I have been thinking about my children. Adult children. They are all so unique and individual. Yet, when I look at them, each of them, I can see the shared genes/ DNA. I see an older brother's face in a younger brother's. I see gestures and expressions, both physical and vocal/ verbal.
I have been making a mental list of the gifts that they have each given to me. As a mother. As a person.
Courtney's first gift was that she made me into a mother. She taught me how exasperating and exhilarating and terrifying it can be to be a parent. It was such a thrill just to feel her soft skin and smell it and feed her body from my body. We were so symbiotic. And it was frightening. Nick and I both standing over her in the middle of the night to be sure she was still breathing. Still alive. Still real. Still ours.
Morgan came with an already "trained" mother (me). I was 100% confident that I could do things right. He smelled wonderful and I couldn't stop nuzzling his downy head. He hummed as a newborn and I would put my cheek against his and hum with him. He nursed well and grew well. He wanted to be held and in contact more than Courtney had as a newborn. I remember remarking to my mother that she must think I was "spoiling" him. She said "you can't spoil a good baby, and they are all good".
Darcy came with a sweet personality. Almost never crying or complaining as a baby. At least that's how I remember it. I do know that I walked with him at night a lot. I used to push the love seat and sofa together to make a sort of pen where Darcy could safely nurse and sleep without me dropping him. He was so inquisitive, and often did things that scared me to death. He probably still does.
Austin came into the world proclaiming "I'm HERE!". He was big and prefect and beautiful. And I birthed him drug free. Austin gave me the empowerment to trust myself to be able to do just about anything. I became a mother warrior when I had Austin. I knew that nobody or no thing had better get in the way of my or my family. You gave me strength, Austin
Chance, you made me vulnerable. With you I learned that I needed to depend on other people to help me even though I didn't want to. I was scared and felt so scared that neither of us would survive your birth. I thought that if I died, all of you kids would be alright because you have a great dad. The first words out of my mouth after your birth were "is my baby alive?". You were so wanted and so loved that I couldn't bear to think of the possibilities... You taught me to be less judgemental. With each of your older siblings, I was able to breastfeed and grow wonderful fat babies. I felt that I was the one responsible for their health and well-being. And I was.
But, Chance, as hard as I tried, I couldn't make you into a fat healthy baby on my own. It took months of hard work and the help of my La Leche League friends and wonderful Lactation Consultants, I am so grateful for the people who helped us. Your early months made me more committed to helping mothers with my new knowledge than anything else. Because of you, I became a Lactation Consultant myself
How did I get so lucky!