It’s just over 5 weeks until my baby arrives (well to the dr’s due date…the baby will decide when he or she comes).
I’ve been blessed to have a mostly easy pregnancy. As my nurse says they love boring pregnancies like mine. People tell me I’m glowing, and that I look great. And that’s lovely and encouraging…until you post anything or say anything anywhere about how excited you are..and then you get all the parental nightmare comments. “Enjoy it now because soon you won’t” – every pregnant woman right now has to endure these statements.
Well let me explain that no matter how hard parenting gets, no matter how exhausted I’ll be I will still be grateful to God for granting me this desperate cry of my heart.
My husband and I didn’t meet until last year. We were married this year, and fell pregnant immediately.
I spent years wishing and waiting to find a husband, this husband. I spent years wishing and waiting to have a baby, this baby. I spent time wondering why, why I was alone, why I didn’t have the family I longed for. I spent time crying in my heart for this very thing I have right now.
As 30 approached, and then 31 and 32, and then 33 happened I couldn’t understand that if I had this longing in my heart for a family, for a husband, for a baby that why it wasn’t happening. Did I have unresolved sin that I hadn’t taken to God? As 33 was approaching I thought maybe it just wasn’t part of my life plan, that maybe my nephews and niece were to be my focus, because I really do love them like my own. Being an aunty has filled me with so much joy…walking to the door of my sisters home and hearing them jump with joy to see me, excitement for adventures with me…it was and is fulfilling in its own right.
And then right around 33 happening, this man came along. I resisted getting to know him until God swiftly pointed out that I didn’t even know him…and so I got to know him. And it didn’t take us both long to figure out this person, this person is and was THE person.
In the months of our engagement we talked about children, we decided how many children we’d like, but mostly we prayed about it and gave it to God. Both certain that God, as the creator of life, is in control of when (or even if) a baby would be given to us.
A few quick weeks into marriage and we believed I was pregnant but we would have to wait two weeks before we could do a pregnancy test. We were excited. Every day we read things online that gave the “top 10 signs you’re pregnant” and correlated the changes in my body to what these lists said. Every day we prayed “God if we aren’t pregnant then let us continue to be faithful to you, but if we are please keep us safe and strong and let this baby grow stronger each day.” My husband prayed when we drove, or when we woke in the morning, or when we went to bed at night.
When we did the test and could confirm what we knew for sure by that point my husband prayed again. Thanking God for this blessing, for knowing our hearts, and asked for His protection. We had peace and joy and blessing and love.
And I know people mean to be well-meaning…they want to give you advice, we are after all new parents who really probably don’t have a 100% clue of what we are doing, but on those days when I’m overwhelmed and exhausted, when I haven’t slept and I’m sick, and my husband is exhausted but he still needs to go to work because we have bills to pay, and I can’t remember my own name, let alone figure out just what my babies cry means, it won’t be the “reality check” statements that will get me through, it will be the people who told us “hey parenting is difficult and exhausting but the dark moments will pass and when your baby smiles at you, or snuggles just a little closer to you, that you will forget all the troubles” those are the statements that will help us through.
I didn’t spend tears wishing for all this, or reading friends “I’m so tired and exhausted” posts on facebook being slightly sad that I wasn’t experiencing that to now decide that the reality of motherhood is too much.
Every uncomfortable belly kick is a reminder that new life is growing inside me, a relief that my baby is living.
I’ve spent years longing for all of this, so I’m not going to give myself a mind-set that it will be too much. And if people are saying the negatives as a way of justifying how crappy they felt in the beginning, well you cannot rain on my parade.
I am choosing to relish this. I will pray each day for God’s strength to be a better mother this new day than I was the day before.
Every pregnant woman has to endure negative comments from other women, and I just don’t understand why. Why can’t you, before saying something negative, think instead of how to lift up and support this woman? Why do you want to see the joy momentarily leave her eyes while she questions if she is doing right or wrong?
You don’t need to say “you look huge” or “are you sure there’s only one in there?” or “enjoy your alone time now because you’ll never have the chance to relax again” or “well you’re excited now but wait until you haven’t slept for days” or “make sure you keep your husband happy so he won’t leave you or resent the baby” or all the other negative things you think it’s your duty to inform us weaker, inexperienced newbie moms.
If you are a mother, you have a wonderful life experience to draw upon to build up others. I’m sure when you were me, you were grateful on the hard days to hear what you were doing right…and probably needed to hear that most of all on the hardest days.
So politely and kindly I’m saying please keep that nothing nice to say to yourself. I’m filing the negative under “I can’t hear you” and instead I’m choosing “Always be joyful” and once I’ve got the experience down I’m going to choose that for other moms too. I will keep in my mind how it feels to hear the worst and instead I’ll choose to share the best. Not because I’m fake pretending everything is awesome, but because if motherhood was so terrible no one would ever have more than one, and we’d have gone extinct long ago. And I can’t imagine a world without beautiful babies and loved children. After all love saved us, and it will save a new mom on her hardest days.