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04 September 2010 @ 12:57 am
the journey to motherhood, in 500 words or less  
My baby?  I love her so much that it hurts.  And that's kind of scary.
Motherhood is like this totally primal, supernatural force.  It's looking at this little person who you barely know and realizing that you would do ANYTHING for them.  You would give your life for them.  And you can't turn that feeling off or control it.  In no other aspect of life do you even approach that level of emotional intensity with another living creature without knowing hardly anything about them.  It's the true definition of unconditional love.  It's a huge risk, an enormous vulnerability, and I'm powerless over it.  I can't be away from her for more than a handful of hours at a time without getting anxious and worrying about her and obsessing about her and verging on panic.  It feels like my heart has gone wandering outside my body.
The forces of nature are so powerful that they have turned ME into someone who can't live without her baby.  For the first 28 years of my life, I never thought I would ever want to have a child.  I hated kids.  Then it happened.  Slowly at first, but it started to sink in.  I realized that my life needed to be about someone other than just myself.  That's the simple, super-short version of events.  Of course, it's so much more complicated than that.  There were a series of losses, minor tragedies in my life.  I swore that the next time I loved someone, it would be someone who would outlive me.  And I reached the point where I had healed enough from my own childhood that I could step back and look at it more objectively.  I could finally put it in the backseat, in the past where it belonged, and move forward.  Those old wounds kept me stuck in the past for so long that I wasn't ready to dedicate myself to a person who would force me to let it go just yet.
If I had decided to have a kid any earlier in my life, in my early or mid twenties for example, I don't think I would have been a very good mom.  Aside from the fact that I didn't even WANT a kid at that point, I was too self-absorbed.  But I needed to be.  Even though it was sometimes counterproductive to growing up, it was what ultimately allowed me to process things to death until I was ready to move on.  I had to act out all the bullshit that I was still holding onto without any additional responsibilities.  I had to get it out of my system.
Then I grew up.  And I realized that kids weren't scary & evil anymore, and I had healed enough to have the ability and the desire to treat a child so much better than the way I had been treated.  
I'm still not really a "kid person".  You know those people who LOVE kids to bits... enough to work with them or dedicate their lives to saving them?  Not me.  I'm really not much more drawn to other people's kids than I ever was.  The biggest difference is that I'm not terrified of them anymore.  
Now I have my own kid who has stolen my heart and who brings about emotions in me that I could spend all night trying (and failing) to put into words.