By Davina Carboni
I haven’t even met you yet, but I feel like I know you. A tiny but fierce little girl with a bubbly personality, fighting her way into my belly, occupying my thoughts and changing me with each breath as the little life inside of me grows with each passing day. She grows.
My body expands and grows along with her. My heart pounds and pumps life through her and carries her DNA through my veins. Her energy travels through me, sometimes filling me and other times draining me. Such is our relationship and yet you are barely the size of your father’s hands. Protected in my womb from the outside world, I carry you throughout the day in my belly both exposed and powerful like a giant tree rooted into the earth yet bending to the wind flowing through her branches.
I waited for 22-weeks to finally feel your movements. You kick and adjust in your tight little quarters. Sometimes it tickles my sides and I laugh. You seem to enjoy fruit the most, especially blueberries and oranges.
This week I felt your hiccups and my belly twitched for 5-minutes. You like to play with your dad from inside as he pokes and prods you from the outside. He can get you going, bouncing, kicking, and playing for 10-minutes straight. You both enjoy your play time and are developing a bond through my skin that will last your whole lifetime. What a lucky family we are. We can’t wait to touch your skin and kiss your face. Until then, I will keep dreaming of you, Giana. Our precious little girl.
Motherhood happens and it is life altering, as many moms know all too well. But for me, it also brought me to a new place as a daughter. I had never missed my mom like I did when I became a mother. My mom Virginia existed for me as a voice over the phone for most of my life. She was more of an idea, an escape even, when life at home was hard. When I became pregnant, I cried at the thought of not getting to experience that phase of life with her, never getting to ask her if I kicked her in the ribs the same way Giana did. A mother daughter inside joke. You see what I did there?
But it’s in moments like these when I want most to stop time. When my baby is breastfeeding, when we are once again attached in a physical way and I am providing life and sustenance. I wish my mom was here to say to her, I never knew how much you loved me until now. Even if life’s circumstances and some poor decisions changed the course of our lives and our entire relationship, I know that she gave me life, and once dreamed and hoped for me the way that only mothers do when a piece of their soul is outside of their bodies: exposed to the world and everything in it.
If she were here, I would say thanks mom, for giving me life, and for giving me my name. I’m a mom now, and so I know you’re always with me, just as I was born to always be with you.
I’m Davina Carboni, a professional civil engineer with 15 years of experience in water/wastewater infrastructure. I work for a private consulting firm, Murraysmith. I’m based out of northern California.
I enjoy writing as a creative outlet, it’s something to balance out my technical side. I thought about becoming a writer, but one of my high school teachers laughed at me and said no, you NEED to go into engineering. Thankful for her advice, but here I am anyway.