motherhood | a real mind fuck


i have these moments that sneak up on me, as many moms do i'm sure, where i'll look at one or both of my girls and become completely and overwhelmingly flabbergasted as to how it's possible that they're mine. i'm not talking who-gave-me-permission-to-adult-or-be-in-charge-of-two-tiny-people kind of thoughts. although i think those things often, too.

right now, i'm talking more about sheer physiological logistics.

like, i made a human being? i made THIS human being? wait a hot damn second. i made THESE human beingS... as in plural. not just one. but TWO. what kind of black magic fuckery is this?! i made PEOPLE. with only a few of my organs, forty extra pounds, and a lifetime's supply of chocolate croissants. my very much imperfect body- which, i'd like to add, has failed me often- actually got its' shit together and created another human being inside of it? TWICE!?! no way that kind of wizardry is actually possible and no way in hell did i actually plop* that thing out of a ten centimeter hole.  

oh, wait.

but i did. i did do those things. *well, maybe not so much the plopping. based on my experience, it takes a little more effort than that. but that's neither here nor there. 

but seriously. i did, in fact, grow, house, and birth two perfect and healthy little beings. my two perfect and healthy little beings. my body has been occupied in the most all-encompassing manner possible. twice. and you know what? in the grand scheme of things, ten months doesn't seem like enough time to pull off what it pulled off, does it? i mean, what do most people do in ten months? lose a few pounds? read a few books? we women? we grow humans in the same amount of time it takes some people to house train their labradoodle.

i find it all to be a real mind fuck. with edie, in particular, too. likely because she was the most recent (and final) inhabitant of my internal incubation system. and it's not so much the birthing that shakes me to my core. how a baby is birthed is important, sure. however, it doesn't define motherhood or you as a mother. it's also not so much how a baby is sustained after birth. breastfeeding is another aspect of motherhood that doesn't- or shouldn't- define the mother.

more than anything, it's the fact that i created (with the help of my husband, obviously) two humans. i grew them. i kept them safe. i loved them from the moment i knew they existed and i knew who they were before i ever met them. i was protective of them, their well being, and wanted the best for them and the world they would come to live in. hell, i even became an idealist because of them. what i went through mentally, emotionally, and physically was life-changing and i doubt that anything will ever measure up as far as things that have the ineradicable ability to unhinge all that one knows/knew/will ever know and repurpose it for who you need to be for your child(ren). THAT- and that alone- is where the unbelievable magic lies for me. the fact that these two little girls were somehow chosen for me to be their mother? well, it's beyond any semblance of comprehension.

the one thing i can actually comprehend is just how lucky i am to have been able to do this, to do this particular part of motherhood. i didn't enjoy every moment, of course. i wished for parts of it to be over and i wouldn't say that i miss it. but when i find myself retracing my perinatal steps and when i'm faced with the sheer enormity of it all, i feel nothing but awe for what we can do... for what i did. i feel it today on edie's 262nd day of life and i imagine i'll experience the same feelings on her 10,000th day of life, too. it never becomes any less miraculous.

what a really exceptionally beautiful thing it is to be a mother.
photos by me. 



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