At 30 years old, there was a wrinkle in time and I fell in deep.
My life truly began.
I had had a full and interesting life up until that point. I’d travelled to numerous continents. I’d followed my passions and created a successful career for myself. I was married to a wonderful man. I was filling my time effectively—so it would seem.
From the moment my first child (my “little little”) was born, that me was done and I severed ties with the previous version of myself.
With the cutting of the umbilical cord, I was born anew. She arrived in the world, but it was the day I was born.
My Birth Day.
The old version of me was now outdated; I would never be the same again.
I had been the woman who had gotten by, by living my emotional life on the periphery—engaging superficially with others. The one who had merely flirted with “real life” meaning and purpose.
I had been the woman who did what she wanted, when she wanted—I could sleep in for hours every weekend if that’s what I wanted to do.
But with this babe at my breast, I had awakened. I puzzled by how long I had been asleep. My old life felt like a meaningless sleep walk, where I had wandered, bumping into things. I had been living a dream of sorts, hazy, colorless and mindless, although at the time I had been blissfully unconscious, and self-righteous.
In the twilight of my awakening I felt raw, vulnerable and deeply awestricken by this babe I nursed, cuddled and watched over. For hours I watched her, focusing on her chest rising and falling, rising and falling. I would watch her little eyelashes rest against her soft cheeks, her rosebud mouth, plump and full, with the tiny suckling blister on her top lip.
At times I would release her from my cradling arms and lay her in her cot. However, I would hover nearby, watching for the rise and fall of her chest.
There were times when it was difficult to determine if she was actually still breathing. In those times, I would let my fingers rest under her nose and mouth to feel the breath, or I would gently place my hand on her body, and wait for a slight wriggle or some sort of movement to acknowledge she was alive.
I was torturing myself with this vigilant “check on the baby” routine.
At the same time, I felt so responsible.
I felt so deeply on purpose.
Meaning infused and saturated my entire existence.
Giving birth and mothering was my spiritual awakening.
Looking at her, I wondered how could such a tiny being create an expansion in my heart this vast and seemingly infinite?
This was a power and love that exceeded anything I had ever experienced before. It left me aching from morning to night. I felt a deep need to meditate, to be gentle with myself, and to create ease and flow within myself as a rhythm for us to follow.
As much as I loved my new role as Mother, my personal Mama birth process was not an easy one. As my little little’s identity emerged, so did mine. While her cries were strident, mine were silent. I found myself silently screaming out on occasion, longing to return to my previous life. The old me would speak up, wanting attention; longing for the old structure and routine. That voice dimmed with each passing day, eventually fading away.
I had become a woman who was listening to a new master. My new self. I had become the physical embodiment of Divine Mother.
My blood is your blood, l will feel you until the day I die.
Time has passed and my three little little’s are all grown now. I was in an office recently and while filling out a form which, as most do, had a space for “employment.”
I filled this space with “mother.” I always do.
The polite, naïve, half-my-age customer service person said, “oh, so you are unemployed!”
We mothers are born again with the birth of each of our children. No matter what we choose to do in our lives moving forward, we will be Mother until the day we die.
Mother is who we are.
Little, Little by Jenny Morris.
Author: Lulu Trevena
Editor: Renée Picard
Photos: Bridget Coila at Flickr