ANTHONY… I wish I could start this with “When I first saw you, I was instantly in love.” That would be the correct thing to say as a first time mom, right? Instead, mine goes a little something like this… “When I first saw you, I was afraid of you, overwhelmed by you, but in awe of you.”
Five months into my pregnancy, your room was ready from top to bottom. I couldn’t help but love seeing the sight of your closet organized perfectly from newborn to 12 months. Bibs, onesies, receiving blankets, swaddle blankets, diapers, socks, towels, vibrating chair, swing – you name it, I had it and in every color too! Material-wise, I was ready! Wow was I in for ONE BIG SURPRISE!
December 26, 2012 at 1:28AM – you were born. When I gave birth to you, you didn’t even cry, thank the Lord! I couldn’t tell who you looked like – me or your dad. Family and friends came to visit you. While they gave you kisses and hugs, I was still in shock that I just gave birth to a baby boy.
“Nurse I’d like to give my baby some formula,” I said.
“Are you sure?” was the reply. “Once you give him formula, typically newborns will like the formula more than their mother’s breast.”
I stared long and hard at her. My body was exhausted, and my eyes were ready to close.
“Yes, I’m sure. I just want to sleep.” He drank the formula so fast; he was soon sound asleep.
I had the best sleep of my life. I was out. But gosh, I wanted to breastfeed you so badly. You latched on great. It was me who was tired, overwhelmed, and maybe selfish.
When I woke up, I cried and was filled with so much guilt. How could I give in to my tiredness? I felt as if I had failed you as a first time mom. Working a 10-hour day at the salon, three days before going into labor, was not the greatest idea. Though it was and is the nature of the salon industry.
Home Sweet Home
Our ride home was precious. My husband drove and I sat in the back seat next to you. Big Poppa (hubby) was so cute. I’ve never seen him drive so slow before. He ensured that every bump and pothole couldn’t be felt by me or his son. Our 20 minute drive turned into a 45 minute drive, which felt like an eternity to get home.
It all sank in when we arrived home and I put you in your bassinet. I stared at you and couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with responsibility. Responsibility that you depended on me for regarding material necessities, love, comfort, traditions, and spiritual guidance. My husband, I’m sure, felt the exact same thing.
But for whatever reason, I think as a woman or a mother, we tend to process that responsibility a little stronger or differently because we carried and birthed our children. I was afraid – I wanted to run away, hide, and disappear.
But I Learned This
Anthony was 2 ½ weeks old when I returned to the salon. What was I thinking? Maybe I needed my sanity.
Not only was I afraid of my own child, but of also losing my clientele. My career and clients brought me a certain confidence, security, and comfort that I was lacking as a first-time mom. My quick return to the salon was such a relief, yet at the same time was one my greatest regrets. I was running away from the fears I had at home. And sadly, I realized the time of Anthony being a newborn was time I will never get back.
Fast forward to today. You had an asthma attack recently. I was up all night with you and gave you all the treatments and home remedies a mother could possibly give, but nothing helped. I held you in my arms, squeezed you tight, and kissed your forehead.
You looked at me and said, “Mommy, you’re a good mommy.”
A tear rolled down my face and I said, “I love you baby.”
You held on to me and I held on to you and before we knew it, we were sound asleep.
It’s amazing how the power of a mother’s touch can comfort and console their child. My fellow sisters – our touch is comforting, consoling, and more powerful than any medication on this earth. Mother or not, God has designed all of us this way. We were given this gift to comfort and console others. I would only hope that you would tap into it because women… We Are Powerful!
My Message to You
Anthony, my son, I love you. I can’t live without you. You make me laugh, smile, and fill me with pure joy. You have taught me to overcome my fears, to come face to face with them, and to not hide or disappear but rather to allow my presence to illuminate a room without one word needing to be said. Because you’ve reminded me that I am a courageous and powerful woman.
Whatever fears you might have, I’m here to tell you, you can overcome them. Take it day by day and remember that you are a powerful light.
I’ve shared my fear of becoming a first-time mom and now I’d love to connect and hear your story. So, ask yourself:
- What are my fears?
- Have I come face to face with them?
- Do I realize how powerful I really am?