It's no secret that my mother and I haven't really been close. Growing up, I wasn't always the easiest kid and I never really thought that my mother loved me. It wasn't until my mother moved into her own apartment that I think we really started to talk and try to rebuild our relationship. I do know that it wasn't until I became a mother myself, that I could understand why my mother said some of the things that she did or did some of the things she did. Motherhood, I believe it the true test of who you are as a person. I remember when Gillian was born. When I got pregant with her, I really didn't understand the ramifications of what I was doing. I got pregnant the first time I tried and even then, I didn't realize what a blessing was being handed to me. The whole time I was pregnant, I knew I was having a baby, but I didn't know the enormity of what that meant. I figured that I would have her and then at 8 weeks I would go back to work, put Gillian in daycare and go about my happy life. Then Gillian was born. The first time I held her I remember clearly thinking to myself, "Oh my God, what did I do?". It hit me that I was completely and totally responsible for another human being. Whatever I did was going to make a difference to this child. After we got home and got settled, I realized that this little human being that I was totally and utterly in love with was going to have to be seperated from me from up to 9 hours EVERY day. How was I ever going to be OK with this? I picked a daycare close to the house and put my trust in them. Fortunately, the infant room workers were fabulous and loved all of those babies. Still, it broke my heart every morning to drop her off. I wanted to be with her all day and raise her. Not have someone else doing it.
I always knew that I wanted more than one child. When Gillian was 2 I became a single mother and thought to myself that it would never happen. How could I possible parent more than one child by myself. When Gillian was 6, it became apparent that I would never find another partner to parent with and decided that I wanted another child enough to do it again. So, in August 1999, I found myself pregnant again. Excitement and fear were the 2 emotions running rampant at the time. Days after the pregnancy were confirmed, I found out that the blinking heart of my new baby was in my fallopian tube. My beautiful baby boy (I found out after the lap to remove the pregnancy it was a boy) would never be held in my arms. I don't think there are words to explain the pain of losing a pregnancy and for me, it wasn't just a pregnancy, it was already a baby. It was a baby I loved and I will always love. My heart was broken.
I met Cheryl days after losing the baby and knew with all my heart that I had found my soul mate. We decided together that we would have another baby and since she had no interest in carrying a pregnancy that I would do it. So, down the road of infertility we traveled. Month after month of negative pregnancy tests and blood tests. Lots of invasive fertility tests. Diagnosis, Unexplained Infertility. After 2 years of IUI's with Clomid, IUI's with injectables all negative, we took the plunge and agreed to do an IVF round. It would prove to be the most strenuous thing I have ever out my mind and body through. Shots, blood test, internal sono's, all leading up to an egg retrieval and subsequently fertilization of 2 embryo's both implanted in my uterus and one resulting in our beautiful daughter Katie. My pregnancy with Katie was much less stessful than with Gillian and her birth was wonderful. There are no words that can describe how I felt the day Katie was born. Cheryl holding her newborn daughter seconds after she was born and Gillian rocking her in her arms. Grandma Schmidt also holding her for the first time minutes after she was born.
I could never have asked for a better mother than Cheryl has been to her daughters. She is patient and kind and loves her daughters more than life itself. I love to watch her with Katie, playing and rolling around the floor. I love to watch her help Gillian with her homework, so patient and understanding. Thank you Cheryl for not only being such a wonderful and patient partner, but for being the best parenting partner a person could ask for.
Motherhood has been the best thing that I have ever done. It has also been the hardest. I have learned so many lessons from being a mother. I think the biggest one is that once you have a baby, your heart is never yours alone. It's like walking around with it outside your body always vulnerable always full.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY. Especially to you Mom. Thanks for teaching me what I needed to know to be a good mom.