I know that I am so much more than just a mother, but I also know that being a mother is such an important role and I cherish and honor the role that my God entrusted upon me when life was formed in my womb.
I was on the beautiful, serene beaches of Puerto Rico when I suspected that the few months of skipping a pill here and there had caught up to me. I had gained five pounds in about two days and I knew I hadn’t eaten that much shrimp. The mango daiquiri were starting to make me feel a little nauseous before I even had enough to matter, and I was so exhausted that I could hardly keep my eyes open most of the time. I wasn’t sure, but my intuition knew that something was not right. My friend suggested I take a pregnancy test and when I saw the results I thought – oh crap!
I thought that it was the worst thing to happen to me at this time. I had just celebrated my 36th birthday, was just laid off from my corporate job and my mother was terminally ill. Bad timing.
When I look back upon that time, I now see how my son’s birth was my saving grace. I truly believe that my mother prayed for me to have someone to fill the void left by her loss – someone to love and nurture. I know in my soul that my son’s presence was the only reason I took care of myself during the months that I was my mother’s primary caretaker. If I didn’t have to consider the growing fetus, I know I would have skipped a lot of meals, lost a lot of sleep and maybe even engaged in some unhealthy behaviors to dull the pain. Once we were told there was nothing more that they could do for mom and she was placed on hospice, I took over. I managed her nursing care, her finances, her medication and her nutrition – all while morning sickness was taking a strong hold of my entire body. Every day I drove 30-40 minutes to my mother’s house, struggling to hold down my lunch and exhausted from the little boy who was quickly growing inside of me.
There was an unspoken fear amongst my family and future in-laws of me losing the baby. I was still in my first trimester when I stood over the casket , praying to be awakened from this horrible nightmare. Everyone was so worried about me attending the funeral and how the stress and grief would affect the baby. I was too but I had no other choice. I was the caretaker, the administrator of the will and the only girl. Everyone else saw the pregnancy as I did at first. Bad timing. But in hindsight, my son was my superhero. He was strong enough to survive all of the stresses that I was under during the fragile stage of life that he was in at that time; strong enough to save me from myself and from the destructive behavior that I could have engaged in to numb myself from the pain. Strong enough to sustain the pressure of childbirth.
James Franklin Hilley III was born at 10:44pm, exactly four months before my birthday. Although his heart rate dropped significantly three times before they decided on the emergency C-Section, he was healthy, strong, and very alert when he was born at 8lbs, 13ozs. He amazed me then and continues to amaze me now. I know that all moms brag about their kids and they are all the most amazing kids ever. I get it. But I do believe that children come here with their own agenda, with a purpose and the gifts necessary to live out their purpose. I write this not just to honor my son and thank my Creator for entrusting me with this angel, but also for my brothers, my nephews, my male friends and even my father – to confirm for all men who may doubt, that they will always hold a most precious place in their mothers’ heart, regardless of how their mother may or may not have expressed it. Most sons think of the daughter as the mom’s favorite because they as a female, have more in common with the mother. I thought the same thing too until I gave birth to my own daughter, and I now know that the bond you have with your son is a different kind of special.
Maybe it’s because as men in the making, they feel they are your protectors, and stay close by your side. Maybe it’s because as a woman you feel you know how to mold him into the man who any woman would love. Maybe it’s just how the Creator designed it. How history destined it. For our Princes to stand by their Queen.
I know that at eight years old I still have a lot of trials to go through with this little boy before he reaches manhood, and I pray that I have the fortitude to make the right decisions and the ability to provide him with the right balance of love and surrender that he needs to grow. He is brilliant and silly and sensitive and stubborn, strong and fragile yet I know that he will do some great things in his lifetime to contribute to this world.
And I know that he was sent here to save me. And like a true damsel in distress, I am eternally grateful.