Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why 9/11 Made Me A Better Mom

Thanks to 9/11 I got to hang with this cuddle bunny for 8 mos vs 8 weeks. 

Simply put 9/11 made me a better mom.

As a motherless daughter since age 4, I'd longed for and dreaded motherhood all my life.

I wanted to be a mom but was not sure how good I'd be at it. In fact - I was horrified when I found out I was pregnant in early 2001. Being the ever organized planner - how in the WORLD was I having a baby before I'd planned? But at age 29 with a committed and delighted partner, my horror turned to excitement and we anxiously planned for and awaited Baby Barreto.

That spring with a new job at United Airlines in marketing, I was preparing for motherhood and how I'd work it into my life as a sports marketer. We'd planned for my husband to stay home the first year with Baby Barreto and I was going back to work after 6 weeks. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do and we were marching toward that.

Baby Barreto was due Sept 4 but arrived as Emma Camille on August 25 via C-section after a brief umbilical cord scare. Six weeks was now 8 weeks. Secretly, I was excited for the extra time with my pumpkin. How was I gonna leave her?

Tuesday Sept 11, 2001 at 9:00 am was the scheduled two week appointment for Emma with Dr. McNamara. We were excited to get her there as no medical people had seen her since the nurse visit the first week.  We, I wanted the assurance that we were doing everything "right".

As we got ready to take Emma to the Dr's office - less than 5 minutes from our house - we turned on the Today Show and there it was... a smoking building. Lots of talking.

Then I saw it.

I saw "our" plane fly into the North Tower of the WTC. Like everyone else, my world changed in that moment.

At the time, I was worried about losing my job and feeling guilty for thinking that as people in my company had lost their lives. It was only this year, at the 10th anniversary reflection time did I see what that event actually did for me.

It gave me something I would have never had with my first child had it not happened.

I got precious bonding time. Mommy time.

8 weeks was converted to 8 months in an instant.

For the mommy who was worried how she would "mommy" - it was the greatest gift. I even hesitated having the second child for fear that I'd not bond with him/her as much as I did with the first.

I did lose my job and it was stressful but when I look back my biggest memory from that time was all the time I got to spend with Emma. We even used our travel benefits to fly her around the country to introduce her to family and friends.

Today, I am confident that mommy skills are good. And to think, they all began in the ashes of the tragedy of 9/11/01.

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