six

My tiny baby is almost a year old, and she really isn’t tiny.

The nostalgia is hitting me hard. At this time last year I was ridiculously pregnant and hot and irritable and I wanted that baby out. A lot of my pregnancy, actually, was uncomfortable and tinged with ambivalence. I had no idea how to be a mother and was skeptical if I should be one, if I was so uncertain of how to take care of a baby. I felt a fierce amount of protection around the little creature who kept kicking my ribs, but I didn’t know if I would know how to love her. Becoming a parent is the most natural thing a person can do, and I was at a loss.

Everywhere I turned I came up empty. There was the American influence of getting your baby to be independent as quickly as possible. It was confusing advice as it went against my better judgment. And turning to my mother was no help. Looking inside myself for answers was murky and unclear, because I wasn’t properly mothered myself. How can you be what you’ve never known?

My analyst is now sitting next to me on the floor, as per my request. She remarked yesterday that it’s about meeting me where I am, which is exactly what I’m trying to do with my daughter. I think it is working. We have a very strong bond, and her little spirit is not broken.

But I am still wistful for the days of my pregnancy. I wish I could go back and reconnect with my baby in that way. I worry that she could feel how unsure I was about being a mother. Now I am trying to be with her exactly where she is, in case she needs extra reassurance that there was not one second of her life in which I did not love her with every fibre of my being.

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