Have a great weekend, guys <3
I met my daughter nearly seven months ago.
Since then, I’ve been asked, “What does it feel like to be a mom?” I’ve been asked that question countless times these past few months and an answer is still difficult to put into words.
I could say it’s the purest form of love I’ve ever felt. But love is abstract and that sentiment doesn’t quite convey how I feel.
Before becoming a mom, I imagined what it would be like but imagining this journey and experiencing it are two completely different things. Imagination, no matter how vivid, can’t capture the emotions you feel when you meet your child for the first time or see them smile for the first time or hear them laugh for the first time and every time for that matter.
Maybe there’s an emotion that hasn’t been coined yet. Felt yes, but it’s such an intense feeling that there is no word for it. That’s how it feels to be a mother: An intense emotion that can’t be confined or defined linguistically.
There’s this notion that before finding romantic love you are half of a whole, that your significant other completes you.
I don’t believe in that. I believe that you are, or should be, a whole person before committing to someone else. If you’re broken, or unhappy or unfulfilled, you’re the only person who can fill those voids, those gaps. You’re the only one who can fix you.
Do I believe in romantic love and soul mates? Yes, I do. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be married to my husband who happens to be my best friend, confidante, partner in crime [you get the gist]. But he is not a part of me in a sense that without him I am broken. [Heartbroken, yes, but that’s different.]
Being a mother completes me. Now, let me explain that before I get jumped on by an angry mob that sees motherhood as banal because, ‘any woman can push out a baby’
My daughter lived inside of me for nine months. I hadn’t met her yet but I loved her with a fierce love since she was the size of a grain of sand. I say that she completes me because she was, and is, a part of me. Her happiness is my happiness. It’s hard to believe that my body nourished this tiny being, but it did.
I have never loved anyone as fiercely or with such intensity as I love my daughter. My heart doesn’t soar the way it does when I look at her nor am I as calm and content as I am when I’m with her.
I have never felt that my life was so irrevocably and inextricably connected to another as it is to my daughter. It’s an odd thing, to have your life look so different to what it was like before, yet it’s almost as though your previous life never really existed. As though you were only half the person you were meant to be, or as though you were lucid dreaming the entire time. Because, in all honesty, I can’t picture my life without her. And that’s what I mean by, ‘being a mother completes me.’
I’ve specifically not spoken about giving birth and what it was like for me postpartum and the simple answer is this: It feels like a brag. I’ve been on a high since I’ve given birth and no one wants to hear things like that. Giving birth can be extremely difficult for many women and the baby blues, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis are very real conditions. I’ve also not given any ‘mommy advice’ because, let’s face it, everyone hates that and nothing starts a war like a mommy debate.
I will say this though: I’m happy.
And I hope that you are too :)
With regard to International Women’s Day yesterday, I thought I would write this blog post because this particular topic has been on my mind for quite some time. I’d even go as far as saying that this topic has been on my mind since High School, because most girls didn’t like me and I wondered why.
But what prompted me to write this post is the Facebook statuses and Instagram photos with their Women’s Day captions dedicated to women everywhere yesterday. The disparity between the posts I saw yesterday and the posts I see every other day is the reason this blog post won’t be a typical Women’s Day post because this issue has been going on for too long.
As human beings we have the capacity to encourage and support one another, to be united rather than divided and to celebrate our diversity rather than mock what is different to our own norms.
I found it beautiful and inspiring to see women celebrating one another; as mothers, sisters, daughters and also as doctors, lawyers, teachers etc; women celebrating women for the sacrifices they’ve made and for encompassing many roles within society. I found it beautiful and inspiring, but also ironic.
I found it ironic because every single day women post judgmental comments on social networking sites that are hurtful and malicious. Whether it is judging another women’s lifestyle, fashion sense or what food she prefers on a Friday night, those catty remarks are everywhere.
For every negative comment there are a hundred more showing love and support but, why the negativity in the first place?
One thing in particular that bothers me is that we as women are always saying that we should not be put into boxes, that we as women can be and do anything. But what I’ve found is that many women’s definition for ‘be and do anything’ is limited to what they think should be the definition for all women. Opinions and different perspectives are passed off as ‘correct’ lifestyle choices and anyone outside of this lifestyle choice is judged harshly.
We’re either seen as too soft and not assertive enough, or too assertive and not soft enough. Women who choose to have children from the age of 35 and up are seen as selfish whereas women who choose to have children earlier are seen as unambitious. Here’s my take on it: having children does not make you a woman. Neither does having a job. And both are not mutually exclusive.
I find it insulting when women degrade the role of a mother, because, essentially, you’re degrading your own mother. I also find it insulting when women’s dreams are seen as invalid and unattainable for whatever reason. And again I ask, why all the negativity? A better question would be, why is all this negativity coming from and directed at women?
Why don’t we support each other for the different roles we play? Why don’t we value each other’s worth in society instead of putting every other woman who is different to us into a box, on a shelf, labelled, “disappointment.”
