I woke up early this morning. (Not something that happens to me, hardly ever!) And I couldn’t go back to sleep so I decided to write a few of my feelings about being a mother. Today makes 31 weeks for me and I find myself counting down and thinking in terms of how many weeks I have left instead of far I am. 9 weeks left and its starting to feel so real.
I’ve wanted a baby almost for as long as I can remember. I was 9 when my first baby sister was born. I was so excited. They brought her home from the hospital and my mom let me give her her first bath. She showed me how to steam the bathroom so that it was nice and warm, to check the bath water so that it was just the right temperature for her little body. she showed me how to hold her so that she would be comfortable during the experience. When I was finished I rubbed her little body down with lotion and dressed her in a little pink nightgown. And then I had to hand her off to Mother to be fed and put to bed.
I remember walking down the stairs that day and out to the yard. It was October and my sisters where out playing in a huge pile of leaves. I felt larger than life and overwhelmed by love. I decided right then in that moment that the greatest thing a woman could ever experience was to have a baby and I couldn’t wait to have mine. I sank down into the pile of leaves with my sisters and I told them that I would get married when i was 16 years old. (I knew that, was the earliest possible time that it was legal to be married) and that, I still had 7 years to wait and I didn’t know how I would make it.
When I turned 16, marriage was no where in sight but I did get another little blessing. My niece came into my life and gave me a taste of what it might feel like to be a mom. As I cared for her, got up with her during the night and rocked her until I felt my arms would fall off trying to get her to sleep I felt a swelling within me and a longing like I had never known before. I also felt a sense of peace and satisfaction that I had never known before and I believed that the most meaningful thing that I could ever do in my life would be to be a mother, to care for children, whether I had given birth to them myself or not.
The years continued to go by with marriage never presenting itself as a viable option. I got caught up in school and work and I loved what I was doing. I had great room mates, I was dating, I was having fun. Children started to annoy me a little. They were noisy, often smelly, and they NEVER seemed to stop moving. I loved the easy flow of work in the office, I loved the challenges and the deadlines. It wasn’t messy and chaotic like raising children. It was structured and fulfilling. I felt like a success. I worried that all those years of longing for children were gone and now by the time I actually had them I wouldn’t want them anymore.
I went to visit an older sister one day. She had 10 children. Before I left her house all of her children got together and sang for me. They had beautiful voices, beautiful faces, but more than anything as I sat watching them, their voices melting perfectly together, the oldest looking somewhat bored and detached and the youngest, her face animated and alive with every word that she sang, I realized that these were human beings, these were people, lives that my sister had created! They would go on, they had their futures ahead of them! she was teaching them, raising them to be good upstanding people. Because of her they would experience all that life had to offer. I saw her love for them reflected in her eyes and I saw an unspeakable bond between mother and child and I KNEW that there was nothing, no work, no experience that I would ever have that would be more fulfilling than that of being a mother.
But I worried it would never happen for me. That baby sister that I had bathed so carefully had grown up and was a woman now looking to get married herself.
I felt old and hopeless. My boyfriend had just broken up with me, and marriage seemed so far away. I went to bed one night sobbing and aching for what I thought I might never have. It wasn’t a new experience. I had done that many times over the 15 years I had been waiting for this blessing.
This night however, I dreamed a dream. It shook me, it was more real than anything. It was so special. I dreamed that my son came to me as a strapping young man. He held me while I cried, and encouraged me to hold on, to be patient. He promised he was coming and that it would all be worth the wait. He brought two others with him, but he was the one that really affected me. Whenever I had thought about being a mom I had imagined having a baby. I never imagined a boy taller than I am, handsome and strong. I never imagined him comforting me assuring me that all would be well. He was my hero and Oh I loved him like nothing I had ever experienced. When it came time for him to leave I begged him to stay, but he couldn’t. He promised that it was just around the corner and that I needed to hang on and be patient a little longer.
I woke aching to hold him.
Now, just about two years later I lay here in bed feeling a little body squirming and kicking inside. I feel love so real and tangible for the baby inside of me that I hold my belly loving the feel of having him so close and I cry with happiness. This boy and I who have faced this lonely pregnancy together will soon be going through the birth experience together as well. He has been my rock, my hero. His presence has brought so much peace. My son already feels to me somewhat like the man that I hope he will be one day.
He is a human being. In about 9 more weeks, he will start his life. He will start his one chance at mortality. He will start making the decisions that will shape his eternity! Nine weeks! I feel overwhelmed that I am his mother. That I am responsible to give him everything he needs to be successful. That I am being entrusted with the fragileness of his new life, of his soul, fresh from heaven.
I feel overwhelmed with Joy that my time has finally come. That one day soon a little person will call me mom. He is the best reason for living that I have ever had, and for the first time in my life I feel that there is someone else that I could live for. That no matter what happened in my own life there was someone else who is more important than anyone or anything in this world. I would live for him, I would die for him. My little Preston has become the center of my universe and my heart is as full as my belly!