The story of us. The beginning. Well sort of.
I have been thinking for weeks now how to best start my blog. And I keep thinking I have to, no I need to, start from the beginning. Our beginning. Of how I became a mama to this amazing little girl.
It’s hard to choose where to start. How far back to go, how much to share. It seems like it was so long ago; and yet just the other day. All the same feelings are there, just below the surface, the slightest scratch could let them out. So I do what I can to live well with those feelings, live through them. And yet they will be there forever. And I don’t know if I have quite accepted that yet.
I knew I was pregnant before I took the test. Hearing the words ‘you are 6 weeks pregnant’ when you have not planned it, well it is hard to explain. I remember the doctor telling me, I remember where I was standing, I remember what I was looking at, I remember everything around me going completely silent and her words repeating in my mind. It was like a movie, a blur.
The weeks and months that followed are hard to write about. I don’t think I can or want to share it all. How I felt, how I reacted, things that were said and done, things that were not said and not done. There was love and pain and heartache and strength that I had no idea existed. That time lives in my memory and one day, if she asks about it, I will tell her with tears in my eyes, for the loss I felt then and the love I feel now.
Many women have said their lives started the day they had a child. And for me that is not completely true. Before I was a mama I had been living an epic 26 year journey that was my life. I look back now and I see how naïve I was, how young and innocent, how I thought I could take on the world. I had it all. And then came Spring Day 2011. The day she was born. I wrote her a letter the night before, and I will treasure those words forever, because the following day my life didn’t ‘start’ but it certainly rebooted.
I remember every detail about the moment they put her on my chest. She looked exactly how she looksnow only tiny, purple, sucking her little fingers, screaming. I was in awe. I could not believe that after all those months of being unsure, of feeling alone, of not bonding enough, that she was here. This was the person I chose in spite of everything else.
Our time in the hospital and the following few weeks are such a blur. I was emotional and unsure and in shock and suddenly overwhelmed. And then came the anger and the guilt. That was the worst. Did she feel loved every day while she was in my tummy? Could she hear things that were said? Did she know I chose her over it all? The anger and guilt ate at me, they still do. And yet when those bright blue eyes look up at me, all I see is love. Pure, unconditional, untouchable love. And the past doesn’t seem to matter. All that matters is now, from 1 September 2011. That is where we began.
“Bella: Once I was lost in a forest. I was so afraid. My blood pounded in my chest and I knew my heart’s strength would soon be exhausted. I saved myself without thinking. I grasped the two syllables closest to me, and replaced my heartbeat with your name” (Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces).
And that was how my life rebooted, how my heart re-started to the beat of Be-lla. Be-lla. Be-lla. Those two syllables will forever be my biggest lesson, my greatest achievement and my reason to be a better woman. Those two syllables are my life.