During my recent trip across the border, I spent my time reading statistics (fun stuff) on reasons given for abortion. The majority of reasons, from financial to emotional, amounted to one answer: being unprepared for motherhood. Which started me thinking, when does motherhood begin?
My health insurance company answered this question as the moment of “active labour,” but for many of us, the answer still remains as elusive as defining the role itself.
When does one become a mother? Is it the moment of conception? The first time you hear your baby’s heart beat? When you hold your small miracle for the first time?
“I had my first maternal feeling driving home from the lab after having my pregnancy test. I was so excited and wanting to race home to share the news. I realized I was driving too fast and didn’t have my seat belt on. It was a strange feeling, but great!” – Leah, mother of 2 year old Ainsley
“My first son died when he was four months old. Mother’s day followed two months later and I remember feeling like a mother, but being fearful that no one else saw me that way. When all of the mothers were called up for a special blessing in church that day, everyone was urging me to step forward. It felt really good to be recognized as a mother.” – Amanda, mother to Adam, 3 year old Angela, and baby-to-be
“I think I was in shock during the whole pregnancy. I was excited about the baby, but just found it so hard to believe. They handed me the baby and I still didn’t feel connected right away. That night he was crying in the bassinet and I felt overwhelmed with emotions. After 9 months it finally sunk in, ‘I was a mommy!'” – Sally, mother to two year old Trey and 6 month old Abbey
For some women, motherhood may begin prior to conception, with fertility treatments, prenatal vitamins, decorating and shopping for baby. The very idea of a baby has changed these women physically and mentally towards motherhood. For others, motherhood may begin after adoption papers are signed and the baby is finally brought home. After conception, is it really something that can be avoided?by