Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Shade of Motherhood

As I looked at that round baby boy for the first time I felt pity—for him and for me.  

For years I had dreamed of the magical moment that would make me a mother. I fantasized of the closeness and effortless love I’d instantly feel for my offspring. I longed for the palpable whispering that he had come straight from Him.
Yet as I sat in my wheelchair eight hours after delivery and met my firstborn for the first time--this little man who was covered in wires and sustained by machines, whose head and brain had received life-threatening injuries from what doctors diplomatically called an “attempted vaginal delivery”, this baby who was given a name on a surgical consent form instead of a birth certificate—I felt utterly helpless and thought to myself, “So this is it, huh? This is what I’ve waited 23 years and maybe even an eternity to experience.”
Doctors and nurses were, as I saw it, addressing every one of his newborn needs; I sat on the sideline as the professionals battled in the trenches. I consoled myself with visions of future normalcy that would be as beautiful as I had always imagined.
In the meantime I started doing seemingly simple things for the child—things the doctors didn’t do. I curled his pudgy little fingers tightly around my pointer, and I sang lullabies when he was fussy. His favorite song was “I Love to See the Temple,” I learned, even when my performance was a little off-key. My body began to overflow with nourishment, which I pumped and bottled for hours each day. I sat by his side, keeping him company during the lonely minutes between meds and tests. And almost by surprise I started to love my son with a fierceness that frightened even me.
In a matter of days my pre-baby ideals of motherhood “perfection” vanished as I became the mother he needed. He was more than another baby in the NICU: he was my creation and I was his voice. I learned the cues that meant he needed more medicine, I respected his space and required others to do the same, and when he showed me that he was ready, I fought to bring him home. And in that moment, as I fought for him just as He fights for me, I received my long-sought confirmation of this babe’s heavenly origins. And oh was it magical.
We each have our individual shade of motherhood: mine is fire engine red. I’ve learned that Heavenly Father wants me to cuddle my children and nurture their eternal souls, but He needs me to be their advocate. 
When my second son was 36 hours old every fiber of my motherhood told me something was wrong, and yet the nurses repeatedly told me that I was overreacting. But I remembered the things I had learned about my type of motherhood—and I demanded to be heard. And when that precious baby was diagnosed with congenital heart disease and lived because we caught it just in time for surgery, I thanked God for the blessing of being a mother. Especially the type of mother He trained me to be.
 Talmage, 2009

 Everett, 2011
Couldn't get this piece off of my mind today so decided to share it. I am so blessed to have these strong and special boys in my life. I love being their Mom.