That Moment

May 16, 2012

That moment. That second I gave birth. It was power and truth fused into one almighty bolt.

Her little body on my chest. Her face as clear as daylight. Her lips quivering. Her mop of black hair all matted and wet. As she squawked, I cooed like a mama-bird. “My gorgeous girl, I’m your mummy. You’re okay now”. And all the while tears rolled down her father’s face. It struck me that this was it. This was it. The most powerful moment of our lives.

New life.

Hours later I was finally alone with my girl. I tucked her under my wing as I lay with her in bed. I looked into her eyes, “It’s me, I’m your mummy”. And this time the words sank like a stone. Like I finally believed them myself. And the truth registered with a charge down my spine. I’m responsible here. I’m the one. She is dependent on me.

Here begins my watch.

Her first week on earth was delicious. The smell of her soft skin was intoxicating. Pretty cards and presents arrived daily in the mail. Celebration whirled through the house like a circus clown. Soothing dinners warmed our bellies at night. Oh how I was ravenous! I inhaled food. I let it nourish me. And I fed and fed and fed my baby with milky goodness.

The milestones passed… one after another… she laughed, she rolled, she sat up. And then when she was 9 months old I remember something so vivid and bright. It was a week before Mother’s Day. I was cooking dinner. Little poppet in her high chair watching me potter around. Out of silence she looked up to me and said “Mama”.  – I dropped my spoon.  It was the first time I had ever heard these words directed to me. It hit me harder than the thud of that spoon. It hit me deep, where blood is a crazy gush of molten, at the furnace core of my heart.

There was someone in this world that would now call me “Mama”.