Seven weeks ago, I became a mother. I guess I am ready to share my experience and revelation thus far in becoming a mother.
People have always told me I was made to be a mother. As a little girl I always played house and was always the mom. I had countless baby dolls, took care of other kids, and even had this toy that you wore on your stomach (like a backwards backpack) that looked like a pregnant belly that made a kicking motion when the belly button area was pressed. Yes, the dream I can remember having the longest is wanting to be a mom some day.
It took some time to achieve this dream so I had come up with all these ideals about pregnancy, birth and motherhood.
Ideal #1: Pregnancy was not something that excused you for acting out. Hormones were never an excuse and could be controlled and my mom was never that sick so I wouldn’t be either. How bad could it be? Well I was sick for half the pregnancy throwing up constantly. For the first time in my life I could honestly say dishes made me sick and not in a figurative way. I never acted like a raging you know what so I will give myself some credit but my poor husband (I think I’ve introduced him, Kenny) could hurt my feelings by walking in the room or having a difference of opinion even if it wasn’t an argument. I had to leave work in my first trimester and had all kinds of mobility issues in my last trimester none of which I expected. Again, I will give myself credit, despite the ever increasing pressure in my pelvis we walked as much as I could handle. The night before I went into labor I even decided to revamp my curtains which meant crawling around on my hands and knees pinning fabric, saying some choice words to my sewing machine and finally having something worthy of hanging over my windows.
Ideal #2: Anyone can have a natural birth. Pain meds are not necessary. Cesarean sections are rarely truly needed and I would certainly not need any of those things. I planned on having a natural, medication free birth in a local birth center, with a midwife. I was going to have a water birth. My husband was going to deliver my baby. Even though first time moms usually labor some time, I would not. I didn’t even need to tour the hospital or interview any OBs because I knew for a fact, I would not like the facility or the doctors so why waste the time and spend the money? I think of all these ignorant thoughts and just laugh at myself.
I was in early labor for 2 days before going to the birth center during which I got a total of about 4 hours of sleep because it wasn’t enough to have a baby but was enough to keep me wide awake. I finally went to the birth center late on a Friday night. At that point things progressed pretty quickly (7 hours from active labor starting to pushing). I knew I was going to be able to do this! It was going as I planned! Two hours later they saw the first glimpse of my baby! Two more hours and I realized I wasn’t making any progress and started yelling at everyone,”Nothing is happening!” and crying to Kenny that the midwives were lying to me. One and a half more hours and my midwife informed me I wasn’t making enough progress, my contractions were slowing and I would need to go to the hospital if no progress was made in the next 30 minutes. Inside my heart is sinking. Not the hospital. I never wanted that. That was not part of the plan. However, I hadn’t slept in over two days, I had barely been able to eat or drink and was exhausted. Did you get that? Six hours of pushing and I was finally exhausted enough to not care about the hospital. I said okay and my only reservation was I would NOT be putting clothes on so they wrapped me barefoot in a gown and loaded me into the car. There I needed a c-section as a result of a large, improperly positioned baby and come to find out this girl who was always destined for motherhood has a pelvis that is too narrow on the inside for 9lb babies! If I had been born in another time both I and my baby would not have made it. Did I mention I loved the hospital staff, my doctor, nurses, and the whole experience could not have been better? I didn’t know a place could be that amazing and if I was staying in this area would ABSOLUTELY have my next baby there. The hospital that I thought would be a nightmare turned out to be my dream come true not just for an unplanned situation but my dream come true period.
Ideal #3: After all I learned leading up to it, I no longer will give in to my preconceived ideas about what motherhood should be. I will simply learn as much as I can, read what I can, experiment and learn from the mothers around me of all ages.
I tend to over share before getting to my point and that is just part of who I am but I always have a point. Well, I usually have a point and today I just happen to have one!
While sitting here watching my little girl learn to play I went over everything that happened so she could be here. I had a moment in the hospital on the third day we were there that has had me thinking ever since then about God’s love and plan for us. We were trying to feed her (she had trouble eating at first) and she choked in her zeal. Kenny and I both got upset, mostly me. I looked at her as she calmed down in my arms and began to think back. It was a long and difficult labor, scared my mom and Kenny as all they could do was watch, and a lot of pain and time for recovery goes into a birth through c-section. I thought it all over and realized I would do it all again, the exact same way just to have her. In that moment, even though I didn’t fully understand it and may never fully understand, even though she doesn’t know she loves me yet, I knew I am in love and forever will be. No matter what happens, even if she never discovers her love for me, I will love her.
Many women have told me I don’t know how you pushed for six hours especially without pain medication. My response was simply, “What else could I do?” I couldn’t stop. I had to keep trying, keep pushing because there was a child that needed to be born. There was a child that was intended to be loved by me and her dad. There was a child destined for a relationship with us and I couldn’t just stop trying to have her. Stopping was absolutely impossible, nothing in me physically or emotionally could have stopped pushing for her no matter how long it took, even if it killed me I would keep going. I was created to have this baby no matter what it took.
It didn’t matter that I was not physically capable. I was still made for this. I was still born to be a mother. If I wasn’t I would have been born in a time that c-sections were not an option. Just because it seems like you are made to do something that seems an impossibility doesn’t mean you don’t try. You keep pushing forward to be who you were created to be. God always gives us a way to step into who we are meant to be. He always has some way the words over our lives will come to be. Don’t miss out on a promise being fulfilled by believing it has to look the way you always thought it should look. You may have thought you weren’t going to have morning sickness, crazy hormones, or a caesarean hospital birth so to speak but that doesn’t mean God isn’t in it or it isn’t what you were meant for. There is no should in the Kingdom there is just the way God does it. We have to be open to seeing how He is working as it can be such a beautiful work.
I find my experience to be the perfect description of God’s love for us as his children. No matter how painful it is, how long it takes, whether or not we ever realize our love for Him, He will continue to love us. He will never stop trying to meet his children. He will push and push however long it takes until each and every one is born. It is not in his nature to stop trying for a relationship with us. We were destined for relationship he can’t just give up because we aren’t coming. I said even if it killed me I would have kept going because that is all I knew how to do in that moment. I was told an interesting story by a man who was a nurse at the hospital. He told me that before c-sections women would get to the point I reached and a decision would have to be made. They could either choose to lose both mother and child or save the child, forcing them to leave the mother to die. Well I believe that is exactly what happened when Jesus died. He was willing to die so we could be born and have relationship with our Father! He lives for the moments He gets to meet his children for the first time.
He treasures this moment with every one of us. It is one he will always remember even as we grow into the person he always dreamed we would be.