Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What it means to be a Mom

There is this unspoken club of people who have experienced being a parent. I always try hard not to separate us - those who have kids and those who don't. But there are things that you can't imagine your heart can do before you have a baby. I knew I would love Connor - long before he ever was in my belly. I knew my heart would be even fuller with more children (I was never one of those moms who questions whether or not I could love another baby as much as I loved Connor). I know how amazing the heart is and how it can grow and add love to more and more people - and somehow figure out how to differentiate that love and place it in different spots in your heart.

But there was something I never could have imagined. And the only word I can think to describe it is pride. I don't think that's the perfect word. I'm sure if I searched better and thought longer, a better word would come to me...but pride will have to do.

Last night, Mr. Howard and I were sitting on the couch holding hands, watching Connor play, with the babies propped up on either side of us and Connor started talking. "Mama?" [pointing at me] "Connor!" [pointing at him] "Connor cupcake? Thank you! You're Welcome!" [pointing at himself] "Daddy?" [pointing at me] "Say Mama welcome!" I had a smile from ear to ear. I could not stop from shaking my head in disbelief. I delivered that precious boy. He was the very first person ever in the whole world to hear my heartbeat from the inside. And I think he is the most amazing little boy. And there he was trying to figure out a way to ensure his dessert included a cupcake, by doing what all kids figure out at some point: flattery and suggary sweetness. He was going to make Daddy say "you're welcome" to me to ensure that I got up and got him a cupcake. And boy did it ever work.

There are times when I try to define my love for my children. There are times when I want to document what that felt like - to sit and watch your baby begin to make connections you never dreamed he'd make, when you were dreaming about what he might be like late one night while nursing him. And that is why I can honestly say that I cannot imagine my life without children. I cannot imagine a life where this enormous sense of pride (again, not the best word) is radiating from my body at the littlest things (saying "Mama" for the first time, talking his first steps, saying "Mama, hair pretty!" for the first time).

Moments like that for me, now, are so bittersweet. My sister once told someone about how I had lost Cole and they said, "Yeah. Sad. Lots of people have miscarriages." She wasn't trying to be cold. She wasn't trying to be insensitive. But that comment has stuck with me. And I've tried to figure out how to explain to someone what it's like to lose a child. I saw on a friend's blog the saying, "No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside." Talk about a magical miracle. I will never get to sit on the couch and listen to Cole make connections, or say Mama for the first time, or make him his first cake, or do any of the things that I'll get to do with Aiden, Isabella, and Connor. But, at the end of the day, he knows what my heart sounds like from the inside and I think that is more magical and more special, to me, than most people can understand.

My precious boy, Cole, I love you to the moon and back.

I haven't had a chance to post this, but a friend send this to me for Cole's first birthday. I love, love, love it!! Thank you Crystal!!!!!!!


Courtney said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

awesome cake! When I read the first part of your blog, the very thing that instantly struck a chord with me is "he is the first person to know what my heart sounds like from the inside". I love that. And that is a FABULOUS way to remember a time so precious with a child you lost so young that you never got to know him. He knew you. He knew your heart.

Katie Taylor said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love this post. Very bittersweet indeed. What a horrible loss and yet what a blessing you have with the 3 children who are with us. I love you all so very much!

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