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Ever had the feeling that motherhood changed you? Here’s the dramatic story of when I first saw it in action.

Mama Aimee Cartier and newborn XylusWithin 24 hours of having my first baby I knew I was not the same person as I had been the day before.  I can’t totally explain it, except I knew it in every fiber of my being: there was no going back, I would never be that woman again.  Within the process of giving birth something had righteously changed in me, I was different now.  On a cellular level.

It didn’t feel like a bad thing.  It just felt like the truth.  If anything it felt like more of me was “turned on” now.  Like pieces of my being that had hitherto been dormant, had just woken up for the first time, probably as that baby was moving its way down the birth canal.  The first time I saw it in action outside of my internal knowing was totally dramatic.  At least in hindsight.

I was walking into a friend’s house with my son in my arms. As I walked in the door, a 120 lbs. pit-bull that I had never seen before literally lunged at the baby. Everyone in the room gasped.

Normally, I can be quite afraid of dogs (at least the scary ones). My husband is sort of a dog whisperer. So when we are out walking all kinds of dogs come up to us to chat with him. Any dog will approach him, even the kind that are normally not totally friendly. In many instances after the dog’s initial curiosity wears off I’ve felt the dog turn unpredictable, not sure if it really wanted to be cordial or not. On all of these occasions my husband is totally calm. I am terrified. Inside I start talking to myself, “Don’t act afraid. The dog will know. Don’t act afraid, that’s the worst thing you can do.” My body clenches up in fear, while I try to calm it with my mind, and act as normal as I can while slowly putting some distance between myself and the beast.

Walking into my friend’s house that day faced with a giant unknown pit-bull charging at my baby, my reaction surprised me. I was completely calm. Not a hackle on my body was raised. Instead of a cowering human, I felt like a keen-edged sword. My only thought was a completely and utterly calm, “That’s not going to happen.” Without an ounce of fear in my body I strengthened my grip on the floor, turned my body to the side and extended my arm and palm out toward the dog putting myself between it and my baby. I was totally non-pulsed. My heartbeat didn’t even elevate. I knew that dog was not going to get to my baby or me. Period.

Just as the dog was almost upon us the owner rushed across the room and grabbed his dog, yanking him back away from us.  But even then I knew that if he hadn’t rushed in, I would have, without question or thought, done whatever was necessary to get that beast away from us.  In my mind’s eye I can see myself kicking that huge head full throttle without a moment’s hesitation.  Needless to say this is an action I had never before considered doing!  And, if it had come to it, I probably wouldn’t have felt even the slightest bit of remorse!  It makes me giggle now to think of it.

Have you ever had an experience like that?  Something that happened to you after you became a mother that showed you, in no uncertain terms, that you were different now?  That perhaps you were now an even stronger better version of the person you had been prior?  Please share! I want to hear.



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