Today four years ago, I became a mother. The thing I wanted most in this world, besides being Evan's wife. I was given that gorgeous gift with a daughter, straight from above. I planned so precisely for that moment and when it arrived she completely took my breath away. Not much can be explained like a mother’s love. It is unexplainable…the power, the depth, the feeling that you would do absolutely anything in the world for that being, and that starts from in the womb, to the first moment you set eyes on them. That is how I felt.
Motherhood is such a precious gift, that I did not dare take it for granted. Halen’s pregnancy was a beautiful one, I absolutely loved my belly growing…I was so proud. My strong-willed girl came on the day of her due date, right on time. She was ready and didn’t want to miss a thing. I knew the night before things were different, that morning my mom brought over eggs to help us with breakfast, and after a few bites we went on a walk across the street at the park. I remember holding on to Evan as the waves of contractions washed over me. I sipped my coconut water and tried to grin for a picture, knowing it may be my last pregnant. We went home and I took a bath, preparing to head to the hospital, my water broke and we knew it was getting close. We arrived at Seton Main, and I was in the thick of dilating. I was a new mom-to-be and in the throes of birth I had an out of body experience. I neglected an epidural, but took what the doctors called a “margarita” to help take the edge off. I remember my mom arriving and holding open her bible in the back of the room praying, not wanting to be in the way, but grateful to be there. Finally, at 4 pm, I looked at the clock and was determined to have her before 5 pm. I pushed with Evan holding one leg and my mom holding the other. Felt her hair and finally at 4:43 pm Halen Rae Carol, was laid on my chest. It was the most amazing experience.
I rubbed Halen’s back and couldn’t stop kissing her. Daddy counted her fingers and toes. We were parents. I was a mom.
I adored my maternity leave, I adored nursing, I became an attachment parent through and through. I loved each stage, challenges and all.
Three years later, after celebrating Halen’s third birthday I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I remember the day I was diagnosed, I thanked God it was me and not my babies. I cannot imagine going through this on the other side. I know I can handle it, I can handle the pain, the suffering, the fear, the frustration, the darkness, the treatment, the side effects…but to watch my little girl go through this. Never. No thank you. I’ll take the terrifying chemo and painful surgery every day for the rest of my life to keep my daughters from facing this.
After diagnosed, being a mother changed for me. I was already extremely close with my children, but now I wanted to be there all the time. I had no idea how much time God had left for me here and I wanted to spend every second with my little family, with my babies. When I held them my heart just would overflow with emotion for how much I loved them. I caught myself staring at them longer, holding their hands longer, letting some of the rules go, because at the end of the day, the most important quality in life is love. Without love, we have nothing. And if you have love, then everything else falls in line.
I am more lenient on certain things, because life is short. Here I sit, with my now four-year-old sleeping next to me in my bed and I am happier than I have ever been. I have been given all the gifts I prayed over and dreamt of.
When diagnosed my biggest fear was leaving my daughters too soon. All our days are numbered and our life has already been decided. The cancer gave me a growing fear that I would not get to be their mother for as long as I wanted. The one gift I had dreamt of and prayed for and planned for, may be stripped from me. I vowed to be the best mother I could be for each of my daughters, to never take their lives or our days together for granted. I am now trying to be in my very best shape to help keep me here as long as I can, to be their mother, to watch them grow. To have a front seat in their life journey.
This month brings a lot of emotion for me…my daughters’ birthdays, Mother’s Day and the month I was diagnosed. I am grateful to be alive, and plan on living to the fullest with the biggest heart devoted to my little family. Today I celebrated my blueberry eyed girl, and I will continue to celebrate life until I am called home.