I always wanted to be a mom. That is, until the day I didn’t. I’m not sure what happened, really. I just remember it was a Saturday morning, I woke up next to my new husband, and I thought I wasn’t too sure about this “having kids” thing. Hesitantly, I voiced my concern. To my surprise, his response was, “I was just thinking the same thing.”
There we were, newlyweds who married with the idea of starting a family soon, changing our minds simultaneously on the same sunny, Saturday morning. I told my parents they shouldn’t expect grandkids from us. I rolled my eyes every time a heckler asked when we were having kids. I found myself infuriated by the ever-growing pressure from relatives, and even friends, to begin a family. We were young, we were happy, and we were fine. Why couldn’t anyone understand that? Eventually, six years later, we got to a point where we weren’t so young. We were still fine, but I knew my timeline for producing the tiny pitter-patter of feet was running shorter. We talked about, maybe, having kids.
When I didn’t end up pregnant after the first month of trying, I thought for sure something must be wrong. After all, we’d gone six years without ending up pregnant, now we were actually trying to get that way, and nothing was happening. Month number two, I thought it happened. I was seven days late for my period and four negative pregnancy tests didn’t convince me I wasn’t pregnant. When my period came, I was ultimately frustrated. Devastated, even. The third month I was waiting for my period, expecting it any second, and on a random whim took a pregnancy test. It was positive.
I became a mother that very moment.
I can’t explain what happened or how, I just know that very moment, I was a mother. I’ve been a mother ever since.
That first pregnancy went swimmingly up until the third trimester. With ankles the shape and size of Colosseum pillars, and blood pressure that went all directions but down, it was discovered I had severe HELLP syndrome. Our Little Miss entered the world via emergency cesarean at 32 weeks. She spent 30 days in the NICU and came home after gaining not quite two pounds, weighing a hefty four pounds, eight ounces. It was the most traumatic experience we had ever been through at that point in our lives. Bringing her home was a blessing, a joy, and an absolute abundance of God’s grace and might. Little Miss will be four in a couple of months, and the joys of parenting her far outweigh any joy we could have imagined. She is a princess in every sense of the word.
When we decided to grow our family again, she couldn’t have been more thrilled to discover she would have a baby sister. It was a toss up to see who was more excited, her or us. After a normal pregnancy (no HELLP this time), I went in to labor at 37 weeks. When we got to the hospital, we learned our daughter’s heart had stopped beating. We would never bring her home. I delivered her straight into the arms of Jesus. The heartache and despair we felt – we feel – after losing her are far heavier than any words are capable of describing. We felt an abundance of God’s grace and might in a completely different way, and heaven knows we couldn’t survive this without Him.
Now, we’re expecting baby number three. A boy this time. No matter the fears, no matter the angst this pregnancy brings with it, we’re prayerfully hopeful for no traumatic experiences, and bringing him home to be a joyful thorn in his big sister’s side.
I’ve been a mother since that day in August, 2009. I’ve been through parenting joys. I’ve been through parenting nightmares. I’ve been to the depths of parenting despair, and I’ve climbed the peaks of parenting bliss. If there is one thing I have learned about being a mother, it’s this: there is no love one can have for another like that of a mother for her children. Not just the children she holds in her arms, but for every child she tucks away in her heart.
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