"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." ~ Elizabeth Stone
I found this quote in a notebook I kept when my first son was a newborn. I was floored when I had my first sweet baby. I never knew you could love someone as much as I loved that baby when I saw him.
I could actually spend hours just watching him breath. I never even wanted him to sleep in his crib because I wanted to feel him breathing deeply next to me while I slept.
I always told my friends that hadn't had children yet that they thought they loved their husband, but they had no idea what love was until they had children. When I laid eyes on my baby he looked exactly like I thought. I remember thinking, yep, that's him. That's my baby. I don't know what it was. It was the overwhelming feeling that I already knew him, that he was the perfect being that I was hoping he would be. I also told everyone that I never understood what the term "Mama Lion" really meant, until I had a baby. I instantly became a "Mama Lion". I then understood that completely overprotective feeling in regards to my perfect, vulnerable son. I would have done anything to keep him safe, warm and happy. I wanted him to never experience hurt or sadness or fear.
If you know the story of my son, you know that he suffered a birth injury and his right arm was paralyzed. It's called brachial plexus birth palsy and it is devastating. From the second the doctor told me, I kicked into overdrive, trying to figure out a way to help him. I spent the entire first three weeks of my son's life researching all night long on the internet. I was looking for anything I could about brachial plexus injuries. The internet was new and there wasn't much information available. I did find a few sights, but they made it clear to me that this was a rare disability. I was heartbroken.
I think the Mama Lion in me was thrown for a loop. I felt alone and confused but understood that God gave my baby to me because I could handle it. I was a strong person and I was going to be a great champion for my child. I've never felt any different in his twelve years of life.
I was so overwhelmed with love for my child that I kept a notebook about my thoughts and wishes for him. It's so heartwarming to go back through that journal and read everything I was feeling. As they say, "it was the best of times and the worst of times." Actually, I was just trying to get my head wrapped around the idea that I was completely and utterly in love with my baby but totally confused and upset about his physical condition.
Through the last twelve years, I've watched my heart walk outside my body and it's been the greatest experience. I'm so proud of the person he's become and everything he's overcome. He's always remained positive and never let anything, much less a physical problem, get in his way. He thinks he's going to play pro football someday and that makes me proud. I look at his confidence and realize that I did something right. I always encouraged and provided a positive outlook for my child (and his younger brother).
This Valentine's Day, I'm proud to say that having children has been the greatest decision I've ever made and I'm thankful each day to have the opportunity to love such amazing children.