I love free stuff so when I saw this writing contest for a $100 gift certificate to Cotton Babies, I jumped on it! The theme is “I’m Glad You Were Born.” Below is my contest entry. It is actually an edited down version of my published story How Motherhood Came to Me. Hope I win!!
The first time I saw your face I didn’t believe it. Maybe I still don’t in a way. You swam up to us and I turned around and looked at your father in disbelief. You’re real, you’re here, you are the most beautiful human being I’ve ever seen, and I can’t believe you’re mine. Through the years I had told myself that I really would never have a child. And I guess, in that raw moment, my first emotion was shock, disbelief, even in spite of all the facts and evidence to the contrary.
I loved you immediately. I was in a swirl, a fog. as you were laid on my chest, as I cradled your tiny, vernix-covered body. You were very real and had been wanted for so long. You came out screaming, which was unexpected, but makes perfect sense now. I always heard water babies were calm, but calm has never described you. You came on your due date, right in the beautiful sunny spring morning hours. I had labored all night without even realizing it. It felt like time stood still. Labor was smooth, steady, quiet, peaceful. Warm water, dim lights, soothing voices, calming hands.
Nursing you is especially precious to me. I love having you so close to me, especially at night. Sometimes I gaze at you sleeping and try to soak you in. I know soon that you will be across the hall, sleeping on your own. But for right now you need me. You want me. I know too quickly you won’t be my baby anymore. Already you’re toddling around, terrorizing our house. But at night, you are still. You are quiet. You still enjoy turning around after nursing and snuggling next to me. I always thought by now I’d want you in your own room, but instead I find myself dreading that inevitability. I treasure you, my precious gift from God.
I love you with all my being and don’t care if that means I’m more “mother” now than anything else. I won’t apologize for “losing” myself to motherhood. On the contrary, it is with your birth that I have found myself.
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