The Unlikely Mother
April 26th, 2015. 4:13am. Aya Mia Thea Arrives.
I'm am not one of those women who always expected to be a mother. In fact, I expected that I wouldn't be. That is why, in July 2014, in a campground outside of Lake George, I surprised myself by wanting a baby. Poolside at the loveliest little wooded, family-run camping spot, I said I wanted to give it a go and to my double-surprise, so did my husband. Making it to 35 and 36 without kids means that you have this looming question that is punctuated with a now-or-never kind of urgency. Urgency won. I'm pretty sure I got pregnant in that little lakeside town.
It's hard to tell a story that you know so intimately. And it's hard to tell a story that has been told so many times before in different permutations. I had a baby. It changed my life. So what else is new. I guess I want to tell my story because it isn't the story of what is supposed to happen when you have a baby. It's a story of survival and it's one I'm dying to tell.
As soon as a friend asked me a few days after birth, "Is your heart just EXPLODING with love right now!?!?!" and my only response was that my eyes were exploding with tears, I knew I was on a different mommyhood track.
When the beginnings of motherhood are marked with fear and tears, the profound alteration of yourself as a person into the identity of Mother is traumatic. These are the birth and new mom stories you don't hear. The scary ones. The ones where darkness meets you where joy should be waiting.
Six and a half weeks after my sweet, fierce little creature of a baby was born, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression.
And I couldn't have been more relieved.