Motherhood

The most common question I have been asked is the difference between biological & non biological motherhood. A few years ago I had a stab at it, but a few years on here goes an attempt…

To our Squidge,

The preparation for nine months of anticipating your baby’s arrival is full of change, emotion, worry & excitement. The preparation for you was much the same; sixteen hours of interviews with someone taking you back to your childhood, dissecting you emotionally, assessing your decisions & talking about your marriage was all like a long long pregnancy getting us ready until the day a group of people said we could have you.

The lie we are sold is that there’s a moment where you look into your baby’s eyes & there’s a download of unending love. But for some, particularly with complex births, it’s a slow burn. As the days roll on you know that you feel deeper about this small human than you did last month, that you knew that you’d do anything for them but you didn’t quite feel it as much. When we read the words that described you we felt a tinge of love tangled in with the uncertainty of knowing that it’s not absolutely certain that you’re ours. Then we read more & more about your personality & joy & playfulness along with all that you’d endured so far & we felt like you were here ready to be ours. Slowly we saw your photos & felt a little more love for this human we now knew all about but had never met. The slow burn. We then got to meet your carer who filled in all the bits about you & then we had the wait.

The wait you have when you’re ready to burst this human out of you, the wait where you’re ready to not be pregnant a moment longer because you want to meet this child of yours. That’s nothing compared to the wait of knowing where your baby is, who he’s with, what he’s like & still you have to wait. The ‘we’re so ready to meet you’ wait is such a weighty emotional deep longing when your baby is here. When they belong to you and are part of you, but not yet. The wait.

And then we met. We got to look into your eyes & to see the one who is part of us. We got to tell you we were your forever family & we would never let you go & that we loved you already. But then we had to leave you there. For a whole fortnight we got to see our baby only to have to leave our baby behind. You got to hang out with your forever sister. We got to be a family of four together for a snatched few hours then we had to give you back. I had to see the end goal. The push on, the almost there but not quite. The longest labour ever.

Then we got to go home. To our home. To your home. And there we had to get to know each other. What are you like little guy? Who are you? What’s your personality going to be like? All the things you ponder with your newborn & your adopted babes. The promise that you’ll love them forever outworked. The hard graft, the lonely days, the days you feel overwhelmed, the sleepless nights, the long game. They’re all the same. The slow burn.

We love you little guy.

Written by Esther for A Pocket Full of Stones.