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Giving Birth to My Best Friend

Illustration for article titled Giving Birth to My Best Friend

I didn’t always want to be a mom. I wasn’t one of those young girls that saw babies and melted on the inside. Somewhere deep down, I figured I’d eventually become a mother, but I didn’t have an overwhelming desire to do so. The only reason motherhood appealed to me was because of the amazing bond and relationship I shared with my own mom - and still do, to this day.

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My mom is loved by all that know her. She has an infectious, loving personality. She is warm and kind. Everyone who knows her wants to adopt her as their mother or grandma. That’s just the type of woman she is. So when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to have a girl. I wanted to share that same connection with my daughter that I had with my mom. My husband and I chose not to find out the sex of our child. He said, “There are so few true surprises left in life. Can’t we let this be a surprise?” I couldn’t really argue with that logic and agreed to wait.

Like with most things surrounding pregnancy, everyone had an opinion about the sex of my baby and if having a girl or a boy was “better”. People told me that boys were easier than girls. Others confirmed what I already thought, that a bond between a girl and her mother was something special.

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At the time, our family was comprised of all female grandchildren. My brother had one older daughter, my sister in law was pregnant with twin girls and my husband’s sister had two daughters of her own. Our baby would be the only boy in the family, if he were, in fact, a boy. The prince. He would carry on the family name and though we opted not to make him “the third”, he would still share a first name with his father and grandfather. And sure enough, on Thursday, December 9th at 8:33 a.m. I gave birth to my son. The first time I heard him cry, I was flooded with emotions. I cried instantly and my husband worried I was in pain from the C-section. I wasn’t in pain at all. I was in pure amazement that this little person had just come out of me.

I know people say when you give birth to your child, you’re giving birth to your best friend. And until the moment it happens, you might think it’s just something people say. But it’s true. People also say that a mother and her son share a special connection, the same way a daughter is “daddy’s little girl”. This holds true for my son and I. He truly is my best friend. In his eyes, the sun rises and sets by me. As he gets older, I have faith that he will choose an intelligent, respectful, and beautiful young woman to call his wife. One that, I can only hope, appreciates and respects our relationship. I don’t want to be one of those overprotective moms that feel no girl is good enough for her son. I trust his judgment and I know he’ll choose a woman that will treat him right and he will do the same in return.

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But as he gets older, no matter how close we are, he’ll need his father to navigate certain subjects. I can’t be the one to talk to him about girls, his body, puberty, and the like. That’s one thing that I can say is slightly easier about boys than girls. I remember being a teenage girl, uncomfortable in her own skin, the fear of getting your period in school and not knowing the difference between tampons, pads, and a reusable menstrual cup. Comparing your body to those of your friends and feeling crushed when a boy didn’t like you. Growing up as a female is filled with emotions, mood swings, and struggles. Raising a boy has its own set of challenges, but they often seem less drama-filled.

It doesn’t matter if you’re raising a girl or a boy, all children need a certain level of love, nurturing, and confidence. I am thankful every day that I gave birth to my son and that we share the relationship that we do. And I can only hope that as he gets older, he knows that I support him and his dreams and will always be his soft place to land.

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