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becoming a mother

becoming a mother

November 9, 2006

Twelve years ago tonight I went to bed pregnant. It was two weeks before my due date.

I didn’t know it then, but it was my last day not a mother. A day that is only significant in retrospect. A day I spent at the mall buying clothes that seemed impossibly small from the Baby Gap.

Twelve years ago in the early morning hours before dawn my water broke while I lay in bed. I paced back and forth down the long hallway in my apartment waiting for the doctor to call me back. The contractions came one right after the other, and I focused on the tiny carseat sitting by the front door. Twelve years ago I became a mother.

Time has passed in the blink of an eye, and yet I have a hard time remembering life before this day. It seems like an eternity ago.

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I look at the photo and think how young I was, how scared, how completely clueless I felt in this new role. And I look at the white couch I am sitting on, evidence of all these things, that I bought while I was pregnant. And I laugh.

Posted by Chris @ 10:43 pm  

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  1. Playdate Susan says:

    Look at his teeny FEET! Oh my.

    And good lord, were you like 12?

  2. Wendy says:

    I wass going to ask the same thing. How old were you? You must only be 25 yrs old, now. :)

  3. Chris says:

    Um, the shoes? I was looking for more shoes.
    Just kidding, but you do look like a 12 year old. Man, it must be nice not to age at all in twelve years.
    Happy Birthday to the boy.

  4. allysha says:

    That’s really quite a sweet picture. Life is never the same once your the mom, that’s for sure.

  5. Fold My Laundry Please says:

    You bought a white couch while you were pregnant! Hahahahahahahaha! That is funny! Isn’t it strange how naive we all are about the realities of motherhood clear up until the day our first child is born?

  6. Maliavale says:

    Aww, man. That was super sweet. And you do look young — like … my age!

  7. Karen Rani says:

    Oh my gosh, you are a baby in that picture! Course in real life, you look extremely young too, but man, the picture is blowing me AWAY.

  8. Antique Mommy says:

    What a lovely picture of you - I hardly noticed there was a baby in the picture too!

  9. Mocha says:

    I noticed the baby. Just so you know.

    But your luxurious hair? Green, seething jealousy coming from me right now. Also, that you are one phenomenally cool lady/girl/chicky/hot momma.

    You know the drill. I adore you way too much.

  10. Mir says:

    Happy birthday to your “baby” boy! And can I just say that you look ALMOST EXACTLY the same, you delightful little sparrow robot, you.

    (Although, today, you would not buy a white couch. You would buy new shoes.)

  11. Doris says:

    You are beautiful. Oh, and so is the baby, of course.

  12. Allanna says:

    Happy birthday to your oldest son.

    And, dang! You look GORGEOUS for a lady who just delivered a baby! Like movie-star gorgeous.

  13. Bryanne Mayhew says:

    Chris, you are BREATHTAKING in this photo!

    Oh - and while you may have bought an impractical white couch, I see you have a very practical scrunchy on your wrist for when all that hair gets in the way.

  14. Jennifer says:

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  15. crunchy carpets says:

    Hee a white couch. Yeah.
    All I can remember about my last moments of NOT being a mother (whilst pregnant) was going to see Spiderman with my hubs and a friend and his boyfriend and the HOUR we all spent in the line up.

    I don’t know why.

  16. Christina says:

    Wow, you look awesome on your white couch! Happy Birthday to your baby :)

  17. Kristie says:

    OK, like everyone else, I looked at this photo and thought, “Oh, the Jr. High babysitter sure looks cute” :)

    More importantly, a very Happy Birthday to your oldest child, or, as my younger sister calls it, “The One Mom Loves More”. :)

  18. Jennifer says:

    I love that picture of you and your son. You are so beautiful and the look on your face is like you you’re not sure if you want to smile or not.

  19. Jennifer says:

    and OMG I forgot to wish your son a happy 12th birthday!!!


  20. kerflop says:

    I can’t get over your hair, it looks amazing. Please tell me your hair doesn’t look that amazing anymore or I may have to stop loving you so much.

  21. Brigitte says:

    You do look a tad dazed in that photo . . . and perhaps still frequently feel that way! Little did the young(er) Chris know what she was in for.

  22. Sara says:

    A white couch!! I’ve always insisted that the hormone spike during pregnancy makes us stupid and now I have verifiable data to prove it…(What? You expect me to incriminate myself with all of my random acts of stupidity during all of my pregnancies?) No wonder I like you so much!
    You look beautiful in that picture and I’m sure you’ve only grown more lovely in the twelve years of loving that boy. Happy Birthday, Oldest Son!!

  23. kate says:

    Happy Brithday to Son #1!

    And congrats on being a Mother you are doing a fabulous job and your children are your proof!

