I always imagined myself as this perfect mother. In my eyes I had it all together. Well planned out. We planned the baby and she came almost as soon as we tried for her. We saved up. We bought everything we needed and booked the hospital stay well in advance. Her clothes were ready before her toes were formed. Everything from the birth plan, to the breastfeeding only plan, to getting myself back in order by exercising and general good practises. I thought I knew.
What me? Caesarean? Never. I even ignored the fact that my baby did not drop into my pelvic cavity therefore making natural birth tricky to say the least. I just knew that the birthing process would be perfect by my standards and that meant no C section. I thought I knew.
I had dreams of my baby sleeping in her own room and of course in her own cot. Independently thriving there and only calling when she needed me. It never occurred to me that as a working mom I there would come a point where the constant up and down between baby and my bed would take a toll, and I would have to make some very hard decisions. I thought I knew.
I never imagined that my life would change so drastically, wonderfully yes, but the transition from being me to being mommy. I did not see that coming. I did not even entertain the reality of having to accommodate my new role. How is it even possible that I did not see realise that my pregnancy was my farewell party and that my baby’s birth was the arrival of not only her but a new me too. I thought I knew.
The fact that my husband and I would experience a whole new definition of love and commitment and partnership and friendship. And that we would be tested beyond what we thought was possible and thrown into the scorching fire, with only hope to keep us alive and together. That we would come out stronger and more united because we had no choice but to be better people for our daughter. I thought I knew.
That my friendships and general social outlook would take a knock and that my circles would shrink. And that I would embrace the change and forge a different kind of social existence. Even my beloved gin and tonic would become a distant love affair now replaced by the softer white wine- crazy and trivial- I know, but I thought I knew.
But now I look back and I realise what I didn’t know doesn’t matter anymore. You know why? Because what I do know now means EVERYTHING. I know her face and her fingers and her toes. Her kisses. And cuddles. Her cooing and her cackling. I know her love, her friendship, her cry, her charm. I know now that regardless of what perfection I expected out of the process of becoming a mother, I could never have guessed that the only perfection that exists in the equation is in the form of my daughter. And now I know.