This one has been brewing in the pot for a while. And no, I’m not talking about our baby.
Three months ago, when Mike and I first found out we were pregnant, my first instinct was to write. I felt I had so much to say — already! But I couldn’t find the right medium. Letter to the baby? A private journal in a Word doc? A private, separate blog that was just for me? None seemed right. But to post on my public blog — for all the world to see? This is too sacred a journey for that…
Well, I’m counting on the fact that I don’t actually have that many followers. =) (No offense to you few who subscribe!) The fact of the matter is, I write better when I think someone might be reading it. And when I write better, I process the topic better for myself.
So what is it I have to say about becoming a mother?
The real question is what is it I have to say that hasn’t already been said before? While that question applies quite broadly across most of the blogging world, it looms rather overwhelmingly in front of me when I think about writing about motherhood — mostly because most women, in the past and present, have already gone before me. There is nothing original in a woman becoming a mother. It is, rather, the essence of her femininity. How can I, barely three months into my pregnancy, have anything remotely note-worthy to add to the conversation?
Ah, but here is the first lesson for me: its not about adding to the conversation, its about exposing what is already there. It is the sharing of experience that is innately female – to talk and relate with one another — about everything!
And so, I find, that I too must share – I must write – as a I embark on this well-worn path.
And what a path it is, I am discovering.
My pregnancy has been rough. A lot of ups and downs — physically and emotionally. I could say “no surprise there” — morning sickness and mood swings are the classic pregnancy symptoms. Yet, I was surprised. Surprised by how much my life is taken over by this little life growing inside of me — how my days revolve around food and managing to keep enough down to actually function as a normal human being. Surprised by how everyday activities like showering and washing dishes are constantly interrupted by the constant physical needs I must attend to (somehow I’m quite certain that is not going to change in the future!) Surprised that just when I thought I had adjusted to my physical symptoms, something new surfaced. Surprised to discover that the nine months I thought our marriage had to “say goodbye to just us two” ended the moment we found out our Little One was coming and life as I knew changed forever with so many more changes around the next bend.
Change, I am discovering, is going to be a constant in motherhood. Change as my body grows this little life inside me, and change when Little One is born and grows and develops.
If I have learned anything thus far in these first few steps down the road called Motherhood, it is that motherhood is all about learning. At this stage in my life, I thought I had arrived, I thought “I know enough now” — yet I’m realizing I have no idea what I’m in for, and I have no choice but to pick up and get going. (I’m indebted to some transparent friends on Facebook who have shown me just how much this will be an ongoing part of motherhood).
I’m so thankful for the example of so many other mothers in my life, and I realize now I have no idea what they’ve gone through, and how strong they really are. My first trimester of pregnancy has taught me, if nothing else, that sacrifice will be my constant companion on this path. You sacrifice your comforts, your preferences, your body, your sleep, your time, your energy…oh how thankful I am that the One Who Sacrificed the Most has gone before me and will go with me and somehow – just like those final days of a college semester when you wonder how you’ll ever get it all done – somehow you figure it out, somehow God’s silent grace sustains you and you make it to the other end with a smile.
I am continually amazed at God’s wisdom and grace that He designed something as incredible as the birth of another human being to be so utterly desirable and wonderful while simultaneously being so painful in the process. So as the waves of nausea come, I think of that moment to come — so near — when I will look our baby in the eyes for the first time and know that the pain means so little in comparison. I cannot help but think of this as a lesser form of this wonderful promise of God:
“For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 (ESV)
May the Lord remind you, in whatever afflictions you are suffering, of the weight of glory that He has promised will overwhelmingly overshadow our pain in this world.
-CJB i.e. Mama