It's unreal to look over at Ila in her swing and see her there. Happy, beautiful, healthy, and full of life. My husband and I have been waiting for this day, and it is finally here. She is ten days old, and I'm reminded by looking at her (and my oldest, who is ten years old) that time feels tangible when you're watching children grow and change. Ila has already evolved so much in her short time earthside. It's magical to me.
I've been trying to find the words lately to express how I feel about my children. It's crazy to me that I am a mother of two now, too. The feelings and emotions are so intense and full of magic surrounding this very moment and stage in my life. There is so much I want to say, but even still, even as a writer, it’s tricky for me express the sentiments fully and accurately. I stumbled across the quote below earlier in the week and a lightbulb went off. Immediately I said, THIS IS IT. This is what I feel. Dr. Shefali Tsabary said is best:
My child isn’t my easel to paint on. Nor my diamond to polish. My child isn’t my trophy to share with the world. Nor my badge of honor. My child isn’t an idea, an expectation, or a fantasy. Nor my reflection or legacy. My child isn’t my puppet or a project. Nor my striving or desire. My child is here to fumble, stumble, try, and cry. Learn and mess up. Fail and try again. Listen to the beat of a drum faint to our adult ears. And dance to a song that revels in freedom. My task is to step aside. Stay in infinite possibility. Heal my own wounds. Fill my own bucket. And let my child fly.
Aside from being in complete awe of this new life and my blooming family, I am unquestionably mesmerized by my strength. Us women are a force! We are powerful. I am astonished by what we can do and handle, physically, emotionally, and everything else in between. Moreso than ever, I am proud to be a woman. I am honored to be the mother of daughters. I labored for 17 hours with Ila, and there was a point when I wanted to quit and give up. But that's not how labor works, at all. Pushing through it and finding resilence was my only option. Even in the depths of my exhaustion, and the roaring intensity of pain, I had to find solid ground. It was hard as hell. Birth is no joke! It's no walk in the park. It's transformative and world shifting. At least, that's what it was for me. Leaning into my faith, belief that I could do it, and self-trust was the only way I was able to make it out. 24 minutes of pushing felt like forever, but in those pushes, I found the warrior in me. The Goddess. Any self-doubt I had before is gone. Completely. It takes a village to birth children and raise them up. My midwife was fantastic, so were the nurses, doctors, my husband, sister, and spirit of Ryan's mother. Ila made it earthside for so many marvelous reasons, and with the help of special people and their gifted hands. I am forever grateful. Forever humbled.