Pregnancy can be so hard. Even if there are no complications. And that last month is such a struggle. Add any sort of worry or potential problem, and a mother’s heart is anxious. Exhaustion, lack of sleep, physical and emotional discomfort, all make the last few weeks so hard. Then labor starts. And, oh, the pain! And it seems endless.
But there’s the moment that makes it all worth it. Every single pain and discomfort, every overly-emotional day, all the worry and stress–totally worth it. And I live for that moment each time.
And now I am days shy of it. Anytime now. The contracting and the timing, the wondering if it’s time to go. The sheer, excruciating pain as the body works so hard.
It all gets forgotten in one indescribable moment.
I remember when the first time I experienced it. I truly believed then that the preceding days of labor would never end. I knew no different. This was my first time. And then she arrived.
And they held her up.
It’s a girl!
And they laid her on my chest.
That memory–that single moment–emblazoned in my mind and heart forever.
Then, again. Two years later. The work and the endless hours of pain. And finally, again:
It’s a girl! Praise the Lord!
And they laid her on my chest.
Motherhood is so hard. I never know if I am winning or losing. Always unsure if I am making headway in raising virtuous daughters, making progress in getting them to heaven. I am always fighting that voice that says I’m not doing it well enough, that I am not a good enough mother. Try harder, I say. Help me be better, Lord, I pray. And I toil more. I love and cherish and, sometimes, I apologize.
And for some reason that, for the life of me, I cannot understand, He has blessed me with another tiny life. One that still squirms and wiggles within me. It might be tiny, they say. It’s not growing very quickly, they state. And I pray. So far, nothing is overtly wrong with Baby. But, my heart worries. Has worried for weeks. Mostly in silence.
But all the worry and wondering, all the what-if’s and questions, they will end soon. Very soon. It will be time and we will go. And then it will happen. That precious moment that I cherish beyond words.
The Entrance. The crying.
It’s a —.
A child! A precious soul! One with which God has entrusted to me. What responsibility! What an honor! I do not deserve this wonderful gift. But, He trusts me. For some reason, He knows this child needs me. And that I need this child.
As I stand on the eve of this child’s birth, I wonder. Boy? Girl? Doesn’t matter. His or her soul is infinitely valuable and his or her tiny life is such a blessing. Today, I cannot imagine life with three children, because all I know is life with two. Tomorrow, I will look back and see an emptiness in the memories. That was before the birth. Before their place was made.
Dear Lord, bless me with patience, give me humility with my children. Let me be their constant, loving guide to Heaven. Let me fill them with love and affirmation. Remind me always what a precious and fragile gift they are, whether at nine months pregnant or nineteen years old, and beyond. Help me to take their vulnerable hearts and minds and always give them great faith. Faith in their family, their father, their mother. And in You.
And thank you. Thank you for this precious child within me.
And for that moment, waiting for me in the next few weeks.
It’s a Life!