What’s Motherhood? I’ll never know – I’ve never met my 8 angels.
We’ve all been part of a family unit at one point in time. Whether it was for 5 minutes or a lifetime. Whether it was just with our Mum or with lots of family members. Each moment, no matter how small was as part of a family unit and was the result of motherhood. We grow up with the idea that we will all want, or be expected, to became parents at some point in our lives. You’re raised by somebody, blood related or otherwise, you go through some form of education and at the other end of childhood and adolescence, you get a job and your own place, meet the man you love and children will follow. This may seem like an old fashioned view, and in my opinion it definitely is, but it is still an expectation that us women will at some point bear children.
They say motherhood is the greatest gift on earth. When you have a baby it changes you, changes your outlook on life and makes you a better person. Like a caterpillar’s cocoon, you grow a life inside the protective casing that is your body. A tiny seed, planted, grows day by day, little by little, into a beautiful baby. A baby that is your own flesh, your own blood, your own creation.
They say giving birth is the most painful experience you can have. The most painful but also the most rewarding. You spend hours and hours in agony then forget them in the instant you lay eyes on your baby. A new life born, so tiny and fragile, so dependent on you to survive.
From that day everything changes, they say. The tiny life which you nurtured and protected inside your womb for 9 months is here now, dependent on you for the the rest of your life. You will need to nurture this life, feed it’s brain and body with knowledge, with nutrition and with values. You will need to teach this life how to live, how to survive and how to progress.
The hardest, most rewarding thing you will ever do as a woman is to become a mother. That’s the hardest thing mother’s have to do…
Nobody prepares you for the hardest thing you have to do when motherhood is taken away from you. When you feel the elation as you see the lines appear on the stick and then the black cloud descends when you realise the opportunity has been cruelly snatched away. When you find yourself treasuring the thoughts of buying furniture, painting a nursery, buying clothes. Then a couple of weeks later you progress to thoughts of cuddling your baby, feeding it and loving every inch of your creation. Another few weeks pass and again, the cruel reality sets in that it will never be you.
To look at a baby hurts, to hear a child stings and to walk down a baby aisle in a supermarket makes you well up. ‘Call The Midwife’ is on but you’ll never watch it, it hurts too much. A family announcement is made and you cry for hours because it will never be you. Friendships are lost as babies are born and you no longer have the same connection. They feel sorry for you so offer you ‘shots’ of the baby to placate you, but how do they know that hurts you more. So you lose those friends and new ones are hard to come by because everyone is at that ‘settling down, getting married and having kids’ stage.
Me? I had 8 babies. Eight little lives started to grow inside me over the years. Eight lives that could have been but were never allowed to be. Eight lives snuffed out before they had a chance to begin, before they had a chance to live in the world and before I had a chance to live in the world of motherhood.