I am heartbroken.

I am head over heels in love with my baby and I am thoroughly heartbroken.

Each time I call myself Mom when I speak to my daughter, my heart breaks for the “real” Mom, mine, the one who earned the title by right, and not by (giving) birth.

Every time I say Mommy to my daughter, the image of my own mother flashes in front of me. At least it her real image now, and not the dying one that I couldn’t get out of my head for so long.

And my my heart breaks because I can’t believe I have been a mother for 9 months, this whole time without her.

9 months that the word Mom switched meaning from her to me – but it really didn’t.

9 months that have already introduced crawling, teething, and even walking.

9 months of milestones that I can’t share with her, and can’t compare to my own milestones because I don’t know what they are.

9 months of questions that remain unanswered.

9 months of wondering if she would be proud of me – or if she’s slap me upside the head (so to speak) for something I was doing wrong.

9 months of falling deeper in love with the most amazing creature in the universe – the one who has the same exact smile and serious expression as my mom.

9 months of well-meaning friends and coworkers commenting, “Every time I think about you, I can’t believe that you are doing it without your mother.”

9 months of pretending that I appreciate the sentiment, but secretly feeling my heart fall apart.

9 months of so much love – and an equal amount of absence.

9 months of complete and utter bliss, coupled with relief, because I now know I really can do it without her.