A few months ago I reached out to some of my mom friends and asked if any of them would care to guest post on this blog about my impending motherhood. Here’s the first guest post.
Cynthia is a lovely sweet mother from my church. She and I actually grew up together, but have reconnected within the last year. She wrote me this sweet letter as a guest post. I will confess, and maybe it’s just the pregnancy hormones (but I doubt it), I cried when I read this. She has a beautiful way with words. She’s such an encouragement, and I’m so excited to share this with you.
As I’m counting down these last few weeks (Officially: 3 1/2 left), I find myself a lot less afraid and a lot more ready for the crazy whirlwind that is coming next.
Mary Beth, my clock reads 4:08am and I should be tucked in bed fast asleep. But something changed about two years ago when I gave birth to my daughter: sleep is impossible when someone I love is in labor. And my sister just called, breathing shallow gasps between contractions. It is time.
My heart filled with prayer that won’t stop because I’ve been there. It is awesome. And terrifying. The most incredible experience I’ve ever had. And the hardest. Jesus can meet you in your weakness or it can be filled with terror. I didn’t get that before. Now as I storm the throne room with passionate prayer I realize I’m a part of something so much bigger than myself. I have been inserted in another woman’s story. Her life story. The stuff that matters.
As I pace the living room and ask God to fill her with peace and to bring this baby safely and quickly, I am fueled by memories and love. I’m part of a community I hadn’t realized existed. Because while anyone can pray and hope for great things for my sister, those who have been through it pray with a fervency and passion that is unique. We breath deeper as if breathing for her. As if by intense focus we can will her through this journey, lending her our strength. It’s why I cry every time a baby is born in a TV show or movie. Because even my tear ducts remember that incredible moment and I’m so full of joy for their moment of birth. Yes, even though it’s a fictional birth. That’s how powerful the bond of motherhood is.
So as I pause my pacing I’ve been thinking about you, Mary Beth, and this precious little boy you carry inside you. I smile when I see you because of the excitement and the little bit of apprehension on your face when you talk about motherhood. Everything is so new and exciting. And it is scary. A smile comes to my face because I’m confident that you are going to love this whole motherhood thing. Because on the other side of the birth experience I find there are still lots of new things, and plenty that scares me. What I wasn’t expecting was the joy that would flood and cover it all. Who knew my heart could hold it’s breath when my daughter smiles or laughs? Who knew I would sometimes cry in sheer gratefulness for her being here, walking around the living room trailing toilet paper she’s carefully pulling off the tube?
Before I wander off in endless stories about my child I wanted to mention a couple of the most important thoughts I can pass on. These are things I’ve thought about a lot, because you are probably overwhelmed with advice right now:
- Every woman has her own story. Her labor story, her birth story, her experiences with an infant, toddler, preschooler and on it goes. And while hearing all those stories might be helpful I highly recommend you tuck them into that place labeled “random storage” in your head and focus as much attention as possible on your own story. Because you won’t experience this pregnancy with this baby again and you never know what wonderful memories you will make by being fully present. Now ignore what I just said so I can share more of my experience!
- You are stronger than you know. Birth might be scary and full of unknowns but I have all confidence that when you reach that point you will be amazed to see your own inner strength emerging. Nothing can match the ferocious determination of a woman bringing her child into the world.
- Hormones are your friends. I’ll take a lot of flak for saying this, but really, the craziness of hormones the months after birth have the potential to be that constant reminder to take care of yourself in a way you probably wouldn’t with all the distractions of having a newborn. They can remind you that a nap really is more important than the laundry, that some quiet time with Jesus and a latte can solve a bucket of tears. If you are willing to listen, they will let you know when you should simplify life.
The future is full of good things for you, Mary Beth, and I feel so lucky to have a front row seat to see you experience it!