I knew it was going to be different the moment that I met my daughter for the first time. You see, I had a bit of a traumatic birth with her. (You can read about it here). Long story short, we almost lost our lives and I experienced a lot of trauma from the birth and I have since learned so much about myself as I recovered.
As they wheeled me into my room and brought her to me, I didn't feel like I was ready to hold her because I was still shaking from the anesthesia. I was barely awake at this point and my eyes were half open. I was about to tell them that I wanted to wait to hold her because I was scared that I'd drop her. But deep down, I was afraid because I have an estranged relationship with my own mother, and I was scared that I wouldn’t know how to love her as a mother who didn’t know what a mother-daughter love feels like. They didn't hear my mumbles and thrust her into my arms anyways. I fell in love instantly. She taught me how to love bravely and fiercely, and that’s where it all began. And in doing so, my daughter has taught me so much, and there is so much I want to tell her.
10 Things I Want to Tell You:
- You are beautiful for your heart. Yes, those sweet little eyes are beautiful, but what matters most is what is on the inside.
- Thank you for challenging me to be strong for you. We had a rough start, you and me. People around us threw rocks at us because we were supposed to “get over” our traumatic birth, but we knew we needed to take it slow. But together as one, just like when you were in my womb, we prevailed. We advocated for ourselves.
- It’s okay to not please everyone. You know this too well. You are fierce and strong in your ways, and you don’t even let your big brothers get in your way.
- Never lose your stubborn ways. You had trouble breastfeeding and we tried all sorts of things (bottle, SNS, finger feeding, cup feeding). But you would cry and cry until you got the flow of milk you desired. Nothing could trick you. You were determined, and you didn’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
- You’re smart - don’t let anyone ever overlook that. Our society places value on females for their outward appearance, but you don’t ever have to be minimized to just “a pretty girl.” You are more than what society tells you that you are.
- Be a wildflower. Don’t be afraid to go against the current - know that you never need to conform to anything.
- Surround yourselves with empowering women. After your birth, we took a while to recover. Those that truly loved us and supported me for as long as I needed, and didn’t rush me. Mama is surrounded by so many women who love her, and in turn, love you. I wish for you to see what true sisterhood looks like, so that you too, will one day have your own sisterhood. It takes a village.
- Always tell me when I am wrong. Never let me forget how to be humble so that I can set an example for you.
- Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and for others. Your little voice is already so strong. There is so much strength and tenacity in your voice. It demands to be listened to. Use that powerful voice to do good, and never to bring others down.
- I love you. I promise to listen to you when you cry. I promise to tend to you. I promise to love you with unconditional love, forever. I am your forever mama.