It sounds a total cliché but becoming a Mummy was the day I learnt what love really is. I love my family, I love my husband, I love my friends but the love for my child is just something else. It has an intensity to it that I never fully appreciated before. I felt love for J from the second I saw those two little lines on the pregnancy test, I felt my love grow as my bump did and with every kick and wriggle.
When I went into labour (being 28 weeks pregnant right now I’m trying not to think of that too deeply, haha) I was in agony. I was exhausted. I was hungry and thirsty. I was scared. But the moment I knew that things weren’t going right, love overwhelmed me. I didn’t care how I felt, I didn’t care that I was more tired than I had been my whole life. I didn’t even care how scared I was. I just wanted my little man to get out and be safe…no matter what. I remember saying yes to every option given, yes to every needle and every consent form without even reading it. The love for my child trumped everything and I needed for him to come out.
Eventually I was in theatre, under spinal and someone else taking over getting baby out from ‘there’ (eurgh, why am I doing this again?). I felt a sense of calm as I knew that by relinquishing control to the medical team that baby would be in the best hands. All I could do was listen to the instructions and push. It’s a strange feeling, pushing when you can’t feel anything from your waist down. J didn’t cry straight away but I knew he was ok by the congratulations and smiles from around the room. I cried. I was relieved J was safe and in the world now.
I didn’t recognise it as pure love at first. I was emotional, tired, thirsty and achy. I knew I loved him but I didn’t realise the depths of it straight away. I think there’s a certain degree of shock when you realise you’ve moved from pregnancy to fully fledged motherhood. One day I was sat on the sofa, cuddling up to baby J when it just hit me. Literally hit me. I just burst into tears and turned to my husband and said “I love him, I actually really love him”. That love has been just as intense for 4 years now.
When I started to recognise the signs that J was not developing typically for his age my love became a shield for us. I wanted to protect him, support him and get him the help he deserved. I made him my priority and threw myself into therapies, buying resources to help and protecting him from the big bad world that judged him. My heart burst every time I saw him struggle, every time I saw him meltdown and shutdown, and every time I saw ‘the look’ from people. He was (and still is) the most amazingly, perfect child. He is so clever and funny. Just as much as my heart burst, it also swelled with every achievement, every step in the right direction, every milestone we finally achieved. It was a physical feeling as much as an emotional.
Now I am expecting our second little boy. Again, the love started the second the lines appeared on the many, many tests I took (I just couldn’t believe it, not after our miscarriage in 2017). The love grows with every scan, every ‘flip’ I feel inside and I know that when he comes into the world that that love will complete itself. I can’t imagine my heart being able to cope with it all. I mean, how is there room? But I know there will be.
I have to add that joining motherhood has also made me realise that the love I have outside of myself has changed. I have a renewed sense of love for my husband. It was like a new kind of love for him started when he became a father. I love his devotion to our family, his concern when something isn’t right and whenever I see him and J play together I cant help but smile. I have a renewed love and appreciate for my Mum. I realise now everything she went through for me and my sister, and the fact she’s willing to do it all again as Grandma. She has endless patience for J and has been a huge part in his diagnosis and therapies. I love myself more too. I did something amazing. I grew a human inside me. I deal with a hell of a lot of crap and stress. I’m not perfect, I’m not even strong but I am dedicated and I don’t stop even when its hard work. I mean if that’s not an amazing thing then, what is? So I love the version of me that motherhood has created.
(Hoodie by RJ Apparel, use my friends and family code ‘mummyest2014’ for discount off orders*)
So, when I was asked ‘What does love mean to me?’ my answer is simple…it’s means finding my reason for being on this earth…family!
What does love mean to you?
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*I am on the rep team for RJ Apparel over on Instagram. I receive a small discount off my own orders but no payment for my recommendations and promotions. I just like supporting small businesses. All opinions are my own x