Today is March 6th. Four years ago today I became a mother. It is fitting that this year both Mother’s Day in the UK and Nell’s birthday fall on the very same day. The overlap is a powerful and personal one.
Four years ago today my journey into motherhood did not go as planned. Nell came into the world unstable and fragile, after a difficult birth experience. March 6th is a day I remember in fragments, as do most parents I imagine, during the chaos that is labour. I remember the room was filled with people upon Nell’s (then just called Bean) arrival, and then everyone was gone. Everyone. Including our newborn baby girl, not even yet named.
Two long weeks after Nell’s birth we finally all made it home, safely in one piece. Nell would go for regular check ups to a specialist for two years following her birth, Nick and I holding our breath each time we went. And all the time in between visits. I was a worried parent. I blamed myself for Nell’s traumatic birth, attributing it somehow to my shortcomings or poor planning, bad decision making or lack of ability to self advocate in the birthing room. The day she was discharged from her specialist, just over two years since her birth, I sat there holding ten day old Isla in my arms. It felt like we had finally come out the other side.
Today as time and memories circle back in on themselves I am reminded of just how far we have come. I am no longer the terrified, self-blaming parent I was four years ago, and Bean is far from the tiny, fragile little creature she once was. We are both just the opposite in fact.
I harbor no animosity or disappointment that Mother’s Day and Nell’s birthday overlap this year. In fact there is no one I would rather share the day with than the kind-hearted, thoughtful, sensitive, strong little girl, who brought me into motherhood. Happy birthday Nellybean!