  24. Jen says:

    A white couch! Bwahahahhah! How long did it take you to realise that was a BAD idea?! My friends have just had their first baby, and realised the ridiculousness of their 20-step walk-up flat carpetted in white, with cream furniture. Hahahahha.

    But if someone had told you it didn’t make sense at the time, would you have listened?

    No, don’t think so ;)

    So - can we have a post with ‘20 things I have learnt since becoming a mother’? :) Please? ;)

  25. Cathy C says:

    Isn’t it amazing how mature you thought you were before you had kids? I laugh at myself constantly.
    Happy Birthday to your son, and Happy Mother’s Day to you.

  26. Jana says:


    You look so young!!! And I did not only the white sofa, but white carpet too—how absolutely clueless were we????

  27. rachel says:

    Happy birthday Son #1.

    To echo everyone else, you look so young there! not that you don’t look young now, of course. I bet you’d get carded if you tried to buy cigarettes. ;)

    LOL on the white couch. My mom asked me yesterday if I’d like a beige slipcover or a subtle plaid. I’m all about hiding the stains in patterns. No beige, cream, or white!

  28. Meg says:

    Happy Birthday Little Man!

    And I won’t say how young you look, except that you do.

  29. Jennifer says:

    Happy Birthday to you and your son. You both became new people that day!

  30. InterstellarLass says:

    Awww! Happy Birthday to your son. And your hair! And your cheeks!

  31. Darren McLikeshimself says:

    Ha! Look at you! You look SO different!

    Well, congratulations to everyone involved.

  32. Jess says:

    Happy birthday to your son. What were you 12 when you gave birth? ;)

  33. melissaS says:

    You look mormon…and I say that in the fresh faced pure beauty type of way.

  34. kate O'Brien says:

    My eldest just turned 13 so I totally can relate to what you wrote!

  35. jody says:

    What a great picture. You have the most gorgeous hair!

    Life passes so fast. Next year we will be mothers of teenages. Gah!

  36. Chris says:

    Oh man, you didn’t know not to make major purchases while pregnant either… I bought a vibrating chair while pregnant with the first one. Yes, a vibrating chair.

    Sorry, but I have to agree with the rest. You look 12 in the picture. LOL!

  37. Chelle says:

    Beautiful! You, the baby AND the couch!

  38. Marianne says:

    What a beautiful picture. Happy birthday to your “baby.” :)

  39. Mary W says:

    Happy belated birthday to the boy!

    Happy mother’s day to you.

    I was lmao at the white couch. My boys are finally getting old enough that we can get rid of the big crusty couch and get a brand new adult couch.

  40. cassie-b says:

    Happy birthday to your 12 year old! I wonder how long the white furniture remained that color.


  41. Chris says:

    You want to hear the funniest thing about the photo? I hated it 12 years ago because I thought I looked so fat. Now I look at it and wish I looked like that still.

    And sadly no, my hair doesn’t look like that anymore. Also I no longer wear scrunchies on my arm like jewelry.

    This was the day I came home from the hospital and I was dazed, tired, and stiched up in places where stitches should never go.

  42. halloweenlover says:

    You thought you looked FAT?!?! You were a wee little pixie in that photo! And I cannot believe that is your sweet son.

    Happy Birthday to him! And Happy Becoming a Mother Day to you!

    Although I must tell you that I do not like stories wherein babies come early. 45 days to go. 45 days to go. And not one day sooner, damnit.

  43. Ruth H says:

    My baby turned 45 this year. The amazing thing about being a mother is that even though the kids grow up, do well, start their own families, etc. you NEVER stop being their mother and it is still wonderful. 12 years ago a great adventure started and it won’t end for one hundred more. Happy Birthday to #1 child, and many more birthdays for all!

  44. Carola says:

    As I read the post I went from teary eyes to laughing out loud…happy B-day for son#1, and coungratulations on a great mommy-journey!

  45. Polly says:

    I heard once that your first born’s birthday is your REAL Mother’s Day.

  46. Gretchen says:

    Happy Birthday S! I hope he has a great day! And that is a great picture of you, and I only know you are not 12 because I looked about 12 when I was 24 too, LOL. I hated it then, but whew, the years caught up with me in the last five years! I’ll be hitting 40 looking more like it hit me.

  47. Personal Chef to 2 says:

    You weren’t 12 … you’re at least 13 in that picture ; )

    I hope your son has a wonderful 12th birthday!

  48. Erika says:

    happy birthday little (big) man!! And as everyone else has pointed out, you look young and great!! I look about 15 NOW so I can relate… LOL

  49. Nicki says:

    I remember my last day before mommyhood too. We really didn’t know what we were missing. Kids are wonderful.

