Reflections on motherhood: Deana's story

I remember vividly the moment that I became a mother. Not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense.

It wasn’t the moment of conception, or the day that I found out that I was pregnant. It wasn’t when I felt the first kick of my precious child’s little foot, nor was it when they lifted her and placed her in my arms, still wet and screaming after her exit from my womb. It was in a moment of blinding joy the evening after she was born.

I tried to rest that first night, after giving birth, but I couldn't sleep. I kept my baby with me most of the day. I counted her fingers and toes. I nursed her. Her father held her, talked to her and rocked her. Later that night I nursed her to sleep and put her in the bedside bassinet. I turned off the lights and climbed into bed after checking on her several times, just to make sure she was okay. Then I got back up and just stared at her. I felt as if my heart swelled several sizes and then I burst into tears. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the need to protect her, love her and do whatever was necessary to make sure she was perfectly happy.

The world seemed to stop spinning; only she and I existed. Nothing else mattered.

Thoughts of a career, my resolve to get a sitter once a week so that I could have time to myself and my determination to not let my child be the center of my life were now laughable. My purpose for existence was her well being.

My idea of only nursing for two weeks was suddenly tossed out the window, as I resolved that only my milk would nourish this child for as long as I could do it.

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