I remember with my first pregnancy one of my major pet peeves was that many women felt it necessary to “warn” me about all of the horrible changes that were going to take place over the course of my pregnancy and journey through motherhood. It was like as soon as they found out I was pregnant with my first they had to tell me about the morning sickness, heartburn, swollen feet, back pain, and all the other physical ailments they had experienced. As my third trimester came, the stories changed from pregnancy woes to horror stories of grueling/lengthy/painful childbirths, and sleepless nights with babies who would cry non-stop. “Don’t be afraid to get an epidural!” “Go all natural, you don’t need meds!” “Get your sleep now because you’ll never get to sleep again!” “Enjoy your freedom while you have it!”
I found this line of commentary to be particularly annoying because 1) the majority of the things they’d described were in my case complete exaggerations of the reality, and 2) no one ever warned me about how much my life was going to change for the better!
My first pregnancy I was plagued with severe morning sickness. Like couldn’t keep anything down and didn’t want to even try. By third trimester I was limited to flip flops because of the swelling in my feet. My childbirth experience was literally near death for me, as I spiked a 104 fever and came down with an infection that spread to my bloodstream. I was induced, had a whirlwind, unmedicated birth, and was whisked away to the OR due to hemorrhage.
And in the midst of all of this chaos, my daughter, thanks be to God, was completely fine – no infection, healthy weight, and eating like a champ. All of this while I was confined to my hospital bed for three days, unable to walk and getting blood tests done hourly to monitor the infection. Now, I had no idea the gravity of my condition or experience until everything was said and done. The nurses and doctors that were steadily streaming through my recovery room made comments like, “Oh, you’re the patient everyone’s talking about! You’ve had quite the experience!”
And yes, it was indeed quite the experience. No one could have warned me or prepared me for it. And I think it’s safe to say that I have a birth story that could be considered scary or horrific. Yet at the end of the day, the only thing that I truly felt and feel like sharing about pregnancy and motherhood is that it is such a beautiful thing! Sure pregnancy and those early newborn days are physically and emotionally demanding, and sure there are a lot of difficulties and things to learn.
But in spite of all of that, I am somebody’s mother. This tiny human being depends completely on me (and my husband of course, who is the real MVP in the middle of all of this and deserves his own separate post, lol) – she literally needs me. At days old she cried every two hours because she needed me to feed her or just wanted me to hold her. And now at almost 18 months she sometimes still wakes up in the middle of the night to crawl into our bed because she just wants to be near us. She asks for help putting on her shoes, food when she is hungry or ice cream when she just wants a treat, reaches up to hold my hand to help her walk up the stairs, and sometimes cries when I take away the iPad before she goes to bed. She is her own person, with so much spunk and personality – and she is my daughter who needs me and loves me. And my husband and I love her so deeply! Honestly it blows my mind to think that God describes himself as a father to us – because I know how much I love my daughter… And boy oh boy that just means that God’s love for man is wayyyyyyyy beyond any comprehension!
With baby #2 shortly on the way, my husband asks me often if I’m nervous. After all, he witnessed and experienced first hand how difficult the first time was. To be honest, though, when I recall that first experience, as scary as it was, all I can think about is how awesome it is to be my daughter’s mom. So I’m not really nervous – perhaps excited would be the more appropriate word. I can’t wait to meet our little man and to love him like we love Kiara!