Yet my decision to keep him was immediate and visceral. If you had asked me what I would decide to do if I got pregnant, I would not have been certain. It's a scary thing to contemplate being a single parent. But as soon as I knew he was there, inside me, he was mine. It just clicked and I was instantly protective.
That's not to say I didn't have my doubts. I was worried about my ability to support him. I was worried about my ability to be a good mother. I was worried about what other people would think. All of those thoughts and many more swirled through my head.
I kept thinking that this just might be the kind of thing that would require hindsight. I realized that I did not have perfect wisdom at 32 years old. I figured this pregnancy could very well be something I would look back on realize was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.
I remember thinking that and wondering if this was what faith was like. Though not a religious faith, in my case. I had faith in my unborn child. I had faith in my decision to keep him. I had faith in myself to be a good mother. After so many years of therapy, it seemed I was finally realizing the ability to believe in me.
Nine years later and I can tell you that my faith was true. I cannot exactly express the mixture of joy, surprise and pride that I have in discovering this inner strength. What I've realized by being a mother is that it is an incredibly healing experience. All of the love you give to your child, you get in return. When you soothe your child in the dark of night, that dark part of you is also healed. At least that's how it worked out for me. And for my beautiful Max. His name is Maximus which means "The Most." And he is the most to me.
Happy birthday, to my sweet precious boy.