Ever since I was a little girl, I had always dreamed of becoming a mom. While some girls my age were role-playing as teachers, nurses, and beauty queens, I was pretending to “take care” of my toys– “feeding” them, clothing them, sending them to “school,” etc.
As I grew older, I found myself in a generation where feminism largely meant competing head to head with men, especially in the corporate world. It became almost an insult to womankind to be asked to “stay home and raise the kids.” I “played along” with my generation, honing for myself a mean set of corporate skills but all the while my dream of becoming a good wife and mother did not change.
I grew up in a broken home and was raised by my mom alone till I was about 10 years old when she remarried; but by then my formative years had already passed and the absence of a father had made its impact on my identity. So I swore to myself I would not make the same mistake and would make sure my children would never lack love or feel rejected.
Imagine my grief and disappointment when I shattered my own dream and followed the mistaken footsteps I had sworn against all my life. But I couldn’t wallow too long and made a command decision that even if I cannot change the initial circumstances of my baby’s conception, I can take every possible measure to spare her from ever feeling she was an accident; unloved and rejected.
So from the moment I knew she was growing inside me, I made it a point to chronicle and celebrate every milestone of her life– even before she was born. I kept the print of her very first sonogram where she was no bigger than a gummy bear and proudly paraded it to my closest friends. I invested a little extra money in my second trimester sonogram and had it done in 4-D and collected the prints as well– taking the liberty to scan them and upload them on Facebook as my cover photo, with the teaser caption: “Keilah Reyna, Coming to a Hospital Near You.” I wanted the whole world to be in anticipation and be just as excited about her coming.
No expense was spared on my Baby Shower, which I even renamed as “Keilah’s Pre-Arrival Party,” to take any focus away from myself and make sure that the celebration was all about my daughter. Me and my best friends pulled out all the stops; everything was excellent and everything was documented– there was a professional photographer on-site who took photos and videos, not to mention all the photos and memories captured by all my friends on their mobile devices.
A few weeks before my due date I had accepted the offer of a budding birth film videographer to cover Keilah’s birth story on video. It was such an unexpected surprise that complimented my plan of capturing my first moments with my daughter as I read out the meaning and blessing of her name. First impressions last and I wanted to make sure that the first words my daughter would hear would be words of blessing and she will have this video to watch someday and see our very first memory together.
On July 19, 2013 at 7:15PM, Keilah Alvarez-Reyna was born. A few minutes after she exited the delivery room, the news of her birth was celebrated across all my friends and family’s Instagrams, Twitters, and Facebook walls. Her birth was just as anticipated and well-received as any child with two parents present.
Even now as she is 6 months old and continues to grow more beautiful each day, I never miss in chronicling her journey till she is old enough to do so herself. As I wrote on the “Thank You” card I gave to her guests:
“Someday Keilah will write her story, and you are the people who, like lines on a treasure map, will guide her in finding the amazing treasure– that is herself. Thank you for celebrating her life with me!”
2013 memories, memfymoment, Mother-Daughter Moment, parenting memories,