Becoming Momma…

An energetic twenty-three year old, a freshly minted newlywed, passionately teaching art in a middle school and completely obsessed with babies! Babies! Babies! A lifetime ago, six lifetimes actually and twenty years later, this mother’s day powerfully drew me back to my “pre-momma” days. My 17 year old ‘baby’, you know, the one that forever changed my title, my soul, my life…had his high school prom. Of course I’ve heard the saying ‘time-flies’ often enough, but nobody mentioned it would be at warp speed!

Many yesterdays ago, after several tear-filled months of frustration and futility, desperately peeing on white plastic sticks, my heart flailing at every ‘single’ pink line, I sat apprehensively in the sparse, pale blue doctors office. She came in, only a few years older than me, nervously fiddling with her clip board and not brave enough to look me in the eye. ‘Our tests indicate that you have a rather significant hormone imbalance and it will be very difficult, if not, impossible for you to conceive. WHAT!?!?…What?…what. was. I. going. to. do…

Admittedly, I don’t recall leaving the office, what I said, how I got home or even when I told my husband. All I remember is feeling utterly broken, I sank pretty deep, those were some dark, quiet days. Hopeless. Entries from my journal in the months that followed are…scattered, arbitrary and very raw. I have only read them a few times because it still aches to venture back there. Anyone who has suffered from infertility can relate. People laugh at the fact that I say  ‘I understand’ when they are going through the frustration of not being able to conceive. Yes, I have six children now…but I will never forget what I went through wondering if I would have any. Fortunately, my tenacious, Leonine ‘other’ personality decided to take over the whole situation. I knew I was supposed to be somebody’s mom, so this diagnosis just wasn’t going to work for me. Time to prove that doctor wrong! I threw myself into my new “project” ! Scouring the city for doctors, reading every book and article on the subject, focusing my positive energy on the end result (covering our bathroom door with hundreds of pictures of babies!). Eventually we found a doctor who was able to take us on, after endless poking and prodding, weighing and considering we had our “baby-drug cocktail” prescribed.  I shall spare you the intimate details of what followed…taking hormones to increase your chances of fertility, while trying to schedule optimal  ‘baby-making’ sessions…yeah…Hollywood has covered it, absolutely hilarious, if you aren’t the one living through it.

Needless to say, when we finally did manage to ‘get one to stick’…I wasn’t very good about waiting to tell people, more of a blurting-out-at-random-strangers-that-I-was-pregnant-kinda-thing. ” Yes, yes I AM in line oh and I’m going to have a bay-beee!” I was THE happiest little momma-to-be you ever did see. Don’t ask my husband if that’s true, he doesn’t have a very good memory. I never complained or whined or had weird middle of the night cravings that I made him go get for me…never,  I was HAPPY SQUARED! Mercifully, I’m one of those people who starts to show almost immediately, because I couldn’t wait to pull on those massive maternity fashions! Keep in mind, this was the early 90’s, so maternity wear was not the ‘oh so adorable’ styles that are out there now. I didn’t care! I wanted it all…bring on the nausea, the heart burn, the nasty baggy pants. I read “What to expect” until the pages were transparent, faithfully entered every detail into my maternity calendar and baby book…oh yeah, I was good to go on the whole mommy-scene! I was adamant that I was having a boy, his name was chosen, his clothes were washed and his room was ready!

Clearly Theo was ready too, he decided to show up a couple of weeks early. We had moved to Smithers from the lower mainland and were adjusting well to small-town life. Cam had volunteered to coach hockey as a way to get to know people in the community. Out of town for a hockey tournament, wandering the aisles of Costco in Prince George that day, we had chosen a new “Camcorder” and a rocking chair for the nursery …the last two things on our “baby” list.  While staying at my aunt and uncles at about 2am…hubby got the intense arm-shake “I think I’m having contractions”. We timed them using the blue glowing clock on our new video recorder, not wanting to wake anyone up. Yup, they were intensifying, yup closer together too. Instead of going across the street to the hospital there, I was adamant that our first baby be born in our new home town, that was completely reasonable, don’t you think? What husband doesn’t listen to a wife in labour? Speeding three hours down the dimly lit highway, praying we wouldn’t literally RUN into a moose…we made it home without any serious mishaps. Although at one point, we stopped so I could go to the bathroom…I think Cam was fairly certain he was going to be delivering our first child on the floor of a 7-11. Good times.

Almost twenty-four hours later, just after midnight on October 29th, 1995, in a quiet, dimly lit hospital room on the third floor of Bulkley Valley District Hospital…I became a momma. The delivery was pretty textbook, a wonderful doctor and two calm nurses helped my husband and I welcome our first baby into our crazy world. He looked exactly like one of those little monkeys at the zoo, a few weeks premature, all wrinkly and blue… it didn’t matter, I fell and fell hard. Early in the morning I woke up, felt my empty belly and tip-toed over to the nurses station. They had placed him in the nursery so I could sleep for a few hours. I asked timidly if I could go get him, they laughed and said “Of course, he’s yours”  He was mine, my baby, our baby…after so many years of wondering and waiting, there. he. was. Joy and awe filled my heart and overflowed everywhere, radiating out of me.

