On January 17th at 11:06am, after 14 hours of intense natural labor, our miracle child came into the world. Brown hair and blue eyes, all 10 fingers and toes, no signs of illness or chromosomal anomalies to be found. I think it no mistake that she surprised us and came four weeks early, therefore coming on Sanctity of Life weekend. After encouragement to terminate the pregnancy when chromosomal testing revealed she was ill, that was the perfect ending to an absolutely insane pregnancy. She was 6 pounds of perfection and we were so relieved to finally have her here. I remember thinking to myself while rocking her in the middle of that first night - Finally! No more worry or fear (and now all mothers reading this are laughing at me). I was wrong.
I am now two months deep into motherhood. I survived the crazy hormone fluctuations the first few weeks postpartum, the initial sleepless nights, the tears of exhaustion, the struggle of figuring out breastfeeding and what every cry means. I have gone to church with spit up on my shirt, had to open a package of wipes at the store because I forgot to pack some in the diaper bag and we had a "blowout" diaper (I of course later bought them!). I've had many days where I lay Eve down for her nap around 10 and realize I still am in pajamas, with my glasses on and haven't brushed my teeth. I have gone entire days of forgetting to brush my teeth or hair completely. I am officially a mother.
I had some idea of what new motherhood was like. I am after all a pediatric nurse and it took us awhile to have a baby so I got to observe most of our friends have babies first. What I had no idea was coming was all the worry and fear involved with motherhood. Maybe some of this is a little PTSD from our traumatic pregnancy story, but I think most of it is just being a mother. I am constantly questioning. Is she eating enough, gaining enough weight? Are we making sure she gets the right amount of sleep? Is she meeting all her milestones? Worry. Is it ok to leave her with Grant? Is it ok to leave her with a babysitter? Worry. Will something go wrong? Does she have something wrong with her? Is she still breathing? Worry. It can consume me. I have gone from worrying that my baby may not live, to worrying about every step of her life.
I think the Lord was teaching me how to relinquish control with our pregnancy stories, but I didn't expect Him to want me to relinquish control once I had a child too. And there is so much I simply can't control. I can't be with her every second and even if I could, I can't control circumstances. It is a daily battle.
I am learning how to be a mother. I thought that meant learning how to get your baby to sleep at night and to roll over, how to calm her when she cries. And some of that is true. But I think it also means learning how to trust that God is soveirgn. How to relinquish my pathetic attempts at control and let Him be in charge. How to have a perfect love for my child, which means casting out fear and trusting in the Lord. And let me tell you it's a true learning process. A daily one.
I am so blessed to have our little miracle in our lives. She is already a joy. I just pray daily that I can relish in the joys and push away the fears. Thus is motherhood....and its just beginning.