When you birth a child, it as though something fundamentally changes in the makeup of your being. At least that rings true for me. Sharing my body with Finley for nine months definitely impacted me, but I found it hard to really understand what it would be like to be a mother until after he was born. You are so used to having this other person growing and moving within you, and you become accustomed to it. When Finley was separated from my body, it felt strange. When I looked upon his face, it was as though I’d known him my whole life. He was a part of me, truly. And in that moment, when Finley was born, I was a mother.
When Finley was born, I changed. I became a mother and I was no longer the woman that I was before. My life was now for this little person, who Steve and I ‘made from scratch’ so to speak. He was the perfect combination of each of us. My heart was so full. But in the same moment that I was so high and happy and full of hope, my world came crashing down around me, and suddenly the person who was now the most important to me was dead. Gone. Forever.
And yet, I remained changed. You birth a baby and become a mother, but nature is cruel in that when your baby dies, your body and your mind don’t know. Comprehension doesn’t sink in straight away. And then your body does the things that bodies do when they birth babies. It is all a horrible reminder of the fact that you are a mother….you had a baby.
The question is, are you still a mother when your baby dies? When you have no living children on earth? When you have nobody to be a parent to?
Yes. You are a mother, because your body and mind have gone through the change that only bringing life into the world can bring. You can’t go back to who you were before; the transformation is too extreme.
I guess this is why the babylost are a little bit crazy…you do things for your child who will never get to see the effort. You spend time planning their birthdays – the cake you will make with the candles that will burn but will never be blown out by the one they are for. Knitting Christmas stockings that they will never use. Picturing the smile and the laugh that you will never get to see. Imagining the first steps and the first time you hear the name ‘mama’ spoken. Wishing so much for the joy that these simple things would bring to your heart even though they can never occur. Yet still doing them for your child anyways.