Before I discovered I was pregnant I asked God to give me a sign and guide me down the right path in life - and man, did He deliver. Like many other college seniors, I was lost. I was restless, a little reckless, and lacking in any genuine direction. I was happy but only in a superficial way. In November of my final year of college I found out that I was going to have a child. That year was bar none the most difficult year of my life - physically, mentally and emotionally - and I would do it all again in a heartbeat if it meant I would still be where I am today. My saving grace this past year was without a doubt my boyfriend and the father of my child, James. He picked me up when I was letting the gossip get me down, he made me feel pretty whenever I just felt fat, and he gave me his unfailing commitment to stand by me and our child. I feel incredibly fortunate to have him in my life. We are now living with our son and my parents at their house in New Jersey. The experience of pregnancy and birth has bonded us in a way that I had never previously imagined it would. We will always share the intensity of that amazing experience. Somewhere between the morning sickness, first kicks, late night cravings, and doctors visits, we fell in love. He is truly my family and not only do I still count on him, but he counts on me. We accepted this challenge together and have both come out the better for it.
As far as life changing circumstances go, an unexpected pregnancy is a pretty sweet deal. I mean sure you have to go through actually being pregnant, which is "eh" at times and the most amazing feeling in the world at others; and then you have to actually give birth, which is nothing short of a miracle but also ouch; but then you get to hang out with this precious little human being who you instantly love with all your heart. I will stand by this for an eternity - there is no greater feeling in the universe than having your newborn baby fall asleep on your chest, all curled up like a little snail.
I can laugh now and lightheartedly talk about the experience of being pregnant in college, and becoming a mother at the age of 21, but the course has surely been long. Motherhood changes you, and giving birth is like a mothers right of passage. It is what makes us mothers. Many things feel different after you welcome a baby to the world, but the two things that stick out most in my mind are pain and happiness. After giving birth, and quite literally pushing a human being out of your body, pain takes on a whole new meaning. Never underestimate the stamina and pain tolerance of a mamma. The pain is totally worth it though, because of the happiness that comes after. It's like I didn't know what it meant to truly be happy (and trust me I've had a lot of fun in my life). I am happier now than I have ever been in my entire life, and I owe that all to my son.
There are so many positive attributes I have come to embody since I had a child: selflessness, strength, courage, grit, etc. Then there are also the negatives... Worrying all of the time, being constantly stressed out, trying to control every single situation, etc. These things, among others unite mothers. There is an unspoken language that exists among us, as well as a deep understanding of what actually matters in life. My son has made me a better person - he has made me more loving, more self-sacrificing, less materialistic, and a whole lot happier. I am forever grateful to have joined this club called motherhood and at such a young age. Do any of you other mammas out there have similar experiences of personal transformation after you had children?