Being Your Mom Hurts

Charlie,

I’ve been meaning to write you a letter for your entire life-all eleven weeks of it. It seemed like time. I want to be honest with you about what it’s been like to be your mom, and if I’m speaking my truth: it’s hurt. It has hurt so much. It has been so hard. I can’t even begin to tell you, but let me try.

It took your daddy and me three years to conceive you. That hurt. The waiting for you was the most painful thing I had experienced up to that point. Wondering if you would ever actually exist really hurt. My heart broke on a constant basis. Your dad hurt too, though he was more stoic about it.

The ultrasounds hurt. The surgery hurt. The tests hurt. The needles hurt.

The negative test after negative test hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt.

But you know what hurt more? The positive test.

It hurt because in that instant I was in love with you and I knew how fragile you were. I was beyond myself with fear of losing you. The three week wait for your first ultrasound was excruciating.

Then we heard your beautiful heartbeat at 6 weeks, 2 days. And my heart burst into a million pieces. That hurt.

We told your grandparents about you and they were so happy, but I was still so afraid. My fear pained me. And then the anxiety. The anxiety about being your mother caught me short of breath. And as the pregnancy progressed and I fell more in love with you and felt the enormity of what being a mother meant, well, then the pain really began. The weight on my shoulders of being good enough, strong enough, smart enough? I felt like Atlas in that time. I wanted to be enough for you, baby girl. I still do.

The last few weeks of my pregnancy my hips hurt. And then my back hurt. And then my knees, and my feet. I was so ready for you to come. And then June 15th, a Monday night, you decided to start making your way into the world.

And that. hurt.

The contractions hurt more than any physical pain could ever hurt. And I worried if you were hurting too. And then the hurt stopped magically thanks to a needle stick. And we waited a few painful, anxious hours for you to arrive. And my heart felt full and heavy and fearful. This was it. You were coming.

And then you came. And the room was silent for three, horrifying, painful, excruciating seconds.

And then you cried. And then I cried. And then your dad cried. And we all hurt with so much more love then you will ever understand until you decide, if you decide, to have a baby of your own.

You brought meaning to the idea of loving someone so much it hurts.

Now you are here, and I’m still hurting. I hurt when you cry because I can’t handle you being sad. I just can’t. I hurt every time you smile because my face muscles hurt from smiling bigger than I ever have in my entire life. I hurt when you get your shots because I know you’re scared. I hurt when someone else holds you because we are apart.

Sooner than I am ready for you’ll be running away from me, and that will hurt. You’ll start slamming doors in my face, and using words like “I hate my mom” to your friends. That will hurt. Then you’ll be driving away from me, pursuing your own dreams and your own path. Starting your own life. Living your dreams. And I will be so proud of you, while also breaking into more pieces than anyone could ever put back together.

Someday I may watch you become a mom. And I’ll hurt two times over with your hurt and my own.

I hurt knowing that someday I’ll go somewhere else and you’ll be left here without me. I hurt knowing I won’t get to be with you every day. I’ll hurt with our last hug. I’ll hurt when it’s time to say goodbye.

But right now you’re sleeping next to me, and we are together. And I love you more than one person should be able to love. Like I’ve stolen someone elses share. And someday I’ll show you this so you might know what an amazing thing it is to be your mom. You have given me an amazing, razor edged gift, just by existing.

Thank you for existing.

Momma

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