When Krister and I got married, we both agreed we wouldn’t have children. I loved photographing babies, and photographing births and babies of our brides and grooms I started falling in love with birth, and with babies. I was scared for a while to admit I wanted a child. What if Krister didn’t? But Krister seemed to decide he wanted one at about the same time. He would say things like, “If we had a kid we would….” and “when we have a kid”. Yay! We took a look at our destination weddings, and chose our “start trying date” carefully (so I would be able to travel to the weddings we had booked). Within a couple of weeks we were expecting!
I obsessed over a name. Naming our little girl was the most important decision for me. A name is something that follows a person, that defines a person… that influences a person’s perception of a person before they ever meet or know one another. We wanted something beautiful, etherial, but something that could be shortened into cute little nick names. We had 15 possible names on the list, and kept going back and forth between them. Then one morning, I woke up and said, “what about Elowyn?” Krister agreed, and we named our little girl before she was born!
Next, I started obsessing about Elowyn’s baby room. I needed to get it finished early, because my due date was in July (right in the middle of “wedding season”). At one of our last destination weddings, when I was getting larger and hotter, I literally spent 20 hours (and I know this because of my internet bill) looking at baby room ideas and researching custom made bedding. In the very end, I ended up choosing the first set I found when randomly walking around the mall with my friend Sarah. I felt it would be too busy… that I wouldn’t be able to relax in Elowyn’s room, but Krister reminded me that the room wasn’t for me. I felt it would be a happy and fun room for a baby to grow up into toddlerhood. The crib, change table and rocking chair were kijiji finds, some of which I painted white. My friend built the bird house nigh-light, and my mom re-covered my rocking chair to match! My dad spent hours sanding and painting to make the room perfect.
I had my midwives booked (the amazing Sabrina & Leesha) at the Lucina Birthing Centre the moment I found out I was pregnant. I wanted the most natural birth possible. I wanted to “become one” with all women around the world and experience something that was truly feminine, a passage into motherhood. I took a hypo birthing class, and embraced it even though it was the furthest thing from what my personality would normally choose. I loved my choices, and couldn’t wait to give birth in a pool in a large room with stained glass windows and beautiful decor. Then I found out Elowyn was breech. The “bum” we had been drumming on throughout my pregnancy had always been her head!
My birth ended up being in a hospital, and I was still trying for natural when I told the nurse I was “feeling something”. I wasn’t nearly ready to push and Elowyn had stuck her little foot out! A C section was not what I had planned. I felt so sad as I was being wheeled in to the operating room. But hours later, I was holding my little girl… finally! The emotion I felt is one that cannot be described. It was like the biggest surprise, and the greatest peace I’ve ever felt. When I held my baby girl all was right with the world. I felt my heart break and overflow with love all at the same moment. I knew that I loved being a mom from that very moment.
Krister and I are so in love with Elowyn…. today she is 9 and a half months old, and I will be celebrating my very first Mother’s Day. She has made our lives complete, and given us so much joy. She is such an amazing, happy little girl. She loves crawling, climbing, screaming, cuddling and eating absolutely any food I eat. She is a social butterfly, loves swimming and enjoys a game a patty-cake any day. She smiles easily at us and at complete strangers. When she gets ready for bed at night she says “bye bye” and waives her hand at all of her animals and the owls on her wall. She says “uh-oh”, “dada” and “mama”. When I look at her my heart swells with love, and I realize that I am experiencing something that bonds me with other women all around the world. I am experiencing the amazing, life-altering joy of being a mom and watching my little one grow.
To all of the moms out there where are taking a moment to reflect on how amazing it is to be a mom I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day!