My baby will soon be five months old. Five months. I can't believe how quickly it went and yet how, at times, it was as though time stood still. Motherhood has turned out to be so much more than I could have ever imagined. Which makes sense...now. In a way that's what everyone said would happen. "It's amazing". "Best thing that ever happened to me". "I love being a mom". I have always heard that. And honestly at times I heard it way too much. Sometimes I just wanted to say enough already (especially in my "want it so bad but it's not happening" years). Moms everywhere sang its' praises. "You are going to love being a mom". " If I had a nickel for every time I was told that during my pregnancy. Well, I would probably have, like, a dollar. But still, we all hear it. Motherhood is touted as the pinnacle of being a woman. And yes, it absolutely is amazing. No doubt. Thrilled to be part of the club. I do adore it.
But guess what? There have been moments that were so challenging, scary, and overwhelmingly difficult it about took my breath away. And sometimes did. And the number of times I would ask myself "why didn't anyone tell me about this?", well at a nickel a pop I would be rich.
Seriously. Women everywhere offered advice. Co-workers, family members, countless friends, acquaintances, strangers...it seemed everywhere I turned someone had advice to give. But in all of that no one bothered to tell me about this?
No one told me about that moment when I would have to climb the stairs, breathe through incredibly intense pain from my c-section wound and horrible edema all to change my screaming baby's diaper for the 10th time in, like, an hour.
No one told about the moment when, after just getting her to calm down and sleep, my husband who had been in the field planting for the last 10 hours would come into the house unaware about how loud he was being and wake her and I would have to start all over. Exhausted, in pain, and truly fearful I would never sleep again.
No one told me that there would be times I would be feeding her at some insane hour deprived of sleep, not having seen another soul for what felt like days, hungry with no food in the house that sounded remotely appetizing, weak from a fever due to engorgement, crazy insane from raging hormones, in pain from back spasms due to the posture of nursing, truly believing this was now my new normal. Forever. Life would always feel like this. That's what I thought. Honestly. I can remember in those moments just having this sense of defeat believing I would never sleep, never see anyone, never eat, always have a fever, always be in pain. Completely irrational. I get that. Really. But no one told me.
Now I know why.
Because those moments somehow magically turn from scary to sacred. From painful to beautiful.
Here is what I have discovered. We don't hear about those moments because those moments are motherhood. How could someone have possibly told me that? Although I read a ton, watched videos, scoured blogs, talked to everyone I knew, I had no idea. No idea that the moments when I felt the most overwhelmed, the most scared, the most alone, I would at some point realize are the moments I became mom. Oh and the other thing I have realized?When I look back and think about how alone I felt, I now know I was never alone. I was with her. My sweet, wonderful, spirited, beautiful, simply perfect baby girl. This miracle (and for those who know my story know I mean miracle) baby girl that God so graciously gifted me with. Every single one of those moments we experienced together. There is a reason for that. God creates those challenges because those challenges create a bond that can not be broken. Those moments for me, albeit hard, oh so hard, birthed a mom.
So when I cross paths with a new mom to be I will likely do the same thing everyone always did to me. I will tell her it is amazing. Because it is. I won't even try to explain those moments. No need. Because at some point in her journey her scary moments will also become sacred and she will become mom too.