Honestly, I don’t quite remember how today’s mom and I crossed paths on social media, but I’m so glad nonetheless. Naomi’s honesty and strength radiates, and her heart for motherhood is strong. I am honored to call her friend.
Can you believe you’re reading this letter? If someone had shown this to you ten years ago, you would’ve laughed. Or maybe cried. Most likely you would have sworn.
When you used to daydream about life as an adult, you never included children. The thought of being a mother was something that you just didn’t connect with. It was never something you considered part of your plan. But as we all know so well, plans change. They take us by surprise and toss us in a different direction. When you learned that you were going to be a mom, you embraced it. You were excited, scared, but also felt ready. Your daydreams changed and you fantasized about your new baby (a baby girl!). You imagined putting her in her first little outfit, buckling her in her carseat for her exciting ride home. Sweet newborn snuggles on the couch and pictures of a bundled sleeping babe.
But you were surprised again. You didn’t get to have those sweet newborn snuggles. You got sick. Really really sick with an infection that almost took your life. Your new baby was safe with her daddy and your amazing family. But you weren’t there. I want you to know that you will feel guilty about this, you will feel like you abandoned her. But know that it will be ok. You will worry that your daughter won’t connect to a mother who couldn’t even change her diaper until she was almost 2 weeks old. Who couldn’t hold her because of an IV line you had for almost a month. But I am here now to tell you that your daughter loves you more than you know possible. She has no memory of her first month here. But so many memories of the past several years filled with love and fun and a mother who is there for her always. You will want another baby, which won’t be easy. You will experience loss, three times in fact, before you will be able to maintain a pregnancy (another baby girl!).
When you have your second daughter, everything will go more according to your daydreams. You will put her in her first little outfit, buckle her in her carseat for her exciting ride home. Sweet newborn snuggles on the couch and pictures of a bundled sleeping babe. I wish I could say, “and they lived happily ever after…”, but that’s not real life. In real life, your babies will both be healthy, but they will have multiple life-threatening food allergies. This will be a constant source of anxiety for you as their mother, but it will also allow you to grow into a woman that you never imagined you could be. That little girl with the quiet voice, who never sang along with the class but always mouthed the words, she will become vocal and confident, because she has to in order to protect her children. You will do whatever you need to to advocate for your girls.
I keep re-reading this letter, and I keep wanting to change it. It sounds scary. And a bit sad. But the fact is that these things that will test you, these struggles that will be a part of your life, they will be worth it. Every single sleepless night. Every single tear. They will be worth it and you will realize that you’d do it a million times over. Because the love you have for you babies, the love they show you in return, is exponentially more powerful than anything else you feel. When you were younger, you never knew what you wanted to be when you grew up. You were artistic and creative, but never related that to any future goals.
Now you know that you are here to mother your babies. A job you never knew you wanted happens to be exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. So take care of yourself, forgive yourself. Everything will be ok.
Naomi resides in New England with her beautiful daughters and husband. She is an avid photo taker and shares her beautiful story here.