It happened last night, four years ago at 11:13pm PST. My little turkey girl, Aubrey Frances, made her grand entrance into the world (in Santa Monica nonetheless - no wonder she loves the beach so much) after 26 hours of labor. Many moms, and dads, will tell you it was the happiest moment of their lives. Sadly for me... not so much.
- I wanted to kill my boyfriend (now my ex and co-parent) for SO many reasons I simply don't have the time or desire to go into
- I had a horrible delivery and recovery
- Bottom line - I wasn't excited about motherhood
Also, I was really into my career. A career in an industry that does not favor women and really does not favor women with children. A career that I had been building for over 10 years at that point and I was finally starting to get some recognition in Hollywood. I was just chosen for the CBS Diversity Comedy Showcase and was headlining colleges across the country. The timing felt all wrong on so many levels and the stress of it all really took its toll on me.
When Aubrey was born, I did not cry. I did not feel joy or happiness. I was numb. I was angry. So depressed from my dysfunctional relationship, that I couldn't savor that sweet moment. This is probably the most painful truth of my life as a mother and I hate that I will never get that moment back. There's no do-over or rewind. But I've spent the last four years learning to forgive and let go and for me, motherhood has been a process, a journey.
After two months of post partum depression and escalating fights with my boyfriend, the dark clouds gradually lifted and I went into survival mode. I gave the relationship one last shot - talking him into couples therapy. When he stopped going with me after about three sessions, I decided to continue on my own and by the time Aubrey was around seven months, I decided to leave the relationship and become a single mom.
It was the hardest time of my life - moving out, finding a new home, legal proceedings for the custody agreement, re-establishing my career, all with an infant in tow - but it was during this period that I found myself again and began to truly love my daughter. Of course I loved her from the beginning, but it wasn't until I started to shed the toxic elements of my life that I was able to really fall IN love with her and I can honestly say I have loved her more and more each day.
Having a baby was not in my plans and whether or not the decision to move forward with motherhood was for the right reasons, I guess is completely subjective. Even now, four years later, I can't say that I made the "right" decision or the "best" decision, but I do know this for sure: I love my daughter more than anything in the world and I never want to live a day on this earth without her in it.
So this week is a celebration of her fourth year of life! For her, it's a non-stop party week. Since she has two homes, she gets double the gifts and double the parties spread out over several days with the back and forth. (There are some good things about having separated/divorced parents.) She is having a blast and I hope I am creating some wonderful memories for her. For me, this week is a celebration of the gifts she has given me and the lessons she has taught me. A reflection on how far we've come and excitement for what our futures hold. Thank you, my little Aubrey, for showing me what it truly means to love and be loved. Happy birthday to you!