Transforming into Motherhood – Pt. 2
We are 30 weeks into this whole pregnancy gig and in many ways I’m shocked I’m this far but in the same breath (which are short and frequent these days) I’ve felt the weight of time as I’ve watched my body slowly transform which in turn means this baby boy has undergone the biggest changes of all.
This post is going to be all about being pregnant, because that’s where I’m at in this motherhood transformation. So if baby talk isn’t your thing, I completely, totally, with all my heart get that and welcome you to skip over posts like these. However I also encourage those who are teetering on the freedom vs. having kids line, know that I’ve been there and am working through these thoughts currently which I pray is helpful and encouraging to you.
The Positive Pregnancy Test
I will never forget those two pink lines.
Month after month, staring down at a single line became my normal and so when a second one accompanied the first (instantly, I might add) I couldn’t stop staring. That first day I took many trips back to where I had the test secretly stored in the bottom bathroom drawer just to look at it and make sure that second line didn’t disappear on me.
I took another test the next morning just to be sure and again, two pink lines boldly balancing in between my fingers. I couldn’t erase the smile off my face, but I had to before getting back into bed with a husband unbeknownst to him that he’s got a pregnant wife beside him.
That day was December 31st, 2016. New Years Eve. My sister’s birthday. The day we announced we were moving to Seattle. And the day I would tell Brad he was going to be a Dad.
This was HIS moment. I wanted to plan something cute, memorable and intentional which is the first reason why I waited 36 hours to tell him. Oh believe me, I was D-Y-I-N-G to tell him but I needed to put a little something together to surprise him. I scrambled quickly at Michaels, gathered a few supplies and basically put together a simple message in a box for him to open.
Both Brad and I are a proud Apple product family. We even have two Apple logo stickers on our car waiting to add more little apples. So that’s the route I took-giving him a little Apple for 2017.
We had so much fun surprising our family and friends in different ways-so many ways that I think I’m going to save that for a later post.
Using Context for Balance
Living in wedding world the past few years as a videographer, one thing is for sure-I am SO glad I am not a bride in 2017. I proudly brag about the fact that Pinterest wasn’t even a thing in 2011 when Grandpa Brad and I got married. I can’t imagine the pressure some of these brides face with endless phone apps, Pinterest, social media, etc.
I think I’m making up for it by being a pregnant lady in 2017. Yikes! Bride or new momma-we’re the bright shiny target for every marketer out there. I have 6 apps just for tracking baby! And I use almost all of them-because information is power right? Until that information churns into mom guilt and doubt and worry. The curiosity of searching for types of cribs, car seats, or baby bouncers turns into I NEED the best or else I’m a bad mom.
Little did I know, God has been preparing me for this season many years in advance-isn’t that just like Him? My days volunteering at Glory Reborn birthing clinic transformed the trajectory of my life in ways that I’m still discovering and currently it’s the constant reminder of the young Filipino women who are poor beyond poor and are facing the journey of pregnancy.
You won’t find fancy baby showers, decorated nurseries (let a alone a whole room for baby), or caravan strollers in the small corners of Cebu. You’ll hear lots of babies’ cries, see many buckets of soapy water on the ground for laundry, and tired mommas with their mommas raising a family unit with joy and pride.
I hold onto these images. These sounds and smells are my compass.
I also think about my Creator. The one who sustains life in the palm of His hands. He gives and takes away life. He knows the intricacies of every valve in my son’s beating heart and can count every wrinkly line impressed in his 3lb body. He knows the very second my son will be born and the second he will leave this earth.
“‘In Him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’” Acts 17:28
I hold onto this too. But it’s hard at times.
Holding Back Attachment
The first trimester was pretty awful. And I knew it would be. I get motion sickness in 3D movies, so the queeziness was bound to ensue. It wiped me out for a good 12 weeks with a slow recovery till I reached 20 weeks and started feeling like I could live on my own again.
In this time I had zero attachment to my baby. All I knew is this little creature inside of me was wreaking havoc like I hadn’t known before and the chances of a miscarriage are at its highest while in the first trimester. I hate disappointment like everyone else but I REALLY try to avoid it so no emotional indulgence whatsoever. All I kept praying for was that this wasn’t all for nothing. I couldn’t think about how wonderful it will be to grow this baby and have him join our family because I didn’t have the emotional capacity to even imagine such a thing. #firsttimemomproblems I guess.
Then the moment came. I felt him move. A quick swoosh across my lower belly as I was sitting at our Airbnb’s desk, editing a wedding video. I sat there, waited. Nothing else. But that was something I had never felt before, so surely. This was the moment I started loving our baby. Oh and it probably helped that days before this moment we had just found out he’s a BOY. So I now could imagine this baby boy really growing just inches away from me, but inside of me (weird), and my heart grew ten times bigger that day.
What also grew-my grasp of him. The few weeks following led my heart into this strange momma mode where I felt a huge need to protect and control everything around me to keep this little one safe and thriving.
I’ve been working through a “let go” mentality ever since, reminding myself who really put this life in me and knows what’s best for our little man more than anyone in the Universe. How insanely amazing to have 24/7 access to the great physician of my son’s body, mind, and heart?!
Pregnancy is Worth It
I cannot wait for the day to adopt a child. I’ve day dreamed more about that than having my own for years now. It’s going to be an amazing moment. As I’ve fixated on the idea of being a mom to others never coming out of my body, I didn’t give much thought to what it would be like housing my own baby except for all the negative things that I talked about a few weeks back.
But so far, the physical and mental changes/limitations have all been a breeze in light of what’s waiting as our reward. I write this knowing I have yet to have gone through birthing a child. I’ve had a couple Braxton Hicks contractions that brought me to knees, out of breath, so I’m slowly becoming more terrified of the actual labor. This pregnancy thing is certainly a unique journey unlike anything else in this world and so far what I’ve taken away from it is that I would have really missed out if I said No to God.