffee will be a planned event. These were things I planned for, and was ready for, that’s why I decided to embark on this journey. My husband and I would lay awake at night and talk about how upset it made us that people belittled the entire thing. We hated the way they made us feel like we were heading into a dark scary cave and life as we knew it was over. We promised we would never think like that.
Fast forward to the birth of my little pea. I can still feel my heart race awaiting her arrival. Childbirth is by far the most wonderful challenge life has ever presented me with- well, after raising my daughter, of course. As I’m saying that, I’m aware I’m one of the crazy ones. Who could possibly find labor enjoyable. I know, yet I loved every second of it.
I look back on the day I first met her, she was bright red, slimy, and whaling- but she was perfect. I often wish I could go back to the second I laid eyes on her, just to experience it all over again. She lit up the room and, for a moment, I couldn’t breathe. Our first night in the hospital I didn’t sleep a wink. I watched her chest take in unsteady baby breathes, her sensitive eyelids flicker from the unfamiliar lights. She was the most beautiful little human I had ever seen, could have ever imagined, and the love I had for someone so tiny set my whole body on fire. It was a feeling I didn’t know existed, didn’t know possible and if you were to ask me how many times I cried that very first day, I couldn’t give you a number- but boy did I cry.
When I was pregnant, I tried to picture her. What would she look like? Her hair color, her eyes, the shape of her nose- I closed my eyes, but got nothing.
As I held her in my arms that first day, I thought to myself “Of course. How could I picture her any other way?” I couldn’t wait to take her home. I just wanted to put her in her crib, show her the nursery we had so impatiently waited to fill. As the days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, I look down at my now three month old little love and I have an unbelievable understanding of my views of motherhood.
First, you were all wrong. You told me I’d never sleep again, but you were wrong. The early weeks are rough, and sleep deprivation struck as it does all new mothers, but I slept; and when I slept, I dreamt of her. I dreamt of who she’ll be and what she’ll become. I pictured her future, and how bright it will be and I woke up feeling new and ready for every day because I knew it involved her in it, and to me that was enough. Second, you told me to enjoy my freedom because it would soon be gone, but you were wrong. My freedom greets me every morning with a toothless smile. It’s happy, and giggly, and it depends solely on me- and that makes me as free as i’ll ever need to be. However, you were all right about one thing. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no idea my body could love anything this much, and this love I feel is so overpowering sometimes, I don’t know how I handle it. I had no idea that I could be so in awe of something, because it’s beauty simply blows me away.
I watched my body expand and stretch and grow this tiny human, and as a result I watch my sweet girl grow and change and learn new things every day. I sit and rock my daughter to sleep at night and I wouldn’t change the course of my life for the world. She is my greatest gift, my greatest accomplishment, and for that there are no words."
- Mia Matias