I’m hesitant to publish a post about pregnancy and motherhood; as I’m currently at the 21 week mark, my experience is so short compared to many. I’m quickly learning there are so many opinions about motherhood, pregnancy and the like, that I am slow to share my thoughts on such an issue in fear of judgment that I’m not doing things “the right way.”
There are the “all-natural” moms who use only organic everything and would gasp at the thought of using anything with a synthetic chemical in it. We’ve got the moms who are all about modern medicine, the latest drug, epidural, or speedy process of delivery as long as they don’t have to be pregnant for one more day. Plus all the mom’s in between. I’m sitting here thinking – all those things seem fine. Babies are born every day whether it be in a hut in the jungle, at home with a doula, or in the hospital with a fully trained staff.
I’m not saying babies are just your run-of-the-mill type of happening. They are indeed miracles. I am surely convinced of that. I have many friends who have had troubles getting pregnant, staying pregnant, and have had babies with health issues. The fact that a baby is born is absolutely an act of God, a blessing to trump blessings, and a precious person to be treasured.
It doesn’t matter what type of mom (or dad) you are. Whether you are at the left side of the spectrum or the right – there are lessons to be learned throughout parenthood and I thought I’d share some of lessons I’m currently learning.
- Sacrifice. My body is not my own. From the first day of nausea to the carpel tunnel symptoms that set in weeks ago, my body is not my own. I’m sharing this body with another human being. My stomach is stretching, other parts of me are growing, and I don’t feel like myself. But the lack of sleep or not feeling 100% seems completely worth this little heart beating inside of me.
- Self talk can and will change your day. Whether it be comparing my pregnancy to others or my changing body – I haven’t always given myself grace during the 21 weeks of carrying this baby. I’m afraid I’ve gained weight too fast, I’m reminded of insecurities that I thought I dealt with years ago, or I’m afraid I won’t be able to continue to do the work I love as a massage therapist because of my hands that continue to fall asleep. There have been times I have felt God saying, “Be gentle with yourself, Lauren. I’m creating another human in you. This is no light act.” Moments like this bring me to my next lesson.
- Surrender. There is so much out of my control with this baby. Sure, I choose what types of food to feed us, I can take “the best” prenatal vitamins out there, and avoid all the foods you aren’t supposed to eat like hotdogs and cold lunch meat – but so much is out of my hands. I have had moments of anxiety when I let my mind wander to the worst. If I haven’t felt a kick or flutter in a while, I have stopped what I was doing to talk to my belly to see if I can get some sort of reaction. I’m realizing once this child is here, I’ll need to learn the practice of surrender much more. This is only the beginning.
Through all these lessons, (and many more I didn’t delve into) I am continually brought back to Psalm 139. The entire Psalm is worth a read but I’ll highlight the verses that have been jumping out to me during this time.
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (verse 1-7)
“For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (verse 13-16)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (verse 23-24 NIV)
There is much more to learn. But this is my current state and current lessons of 21 weeks of motherhood. Any other mom’s out there with similar stories or different lessons?