Tomorrow, my daughter will be five. As much as we celebrate her and shower her with love, I can’t help but reflect on the day I found out I was pregnant and the day she came into the world. Although it is her birthday, I was reborn at her birth.
I didn’t want a baby. My husband and I were on the brink of divorce and decided not to have children. One day I was feeling off, and responding to my body I took a pregnancy test. I saw the positive well before the full time allotted for a result to appear. I wasn’t ready. I held a bottle of tequila and cried in disbelief. I spent the first trimester depressed and in bed. And yet, I wanted her. Something in me loved her and just hoped I could be enough for her.
With a difficult pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, I retreated. I tended to her, but I emotionally checked out to escape my fear of not being good enough for her. Even though I was depressed, I longed to be something more for her. I wanted to find me for her.
At my lowest, I chose healing. I decided that my baby girl deserved a whole mother not one in denial of her brokenness. I pursued health in my mind and body so I could show her we are not our struggles. With those choices, change happened. I realized out of my healing, I could help heal others. I found a new career. I found new purpose. I found that motherhood is not simply survival. We do not have to do this alone. From this message, my experiences became my message.
Five years later, I have made a career of helping new mothers. Five years later, she challenges me to be more and be better. She calls me out when I’m not my best. She tells me I’m the best mom. She tells me she is strong and smart and brave. She sings to her brother to soothe his cries. She is now who I want to be.
Tomorrow is her day, but it’s mine too. Not because I carried her for nine months and birthed her from my body, but because I was reborn that day. Regardless of the rollercoaster, I found life from the little one in my arms. Through the low and high moments, I learned and feel unconditional love. Because of her, I am.
Happy birth day, baby girl. To you and me.