While most of my friends were dreaming of wedding gowns, wedding colors and cake flavors. I was thumbing through the JC Penny catalog dreaming of nursery furniture, bedding and décor (this was pre pinterest).
I circled my favorite gliders, coordinating window valances, the perfect matching rugs and soft sets of bumpers (before they were illegal). I wasn’t actively searching out making my dreams a reality, but I knew at an early age that being a mama was something I was made to do. In fact, my biggest fear for the majority of my life was that I would somehow be infertile, that I wouldn’t be able to have babies of my own.
Wanting kids, loving kids, and enjoying being around kids was at the top of the list when it came to husband requirements. Not wanting to have children would of been considered a major deal breaker. My husband, of course, passed the test with flying colors and I was also certain he would produce beautiful children. Why else get married? Right! (Sarcasm)
Little did we know that a few short months into marriage the hopes of becoming parents could soon be turning into a reality. Err maybe.
After multiple blood tests, it was concluded that I had extremely low hormones and would need to do extensive hormone therapy just to get back to normal. Not to mention sustain a pregnancy. My heart was crushed when the Dr. told me “ Even if you wanted to get pregnant right now, there is a strong chance your body will NOT sustain a pregnancy to term”.
My greatest fear was becoming a reality. It was going to be difficult to have children of my own. Not impossible, but difficult.
At only 4 months of marriage, I immediately got off of birth control and started managing my hormones with therapy. I can’t say that we were actively trying to get pregnant at this time, but we weren’t going out of our way to prevent it.
Our perspective had completely changed.
The American “plan” had been thrown out the window. Suddenly it didn’t make sense to wait an x amount of time to be married before we had children, or xyz in a certain perfect order.
3 weeks after I stopped taking birth control. I was pregnant.
Ecstatic I was not.
Disbelief, fear of the unknown; fear of what others would think; fear that this would only be a loss ALL SET IN.
I was pretty sure that I peed on the stick wrong.
Maybe accidentally turning the first one upside down messed up the way the chemicals registered my pee?
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time I had taken a pregnancy test. The only other time I had, I desperately prayed it was negative. I didn’t really know how to respond.
Despite my disbelief, I only took 2 pregnancy tests, and they both read positive. (My economic, money-saving tendencies kicked in.)
Side note: The cheap dollar store tests are equally as effective as the $20 ones!
My fear of what others would think coupled with the fear of the unknown outcome led to the choice of keeping the pregnancy a secret for quite some time.
Question after question flooded my mind, while nausea overwhelmed my physical body.
It wasn’t until we heard a heartbeat that my fears were mildly relieved.
But despite my fears being relieved, Pregnancy was still HARD.
Plus we were still figuring out how to be married, how to work together (he was my ‘boss’ at the time), and how we were going to adjust if this was really going to happen.
Upon our first wedding anniversary, we had decided to quit our current jobs working for a ministry we knew and loved. At about 2.5 months away from having our first child and we were jobless, soon to be homeless, and about to leave everything we knew. Looking back I realize that somewhere in all of this my ‘baby’ perspective had changed. The pregnancy was no longer the central focus or worry. It was nice to not have the worry, but somewhere in there we lost the miracle and mystery of it all. The precious gift of a baby became more about the practical.
I took for granted my pregnancy. I took for granted the fact that I would soon GET to be a mama. I forgot that my biggest fear was about to be conquered.
This whole motherhood thing is hard. BUT It’s my dream job. It’s all I ever wanted to be. That doesn’t mean that I can’t have a vocation or be good at other things, it simply means that I am doing what I want.
Somewhere in the midst of unfinished projects, poop diapers, and no nap days I often forget about this gift. I take for granted the fact that two small people call me mama. I GET to live out all of the things I dreamed of doing as a young girl. I get to coerce little people to eat their vegetables, take baths and GO TO BED.
Some may not agree, and that’s ok. Just because it isn’t a dream for someone else, doesn’t mean it can’t be mine. Though there are difficult seasons motherhood is truly a gift, not to be taken for granted.
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