When Ebony was born, I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby. At 25, most of my friends weren’t even thinking about babies yet. They were busy building careers, seeing the world and having fun. Now that I’m nearing the grand old age of 30 (sob), the baby epidemic is becoming more widespread amongst my friends.
Some of them have already welcomed babies and are now pros at this whole mothering things. Others are just starting to think about babies, excitedly wondering when they will welcome a baby of their own. There are few things I love more in life than pregnancy announcements. Knowing that one of my friends is beginning that beautiful journey towards motherhood fills me with excitement. It takes me right back to my own pregnancy, terrified and overjoyed, when I was 25.
I can remember how all consuming pregnancy it is. How it zaps all of your energy and leaves you with little brainpower for anything else. How you lose days just wondering what your baby will look like. That chronic fear in the pit of my stomach that I wouldn’t know how to look after a baby. The nervousness I felt about the birth, and the struggle to imagine what life would be like with a baby.
One of my oldest friends just gave birth to a beautiful little baby boy, and as soon as I heard I got butterflies. I remembered what those first few hours of motherhood were like. That rush of love so strong it was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. That amazement and pride to have been responsible for creating something so perfect. That exhaustion after birth, and the inability to even walk up the stairs of my home. That eye aching exhaustion kept at bay only be the obsessive need to keep staring at my new baby, unable to believe that she was really here. That she was a she. That she was mine.
The fear when the midwives left our home, and the realisation that we didn’t really have a clue how to look after a baby. Remembering the advice my friend, Felicity, gave me that babies love you unconditionally and have no idea whether you’re doing a good job or not. That weird feeling of wanting to stay snuggled up, undisturbed, as a family forever whilst also wanting to show my daughter off to the world, especially to my parents who I wanted to meet her as soon as possible.
Knowing that life would never be the same again. The understanding that the feeling of love burning in the pit of my stomach would never leave me. The realisation that I would never want to be away from this tiny, defenceless little girl who was completely and utterly dependent on me. The feeling of invincibility that I could do or cope with anything now that I was a mother. When my friends have babies, it brings it all back. All of those feelings rise to the surface and remind me how lucky I am to be Ebony’s mama.