Released from the hospital almost immediately, we wandered around town finding excuses to pop into places to show off the little “fresh-one”. It required every ounce of my will-power to NOT scream “look what I made! look what I made! can you believe I had this human in my body?!?!” Never in my life had I felt as powerful and amazing as I did on the first day of mommy-hood…what an incredible rush. I was so proud of my body, despite the jiggly tummy and ‘holy crap’ sore boobs, making a new human was the coolest. Each and every delivery and birth experience was different for each of my children…but I always got the rush, the “oh wow…look at this (or these) amazing gift(s)”

I try my best to channel that intense feeling of awe whenever I feel like motherhood is getting the best of me. Yep, it really is overwhelming and so friggen hard some days to appreciate the gifts that our children provide us with, and no matter how difficult or how easy it may have been to physically become a parent, we really don’t ever get it. Every day brings crazy new twists…ugh…I shudder to think back at some of the ridiculous things that have flown out of my mouth in complete frustration, stoopid mommy moments. You don’t really get do-overs but you can love them and try to remember that amazing feeling when they first came into the world and you thought, so here you go little one…this is life…what are you going to going to do with it?

So Theo, my little monkey-faced, awesome baby boy, as you leave the nest…this is life..what are you going to do with it, I can’t wait to see. Love, Momma xo

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”

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Mom of six, social media translator at, travel junkie, wanna-be-chef and lover of all things clever and beautiful ...

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15 Comments on “Becoming Momma…”

  1. Angie
    May 15, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    and I’m crying. Dee I so enjoyed reading about Theo. I also have talked about Brandon having monkey feet and holding the Dr.’s coat with his little toes moments after his birth.

    • May 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

      thanks so much…amazing how powerful our memories are when connected with our babies xo

  2. May 16, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    …and of course I will never forget stuffing myself with pancakes on the morning of the 29th and asking, “Mom, where’s Deidre?” As if on cue, the phone rang and Cam explained your very eventful night!

    Beautiful, emotion filled story. Thanks for sharing.

    • May 16, 2013 at 7:07 am #

      Almost shared a birthday! I knew you’d remember that night 🙂 Weren’t you headed to Bubba Balloos?! The epicenter of fun in PG for kids 😉

  3. June 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Wow momma I think you were so brave. I waited 15 yrs for my monkey. I refused to let a doc test me despite that dreaded pink line over and over if I had been told I couldn’t have a baby I would’ve shrivelled up and died. Suddenly a 2nd line what, a 2nd line wow I was so stunned I had to have a blood test to prove it.

  4. July 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    This is such a beautiful post. I’ve only just stumbled upon your blog for the first time, and I’ve got a lump in my chest at the thought of the pain that you went through. Life in all its forms is an emotional rollercoaster. My husband and I don’t have children yet and I have a tiny seed of doubt in the back of my mind: when we decide to ‘try’, will be encounter problems? It’s a bit of an unknown. Anyway, thanks for sharing these beautiful memories about your wonderful Theo and the process that you went through to have him in your life. You’re beautiful, inside and out. Your kids are lucky to have you! xx

    • July 28, 2013 at 8:41 am #

      Thank you for your lovely comments! It is the toughest decision to decide a child and it isn’t something anyone else can really advise you on…but for me, having my children, despite all the worry & exhaustion, was nothing short of fantastic & they inspire me every day! I checked out your blog & you and I obviously share some taste buds 😉 looking forward to trying some of your recipes!

  5. Jodie Robertshaw
    October 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    Beautiful story! I’m having coffee with my neighbour….she’s ready to pop! Wants to hear the details and what to look forward too! Thanks for the beautiful story, it brings back memories and special moments that are close I my heart too! Being a mom is fantastic! The best feeling when all they want is mommy!

    • October 29, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Nothing like it…good luck to your neighbour 🙂

  6. Jacquie
    October 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    What a wonderful read, and your correct everyday does brings its new twists & turns and I marvel at the people our children are becoming and I love that they can prove my doubts wrong.

    • October 30, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      So many gifts from the parenting adventure!

  7. November 1, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    I’m crying… So touchable… and five times happyended story!!! Each of them are unique! But the first one is the first forever! Brilliant!

  8. Laura Stanton
    November 1, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    Wonderful, heartfelt post Deidre. Brings me back to our adventures in conception. Becoming a “momma” is a true gift, you are lucky to have it 5(6) times over. Happy birthday to Theo…

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steps to the light

that perfect hand...

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big... and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time... it's perfect. It's mine.

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