About 20 minutes ago, my son officially passed the moment of being alive, whole and separate from me, for FIVE YEARS.
As a doula, I talk a lot about people’s “birth experience”.
What they want to happen, how they hope to feel, who they want present at the moment when the tiny human they’ve grown in their body becomes an individual being.
What I don’t talk about enough is how that day will come back to you, in clear detail, every year for the rest of your life.
Some things about being a parent, we know ahead of time, or we can come to understand from watching others. The struggles of getting a 3 year old dressed. The joy of watching them earn an award. The sleepless nights and long rainy days.
But there I one thing I didn’t understand until I had my son, and didn’t really start to grasp fully until this last year.
A mother never looks at her child’s birthday the same way. It is no longer only a celebration of a person’s life. It is the celebration of the day YOU gave that person life. Of the day you overcame the pain, the fear, the challenge that is birth in all forms.
It is not only about your triumph, but also your immense emotional struggle, the joy of bringing forth and the sorrow of letting go.
A birthday becomes more when you’re a mother, whether that baby is in your arms or Heaven’s. It is their day, but it is also so much yours.
Happy Birthday to Victor, and happy birth day to his mama.