  50. peepnroosmom says:

    Happy Birthday big guy.
    Mine is about to be 12. I can hardly remember myself before having him. What a difference 12 years makes.

  51. Tricia says:

    What comes immediately to mind is… uh… mmm… well, I forget. I think something about memory cells leaving with each child born or something like that… (our oldest is ten- youngest 9 months with 6 in between)

  52. Rae says:

    12 is really really big. Wow. But then, I can’t believe that you have seven kids and your oldest is ONLY twelve. You are a wonderwoman. Happy birthday to your son! (And you look so sweet in that picture that I can hardly stand it. You’re like a little shell-shocked girl.)

  53. Katie says:

    Happy Birthday son #1! The picture is so sweet.

  54. Grim Reality Girl says:

    Oh! GREAT photo — love the look on your face, his tiny feet, and that WHITE couch! Oh to look so young again!

  55. Jurgen Nation says:

    You are gut-wrenchingly gorgeous. And what a beautifully written post! Happy Birthday to your boy. You’re such an awesome mom (and friend).

  56. kathy says:

    Everyone has said it but I am compelled to chime in. You are gorgeous and quite fetching with the exposed shoulder. :) Happy 12th birthday to your boy. Now our eldests’ are even. :)

  57. Suburban Turmoil says:

    Oh Chris, you lucky, lucky girl. You are EVEN PRETTIER NOW! And you were very pretty then!

    I am thinking of these moments a lot right now, with my second (and probably last) baby kicking in my tummy. :)

  58. Mom Nancy says:

    A white couch bought during pregnancy does seem like the perfect way to encapsulate all that is naive about pre-motherhood, lol.

    Happy 12th birthday to DS #1!

  59. eko says:

    I got a white couch (used to us) when my first was not even 2yo! WHAT was I thinking (or not…)

    Happy Birthday to your Dear #1 son, and Happy Birthing Day to you - you look lovely if not a bit stunned in the picture! ;-)

  60. jeans5kids says:

    Oh my oldest just turned 12 too!
    Happy b-day to yours and here’s to life as a mom, was there any other life?

  61. cmhl says:

    great picture!!!

  62. Amy says:

    I’m struck by how much your youngest little boy now looks like you from that picture.

  63. Stefania Pomponi Butler/CityMama says:

    Your hair is done. And you are wearing makeup. And you look beautiful!

    I swear god you must be bionic or something. How? How do you do it???

  64. Jenijen says:

    I know just what you mean. So much so that I’m a little teary. Thanks for a lovely post.

  65. Jenna says:

    November babies are the best. I’m crying. Happy Motherhood to you. And happy birthday to some great 12 year old. :)

  66. nabbalicious says:

    So…you have ALWAYS been a babe. I see how it is! No fair.

    Happy birthday to the oldest!

  67. Jenn says:

    How adorable and young you both look! (And you still look 12, my dear.) I want a picture of the 2 of you now so the rest of us can say, “How can she still look SO YOUNG and SO RESTED as she did 12 years ago! lol

    Happy birthday to the oldest. (Has he hit the teen angst yet?)

  68. Izzy says:

    Happy birthday to your firstborn and happy 12th mom anniversary to you!

    That’s a gorgeous photo :)

    (and if it makes you feel better, I have off-white slipcovers on my sofas. Thank God they can be washed is all I have to say about that.)

  69. daring one says:

    You do still look exactly like that. When I met you, I thought you’d sent one of your kids in your place to Blogher.

  70. Joy H says:

    still catching up; Happy Belated Birthday to your big guy!

    What a sweet photo :)

  71. Karena says:

    hi my name is karena im becoming a young mother im 18 years old and im 10weeks pregnet.. im so scared of what type of mother i am goin to be..im so young yet i have decided that i will keep this baby becasue knowing ur pregnet and feeling everything about how life would be with my baby and knowing that i love she or he already…my main problem is telling my mother.. i haven’t told my mother that im pregnet becuase i am scared of her resopnce and i am scared of her feeling hurt or disapponment in me…Im Even scared of what my family would think of me and the way they would treat me or even talk about me behind my back..I am one to care about what people think of me i dont like making any bad inpression when coming to my family..they one’s told me “I better not be stupid and get pregnet young dont be a sutistic karena finish school become something”.. Its like i here it over and over and it wont go away it clouds up my inner jugdement and it makes me scared of alot thing…I tryed so hard to become something that im not and yea there was time i rebelde but who dosent everyone tends to get tired of constant presser…Here i am venting to stranger hoping i at least feel much better… I hope i can relate to your story….

  72. Samy Peynetsa says:

    Congrats on your baby boy. Well you look so young. Im pregent to but Im 13 yrs old. Im very scared but I’ll live through it right? Anyway Congrats on being a mom. (Is it hard?)