Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Glamour of Motherhood

Less than a week ago God blessed me with my fifth child. She is absolutely beautiful and perfectly healthy. After months and months of my worrying and fretting, our baby is finally here, safe and sound, and I am extremely grateful. The last week has been so eventful and so incredibly overwhelming. I can hardly grasp the enormity of the changes I have experienced in this short amount of time. A week ago I sat here with my big round belly, feeling baby kick inside, and wondering what she would look like. Now, my belly is a little less round, a lot less cute, and no one is wiggling or squirming inside it. A week ago I was nervously anticipating baby's birth and wondering how the labor and delivery would go. Now, my body is recovering from the experience and the baby is sleeping soundly in her little bouncy set next to me.
Yesterday, as I attempted to process all I have been through, I shared with Tim how the physical changes alone are enough to overwhelm me. As I spoke of my astonishment, I sat on the couch with ice packs strategically placed to ease some of my discomfort, feeling sore in places I would rather not mention and on the verge of tears for the hundredth time in just days. I reflected on the changes and lack of dignity Tim had witnessed as he watched our child be born and the aftermath of it. Tim was there for the needle sticks as I got my i.v., had blood taken, and received my greatly desired epidural. He got to observe my water being broken, the doctor's exams as they checked baby's progress, and, of course, the actual birth itself as our family grew to 7. Ironically the whole event, which was so natural, felt anything but at times. Tim has watched me, over the past six days, burst into tears, hobble around like an old lady, and complain of tenderness and exhaustion. "I bet you are glad you're a guy, huh?" I asked him. He, very quickly and very readily, agreed! For a second, I was jealous that he could welcome our daughter without all the pain, discomfort, and lack of dignity I had had to endure.
It was truly only a second though, before I realized how lucky I am to be able to experience the gift of motherhood. I am, surprisingly, grateful for the physical changes, because they are a part of the whole experience. I would not change the events of the last week one bit, even if given the opportunity to bring forth life without the pain or emotional upheaval. I am a mother and I am amazed that God has seen me through all that it takes to become a mother. I prayed for weeks and weeks before baby came, that her birth would be a beautiful event, free of complications, and that God would be present for the moment of her arrival. I pictured a quick labor and nearly effortless delivery. Though it did not go according to my plan, and included as much frustration and pain as joy and happiness, I really would not change it. It was a beautiful event and it resulted in the greatest gift ever- a healthy, happy baby to love.
Motherhood is humbling from the moment it begins but I am learning to see and appreciate that humility brings us closer to God. Humility has helped to strengthen my marriage and though it seemed somewhat undignified to give birth in front of the audience of my husband I would not have wanted him to miss the birth of our child. Funny how the most physically unflattering thing I have ever done is at the same time absolutely the most beautiful thing I have ever done. I truly can see that God did allow me to assist Him in the miracle of our daughter and when I look at it that way, there is nothing so exalting in the world.

1 comment:

  1. I bet your husband never even thought that you were undignified. I bet he was amazed and grateful to be there. My husband only saw one of our children's births. The oldest two he was not allowed in. (They were born in the dark ages before doctors realized that husbands were part of the equation.) The baby came early. I drove myself to the hospital, after picking up all the kids at their various schools. My husband was unreachable (this was the gray ages before cell phones). I simply could not reach my husband until it was too late for him to be there. Forget about dignity. Think about togetherness!

    Congratulations on your fifth package of noise and chaos!



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