Wednesday nights at our little church in Dewey, Oklahoma are hectic to say the least. Kids running everywhere, ministers trying to meet every new face and catch up with every one else, and parents rushing food into their kids before their small attention spans rush them off to other places. I love those Wednesdays! God and pure chaos; no better combo. One Wednesday I was admiring with envy the energy of one of our 4 year old youths. She was running and bouncing off the wall! She was a lion, a bear, a bird, a child, no.. a monkey! Anything and everything she could fit in right before class. It was truly a sight to see. Her mother just happened to be standing beside me so I turned and said to her, "I wish I had her energy." She sort of laughed and said, "Yeah, she certainly has some huh? You would never know that she had lung complications as a baby." I replied, "Oh, really? I didn't know. Wow." She continued, "Yeah, she was positioned in a tight ball for so long that as she grew there was no room for her vital organ to grow properly. She barely had any lungs and we nearly lost her at birth." Stunned I said, "Wow, what a little miracle she is. All those problems and she sure is using those lungs she's got now!" At this she turned to me, looked me right in the eye and said, "Oh, no. We call our second baby the miracle baby. Having Laney made us realize just how vital every detail is when a baby is being created in your womb. The real miracle is when they come out perfect and healthy. Every piece of them has to grow just right and at just the right time. They have to be in just the right position. The slightest deviation from any detail could result in any number of complications or issues. To think just how delicate of a process it is and then for something to make it through without a hitch... that's the miracle."
Even now when I recall this conversation I get a little emotional because I understand the other side of it; when things don't line up like they ought to and when complications do arise. But at the same time I have never considered this way of thinking about the creation of babies. It is really crazy when you look at it with this perspective. One day you and your husband are just the two of you and (literally) over night you are three! Or for some four ;) A seed planted becomes a seed fertilized, which grows into a living cluster of cells, which over time develops feet and hands and eyes and not just the outer shell but everything it needs to live in the world! Things a thousand times more complicated and intricate than your eyes and ears. Veins, a brain, nerves, a heart. A beautiful beating heart. To this day I think if there is anything I miss more, it's being able to hear that sweet heartbeat inside my belly. I was developing life inside me and that's overwhelming to think. One day there was nothing and the next there was a whole new being. Wow. A real miracle.
If I could just share my heart for a moment...
Mothers to be, don't be frustrated when someone wants to rub your belly. Don't be disappointed when people ask more about how the babies doing than you. Don't cringe when people say things about you being so big you look like you could pop! Don't hate the throwing up and the nausea and the weight gain. Love these things! Cherish these things! Because you are creating a whole new life and that is worth celebrating. If you have 9 months of gross feeling then while yes, unfortunately that's uncomfortable it's also a sign that that baby is still in there, still growing and still needing momma to pull through so it can pull through too. Sometimes the clothes you have to wear might not be your favorite but remember, they are made special for your body that has to grow so your little one can grow. I died inside when I had to put away all the new maternity clothes I had bought just a week before my babies died. I loved having my belly touched and I even missed being nauseous because I at least knew it was from them being in there still doing their growing thing. Every headache, every tired day, every over emotional moment; I just miss it all so much. Sure it wasn't always pleasant and it was hard but again... YOU ARE GROWING A MIRACLE!!! Isn't that worth a little discomfort? And yes, I did have to give birth to my babies too and while I still don't know what it's like to push out something 6 times their size I do know it still hurt unlike anything I have ever experienced. So please, don't be frustrated with my honesty. I know many people who have had very miserable experiences during their pregnancy and during labor. I am not trying to negate the pain or tell anyone that it's not a big deal. I am not claiming to understand every ones experience at all, I just know that for me, despite whatever effort I could have made something didn't work. For other's their miracles are coming into full fruition. Look at what you have as something to love every moment of as you are part of a miracle of a process. A delicate process that unfortunately doesn't always work perfectly despite doing all the right things. But you are blessed with a great gift and do not wish your time with this gift was different, just thank God that whatever is going on in there is working the way He made it to. Enjoy everything about your pregnancy. You never know if the very thing that you protest over isn't the very thing someone else desperately wishes they could feel. Desperately.
Boldly and Brashly,
A longing mother.