Love Is A Verb

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I used to say that when I had a child, that they would know that they were loved. But I had no idea what that would mean in action. I had no idea the length my patience would stretch. No idea that when it snapped, it would rebound back onto me, causing my heart to be stabbed with the words that flew like broken glass.

As mothers we all fall short at times, mostly of our own expectations. I often remind myself to speak gently, to get down on her level, but so often I feel like a failure. I worry. I worry a lot. I want to cocoon around her and just be. When she was a baby I (like many mothers before me) would just lie enthralled with her. I couldn’t imagine loving anyone as much. I’d ask mamas with 2 how it was, genuinely trying to understand.

And then there was to be two. I loved the idea of them so close. I dreamed of giggling and secret sharing. And then like waking, the loss hit. As time passed, and the lack of support abounded, I realized that the only secret sharing going on was that I was supposed to keep quiet about the pain that had ripped my future apart.

I threw myself into E, clinging to her out of a sheer desperation to not go over the cliff into despair. You see a lot clearer in the midst of trying to survive. I learned who in my life were acquaintances masquerading as friends rather than people I could actually talk to. I taught myself that silence was not the answer. That there is no shame in speaking out, because maybe if we all did, doctors wouldn’t give shit advice such as “it’ll be like a bad period.”

Because I went into labor. I pushed and instead of new beginnings it was an end to a path we had headed down.

This last year I learned what love in action meant. It was a small hand on my face as I sobbed. It was a husband not allowing me to believe that our fertility troubles were a punishment for my small failings as a mama. (That is one of the hardest thoughts I ever had to admit to.)

It was the moving through that to run in the sunshine. To blow bubbles. To kick a ball in ballet flats because my girl is going to be a footballer someday. To sit quietly and read books that I’m so tired of but she loves. And lately, my love in action is making things for her. To see her face light up when she sees a felt pancake. My heart melts as she tells her daddy in reverent tones that I made it for her. She’s so loved, and she radiates the knowledge of that.

I’m not trying to win “mama of the year” or come across as a better mama than others. I’m just cutting through the bullshit in this competitive game parenting has become and loving on my daughter through actively pursuing her heart. Loving your child might look different, and that’s fantastic. But life is too damn short and mercurial for me to worry about anything but making sure she knows without a doubt that the road that curved sharply the day we found out she was coming was the best damn road we’d ever come across.

We all have our own paths to take. I lost my way a year ago. I’m finding it now.

2 thoughts on “Love Is A Verb

  1. I have been with you time and again with the all of the doubt. Will they know I love them, will the last burst of frustration scar them for life, am I doing everything I can and should be? We all (moms) feel like we could do better, but when you do your best your kids know and feel it. On some of my worst days my littles will come to me and hug me.. then tell me I’m the best Mommy in the whole wide world. It’s hard to accept, but in their eyes, we are.

    On another note… we had fertility issues after Josh. I went almost 10 years “not trying but not preventing” with nothing. I often blamed myself (being punished). In the end, I know now that it just wasn’t time. E will be your only child with this undivided one on one time with you. Those are some of my fondest memories of motherhood with my Kaytlin (she was 5 when i had Josh).

    I also had similar experiences with doctors when I miscarried. I was bleeding everywhere at 6 weeks with Kaytlin. I was left on an ER bed for hours sobbing because I thought I had lost her. With amniotic fluid detected, they were 99.9% sure she was gone. Doctors are just “practicing”… I learned that when we lost my Emilee full term (5 days old). I think they say things like that because they don’t “know it all”. I also lost a 6 week baby and a 14 week baby right before Emma. After 10 years of not conceiving, those were harder than millions of big fat negatives.

    You can always reach out to me. I’ve experienced more heartache than I wish to admit to, but am more than willing and able to listen and share my experiences with anyone that cares to listen. I had always hoped there was a big reason as to why I had to go down those paths.


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