What It Means To Be A Mom
My birth didn't go as we had hoped. We pictured a calm transition for our daughter into this world for the many months before she was born.
If I'm being honest...I have thought of her birth for many YEARS before she was born. I have wanted to be a mom since I can remember.
I became a doula 2 years before we even got pregnant because we started researching about pregnancy super early. Becoming a doula was such an organic process after that.
So when it was my turn, I was super prepared and had high hopes for a homebirth with as little intervention as possible.
I had an image in my head of my daughter being placed on my chest, where I got to meet her for the first time earth-side. I would be crying, she would be crying, everyone would be crying.
There would be smiles and pictures, love and happiness all around. This moment, this image is when I thought I would become a mother.
Oh how wrong I was. My daughter was born at the Vidone Birthing Center via cesarean.
I was put under general anesthesia and was unconscious for the first hour or so of her life. And when she was put on my chest, I had no idea what was happening. I was confused, out of my mind, and physically and emotionally drained.
Quite the opposite of what I had hoped and longed for. My broken heart still aches when thinking about her first hour.
So many unanswered questions; was she crying, who held her, was she scared, did she know how loved she was? I never got those answers or the moment I had been dreaming about.
We didn't get to have our crying skin to skin moment when I was to become a mom. My daughter is now 3 months old.
I still don't feel like a mom, but why? Why don't I feel like I'm her mother?
I wake up every time she makes a peep. I check to see if she is breathing if I can't hear her little breaths.
I comfort her when she cries or gets scared. I rock her to sleep, take her to the pediatrician, and hold her for hours because she doesn't want to be put down.
So how come I don't feel like her mom? She lights up when I come into the room.
I have well over 1,000 photos of her on my phone. I know what her cries mean and what she needs, but I still don't feel like her mom.
What has to happen in order for me to feel like a mom? I feed her and clean her and change her diaper everyday all day!
I wake at night so my husband can get a good night sleep for his job. I am covered in snot, pee, formula, and puke on the regular.
When she is overwhelmed, I'm the one she wants to be with. But how come I didn't get to experience this life-changing event with her?
Does she even know I'm her mom?
**About a week after writing the above, it happened. I was feeding and staring into her eyes on a normal Tuesday and suddenly this overwhelming blob of emotions came over me.
I was crying non-stop and uncontrollably for over an hour amazed by her. If felt like I saw her for the first time and I didn't want to let her go. I think I may have said "oh my god" about 300 times.
If finally set it that not only was I a mom, but that I was her mom. She was and is my baby.
I grew her for 38 weeks, 2 days, and 90 minutes. This day, this moment is when I became a mom.
I was in my pajamas, on the couch, just the two of us, and it was perfect. Although it didn't happen where and when I expected, it was the most raw and powerful moment of my life.
**If you or someone you know is suffering from postpartum anxiety or depression please call PSI at
1 (800) 944-4773 or text (503) 894-9453.