My three-day old baby!

On February 21, 1985, my life changed forever.

I became a mother that day.

As a high school and college student, I didn’t know if I wanted children. Babysitting stints and even student teaching had this only child pondering if she wanted to take on the responsibility. Dirty diapers? No way. Screaming kids running around the house? Uh uh.

Then I met a guy in college who shared my goals and dreams, and the innate mother instinct inside me pulled through.

As an obsessive runner whose body fat was pretty much nonexistent, I didn’t menstruate for over three years, so my husband and I opted to shun birth control, since we figured I’d have a hard time getting pregnant. On my Jamaican honeymoon, however, I had my first full-blown period in years with all the glorious beauty that accompanies it, and I told my husband it was a sign fro God that all would be well.

When the next month rolled around and there was no period, I figured the honeymoon period was over, both literally and figuratively. I say “figuratively” because I had become very emotional and was crying alot and didn’t know why. I was tired, too, and I’ll never forget my husband kneeling beside me and asking, “Do you think we’ve made a mistake, or could you be pregnant?”

Fortunately, it was the latter, and 9 months and 17 days after I said “I do,” I birthed my son Jamie in less than 5 hours, from first contraction to birth. Holding my 7 and a half pound son and nursing him completely flipped my world upside down. All of a sudden, I could not recall life before him, this little being who’d just spent nine months inside of me kicking, turning, and taking over my body.

Parenting is not for everyone. I have friends who are childless by choice. I also have friends who have unsuccessfully tried for years and either adopted a child or just accepted life without children.

For me, though, I am beyond grateful I was able to conceive and easily grow and birth my sons. Without question, without doubt, motherhood and my boys have been the greatest joys of my life. Conception, gestation, and birth are true miracles that continue to blow my mind if I think too much about them.

For today I’ll just stick with my overflowing gratitude for life and my children and being a mother.

Happy 36th birthday, Jamie. I love you!

Oh, and thank you for giving me this gift of motherhood.