What mama's do...
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking that I'm not going to be there for someone in my family who needs me...and that I should know who needs me at any moment in time. Yes, its a little irrational, but that's me at 3 am.
Is my mom ok? She seemed a little tired today. Is my son taking care of himself? I haven't heard from him in a couple of days. Is my daughter ok? Gosh, I hope she's asleep and not awake like me.
Our LOVE for our children and the physical connection we have to our children is pretty profound. Honestly, I don't know if there is anything like it in the world. Being a mother defines me in more ways than anything else. I will always be in awe of my own mother's ability to know when I am not feeling well. How does she do that? Maybe it has something to do with our connection to one another long before I ever thought about being a mother.
When I was pregnant with my daughter I didn't know whether we were having a little boy or a little girl. Every time I went for a check up, she turned her back to the ultrasound camera and we got these amazing shots of her little spine, perfect in every way. One time she was laying on her side and I got to see her little feet. Another time, the back of her skull. Each time I went, she seemed completely disinterested in the camera and this foreign pressure on my belly. We didn't want to officially find out with tests so we went with the flow and let the gender be a surprise. The entire pregnancy my husband and I thought about girl's names, never a boy's name. We just felt like we were having a little girl.
When I was about 8 months pregnant, I had a very vivid dream. This is quite normal for pregnant mothers. Our connection to our subconscious mind and that of the larger universe is incredibly profound. I was dreaming about a time when I was little and almost drowned. We were at the local pool and I ran ahead of my family to see this new amazing place. I think I was maybe 7 years old. The first thing I saw was the slide. It was awesome! I was so excited to climb up that slide and go right down, just like at the playground, right? At this moment, I was not aware that the water below the slide was six feet deep. The water was so clean and clear. At the moment, I didn't know how to actually swim in water over my head. I climbed up the ladder and slid off into the pool before my mom was even in the pool area. I remember paddling franticly, like a dog would and then going under. I tried holding my breath but I didn't really know how. I started to drink in water. I saw human forms that were blurry on the right side of me. I was in deep sh*t. Thankfully, a friend of the family jumped into the pool, fully clothed and swooshed me out of the pool. We started swim lessons the very next week.
In my dream, my daughter was with me at the top of the slide and we slid down the slide and then walked through the water. I wouldn't let her touch the water. I was able to glide through the water like a mermaid that didn't need to hold her breath. It was too scary for me to have her in the water, but I went under and held her above my head.
I don't really know what my dream meant at the time. I feel like the best part about it was when she looked at me at the top of the slide. I saw her beautiful little face, her dark hair and her violet eyes.
When she was finally born, I had to have a C-section because she was breech. As the doctor pulled her gently from my tummy, the anesthesia started to make me feel very nauseous and I thought I was going to faint. I remember very clearly my doctor saying to the attending nurse, "show her the baby." So she did. Immediately I recognized her. I told my husband, "That's the baby from my dream! I know her!" Honestly, I think we were all so emotional at this point. I no longer felt faint. I felt at home and powerful and fully alive. I felt overwhelmed with joy. Our little girl had arrived.
I realize now the egg that would become Ellie was with me that day at the top of the slide, a sleeping seed. These deep connections that we carry with our children are there forever. No matter where they live, near or far, or even when we are part of the spirit world, we are deeply connected to them.
When my son was born, it was a completely different story. We knew he was a boy from the first ultrasound. My favorite part of his birth was when the nurse was drying him off. It was so quiet in the room you could have heard a pin drop. No sounds were coming from him. He was looking up at the ceiling. There were two nurses, my doctor, several other attendees and my husband. "Is he ok?" I said to everyone in the room.
The sound of my voice was like a magnet to his senses. Instantly, he jerked his little head towards my voice and looked right at me. The doctors, nurses, and attendants all smiled and laughed. They said, "Oh yes, he is better than ok." Our son knew my voice long before he entered this world.
My 3 am thoughts always end with prayers of gratitude for our two children and even the first one we lost. Each one so very different and unique. No wonder my heart over flows with joy, concern, love, heartbreak and every emotion imagined. It is the beauty of motherhood. The beauty of this life.
p.s. I painted this picture almost 18 years ago, when my daughter was first born. She was the first person I was comfortable enough to paint on canvas. ❤