We all have different ambitions and definitions of success. Everyone’s path to happiness is paved in their own way and what makes one of us happy can’t be said for all of us.
So, as beautiful and inspiring as the posts were yesterday, why can’t this be done every day?
Now that the cat is out of the bag, I want to shout it from the rooftop [or maybe just the window because it’s way too cold to be out on the roof] that I am PREGNANT to anyone who cares, and even those who don’t.
Some women claim to know the very night their kids were conceived. It sounds strange, a little creepy even, but I’m one of those crazy women. I won’t get into that because this is a somewhat PG rated blog ;) But I will get into some of the other signs. Firstly, I decided to do this blog post because I’m no longer sleeping for most of the day and many of my family and friends have asked a ton of questions and I hope this answers some of them.
About two weeks after my last post, I found out that I was pregnant. I wasn’t really surprised, because:
- I couldn’t stop eating cucumbers dipped in salt and pepper. So much so that one night I craved it so badly, I ransacked the house looking for cucumbers because it was too late to go to the store.
- My breasts were swollen. They hurt and they couldn’t fit into bras I’d been wearing for years. A little too much information there but hey, I’m being honest here.
- My usual shampoo and conditioner were too strong smelling for me. So were my usual body washes and lotions. I couldn’t put anything on my body besides olive oil.
- I slept like the dead. I could only stay awake for five hours a day. I took naps all the time and I slept through the night like, dare I say it, a baby.
But the day I knew for sure that I was pregnant was the day I woke up with an onion following me around.
Not literally, of course. I’m still fairly sane even though I’m pregnant.
But I woke up and I could smell onion. I could even taste onion in my mouth. There were no onions around and I hadn’t fried any in a long time. Brushing my teeth and showering didn’t help. The smell was just there for the rest of the day.
I’ve mentioned before that I love the smell of onion being fried in butter, and the smell of garlic in butter. But those were the two smells that I absolutely hated during the first few months of pregnancy.
Every woman is different and, because every woman is different, every pregnancy is different. I thought that I’d be one of those women who puke every hour of every day, because my mom threw up all the time. But I didn’t throw up. Not even once.
In fact, the pros outweigh the cons. Besides the fact that there’s a baby doing somersaults in my belly, which is the biggest pro on the pros and cons list, there are other awesome things that come along with pregnancy. Well, my pregnancy at least.
- It’s winter here in Jordan and my hair is usually dry in such harsh weather, but my hair has never been this full, or soft.
- For the first time ever my nails are really strong.
- The pregnancy glow!
- I have hips. Hips are awesome and oh-so-womanly.
- Pregnancy breasts are the best your breasts are ever going to look. And feel.
Those are some pretty awesome symptoms, but then there are the not- so- awesome symptoms which include:
- Back ache. The hormone relaxin loosens your ligaments so pregnancy aches are normal but not fun.
- Round ligament pain. Let me just say that women are warriors because I’ve never felt pain like that before. And because you’re a mom you think to yourself, ‘Ok, my bones are breaking right now, my organs are being squeezed and pulled and I think I’m going to pass out, but please, PLEASE, let my baby be OK. I’ll take all the pain, just as long as the baby is OK.’ The pain still isn’t fun though. Far from it.
- Crying. I don’t like when people see me cry, not even people I’m close to. But during this pregnancy, I cried at the mall. In the food court. I’ve also cried in the shower while talking and singing to my belly. I’ve cried while listening to certain songs. I’ve cried while looking out of the window and I don’t even know why.
There is so much more I could say about this journey. I could write about how surreal it is to see your kid grow; from looking like a tiny peanut to looking like a full-fledged baby, moving around during the ultrasound. I could talk about how it feels to be kicked in the stomach, from little movements that feel like fish swimming in your belly to actual kicks. Nothing prepares you for the fierce yet vulnerable love you feel. No amount of imagining what pregnancy is like prepares you for what it is actually like. If I had to sum it up, I’d call it a blessing; an absolute blessing.
Thank you to everyone for the support, the well-wishes, advice and everything in-between. For those who’ve asked so many questions, I hope this post answers most of them, especially the most common: “How does it feel to be pregnant?”
I’ll be posting more regularly from now on and no, not every post is going to be a pregnancy post. The blog is as it always was; a way for me to connect with family and friends who are millions of miles away.
Have an awesome first weekend of the new year, everyone!
I haven’t been blogging lately, which is ironic considering my last post, but that hasn’t been by choice.
I haven’t been blogging because I broke the screen of my laptop last week. I’m very picky when it comes to where I write and, whether they’re blog posts or imaginative pieces for myself, I can’t seem to write that intimately anywhere else but on my own laptop or in my journals.
I will say that I miss the blogging community and the interactions with you fellow bloggers which is why I couldn’t resist this simple post.
I hope you’ve all had a fantastic, productive week and that the image above gave you that extra push.
x x x