Happy Mother’s Day to YOU and Yours!
I always loved Mother’s Day as a kid. I loved celebrating my mom and the other special women in my life, but also Mother’s Day falls in late Spring, when school is almost out, and pools are about to open! Growing up on Mother’s Day in my family we celebrated my mom, my aunt Elaine, Gram, and our JoJo (nanny of just about 30 yrs now). Our celebrations usually included mass and then heading over to my grandmother’s house for lunch as a BIG (there were a lot of us) family. I had such phenomenal “mom” role models growing up, so it’s not at all surprising that I am so obsessed with being one myself.
Yesterday while Lenny napped I slipped away to visit my Aunt Lainie’s resting place (I’m writing to you from my parent’s house in Ohio btw!). It’s something that I do almost every trip home, and as I gave her the usual rundown of life and our family, I of course wished her a happy Mother’s Day. Lainie suffered from a severe chronic illness that required hundreds of surgeries. She wasn’t able to have biological children and adoption was almost certainly out of the question since her illness was chronic, and life threatening at times (things were very different then too…). My mom said that when they were little Lainie was the mommy when they played house. She had always dreamt of being a mom, and her illness deprived her of making her dream a reality. My mom and my aunt were best friends, so when my mom had kids it was very natural for her to share us with my aunt. My aunt lived directly across the street from us, and I really don’t have many memories from childhood that don’t feature her. Every Mother’s Day we celebrated her right alongside my mom. My aunt was into hair, makeup, concerts, New York City, red lipstick, and puppies. She was a true girl’s girl, and that was great since even though my mom is girly for sure, she wasn’t the pro in these areas like my aunt. Missing her is part of my everyday life, but on special days like Mother’s Day she is especially missed. I know that she would be (or is I guess!) over the moon for Lenny, and he will grow up learning all about the amazing woman that she was and the important role that she played in raising his own mommy.
I have quite a few pregnant mommies in my life at the moment, and thinking of them today made me think of last Mother’s Day. In reflecting I got to thinking- and I kept repeating in my head on my first Mother’s Day we did this, this, and this…. . Then a little later that day I was wish wished a “Happy First Mother’s Day, Meghan!” upon departing the local convenient store. Then I started thinking- is this my first Mother’s Day? When does one officially become a Mom?
When a mom is first pregnant she usually doesn’t find out about the little soul that’s budding inside of her until she’s let’s say 4-5 weeks pregnant. I found out at around this time too. I remember taking the pregnancy test so vividly now. I had read that taking the test first thing in the morning was best from an accuracy standpoint, so I laid the test out on top of the toilet seat so that I wouldn’t forget to do it first thing in the morning. We were staying in a hotel in Warren, Ohio, since it was Thanksgiving morning and we were set to spend the day with our families. As I “performed the test” I already knew deep down that it would be positive, I just had this feeling! As soon as the double lines started to show I couldn’t believe what was happening, yet I knew that I was pregnant… weird but you get it right? The rest of the day is sort of a blur in my memory. My little baby growing inside of me was ALL I could think about. My husband and I decided not to share our news with our family just yet, but I had so many thoughts racing through my mind. “What at Thanksgiving is safe to eat?”, “I heard cheese is bad?”, “What about turkey? This isn’t turkey lunch meat soo..”. Thank God for Google! (Google is great sometimes….)
That same day a friend shared the heartbreaking news that she had lost her baby during pregnancy. I remember so clearly feeling a newfound part of my heart break for her. It was an aching pain I had never felt before, a gut wrenching feeling imagining what my dear friend was going through. In no way am I trying to say I had/have any idea how she was feeling, I just understood on a new level that there really could be nothing worse that could happen to me than losing this baby that I already loved SO much. It had been less than 24 hours since we learned that our little one was on his way, but within that short time my life was already changed forever.
By the end of the night lying in bed with my husband I was an emotional mess. I guess I was scared of the feelings I was already having for our baby. The panic had set in. I had drank alcohol just a week ago! I had colored my hair, eaten sushi in the last few days, and had missed a prenatal vitamin! Kurt did his best to assure me that most everyone probably does these things before finding out they are pregnant and not to worry, but I couldn’t help myself. A new chamber in my heart had formed and I began to feel a new type of love, along with a new debilitating type of worry. The minute a woman decides to nurture the little one growing inside of her (which is a life long obligation that she takes on I might add) I would argue she becomes a mother.
Throughout pregnancy mommies make decisions and sacrifices without a second thought, all for the baby that they growing and have not officially met yet. Pregnancy is HARD. I had a really great pregnancy symptom wise, and I still found it extremely difficult. I would say the swelling was the worst of my physical symptoms. From my toes to my nose was swollen from about 5 months on. Other moms that I know suffer from life disrupting nausea, insomnia, high blood pressure, bed rest orders, and more during pregnancy. I was lucky to have very few symptoms, but I know that if I had more they would have been the last thing on my mind, baby first.
This isn’t my “first” Mother’s Day, but it’s ok if you wish me one! I appreciate any and all celebration of this role that I am blessed to be tasked with for the rest of my life. However, I do encourage you to wish all of the pregnant moms in your life a Happy Mother’s Day as well. I have 3 very close pregnant friends and they were the first mommies I thought of to text this morning. It is such an exciting day that they can imagine spending holding their little ones in their arms next year. The anticipation that comes along with pregnancy is a magical gift. I often found myself day dreaming of holidays and birthdays to come while pregnant. I am happy to report the real life experiences are even better than the ones I could dream up! 🙂
This is my first Mother’s Day with my baby by my side, and I will selfishly hog him all day since it’s my day. That is all I want! Len actually came down with his first stomach bug just a day ago, and has a fever for the first time. He only wants his mommy, and I am JUST FINE with that. This morning my husband and I got to snuggle with Len in bed from 6-8 with Stella at our feet. It was heavenly after not seeing Kurt since Monday (he got in to Ohio last night), and I got to kiss my mom on Mother’s Day before she headed out to teach in the weekend pharmacy program in Pittsburgh. We celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday with my family, complete with a gourmet dinner prepared by my little Brother Luke and my sister in law to be Carolien. It was really special getting to celebrate this day with my mom, and I was SO grateful that she got to help me cope and treat Lenny’s first fever. We had dessert compliments of my brother Drew who couldn’t be here due to business, we took an after dinner walk, and Kurt and I played a game of “horse”. Kurt remarked that it was like a little date for us! I love showing off any sort of athletic skills that I have to Kurt. Growing up with two brother’s means I am pretty good at most sports, except football. I am only good at holding the ball for punt practice… thanks, Drew!
I hope that your Mother’s Day is the best yet! Whether it is your “first” or first! May you feel just how much you are valued, loved, and honored for holding life’s most rewarding title- Mom.