I am not yet comfortable, holding a baby. I held very few babies before I transitioned. I have held a few more since. Of course, people would almost never have asked me to hold a baby before. Today, that happens a lot more often.
Notwithstanding the stated “more pain than any man can possibly imagine”, one of the few things I will always wish I had experienced, would be to carry a child inside of me. To hold my newborn child unto myself. I can’t possibly imagine the many feelings that are revealed through that experience. I do imagine that it would have given me great joy.
I still watch intently, as women talk, and stand, and move, and react to the world around them. Learning like a little girl, all those things that are learned when one actually is allowed to live as a little girl.
Living as a little girl, of course, is one of the things I will always wish I had experienced. However, it would not be accurate to say that I haven’t experienced part of the wonderment of girlhood. So many things are still new to me. Almost as if I were a little girl, but with the life experience of a 50-year-old.
When my child was born, I was in the room with his mom. I cut his umbilical cord. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. This true in spite of the fact that his mother’s piercing green eyes glared a “you did this to me” look in my direction from the moment I got to the hospital room, to the moment he was placed in her arms.
My son has not been in my life for over six years now. Not that I would ever be his mother. Always his father. Perhaps now his parent. Someday, I hope that we will spend enough time together to have some words with which to describe this new relationship.
My birth mom died in 1989. One of the things I was certain I would never experience is the bond of a mother-daughter relationship. Then in 2007, this amazing woman from church, invited me into her home to recover for a few days after surgery. She is now as much a mom to me as any mom could possibly be. And I am her daughter.
My post-transition life is not without my own maternal feelings and experiences. I had a neighbor who didn’t have a lawn mower. He mowed my lawn, so that he could use my mower to mow his lawn. One day, I arrived home from grocery shopping, and this young man was mowing my grass. I took the groceries from the car and began walking to the house. All of the sudden this incredible feeling came over me, demanding that I fix the young man a sandwich, and take him a glass of milk.
There have since been many moments when such feelings have swept me into the instant realization of my maternal nature. They are among my most treasured of all moments. One of these moments stands out far above the rest.
A friend of mine thought she might be having heart trouble. Her son was quite disturbed, not only by the fear of possibly losing his mom, but also by the fear of what would happen to him if she were gone. It was at that moment, my friend quietly reassured her son, and told him, "You could live with Stephanie."
There is no greater compliment that one woman can give to another than to say I trust you with the life of my child. It was not that long ago when I watched women pull their children close to them, when they saw this person they perceived as male but presenting as female. It might not be that long from now when the daughter or son of one of my friends might place their newborn child in my arms and introduce them to their Grandma Stephanie. Perhaps that might be my own son, placing my grandchild into my arms.
I am not yet comfortable, holding a baby. That uncomfortable feeling was once concerning to me. It is no longer capable of enough significance to begin to stop the mother in me from smiling greatly, making baby talk, and holding a baby anytime life offers me the truth. The knowledge that I too am a mom.
© 12/03/2011, Stephanie Mott
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