Maybe it’s the hormones, but I find myself incredibly nostalgic for the present. I want to savor every single moment — this season of preparation and waiting. The slow walks, the sleepless nights, the lists, the thoughts. It was summer when I found about this baby and each sign of nature’s change since has been like a little check mark until this sweet season of new life arrived.
I am filled with so many thoughts: I think of the baby books we are reading, preparing as best we can for life with a newborn. I think of what the seasons will be like when she wears this dress or those socks. I think of things that will be so fascinating to her, like the ceiling fan. I think of the pockets in her clothes as I fold them and wonder if she will fill them with yarn pieces or rocks. I think of the stories in her growing library — will she love the same characters I did as a child, or will we discover new friends that I have never met before? I think of tiny toes. I think of her name, and find myself doodling it in my journal like I’m a silly schoolgirl. I think of how much more enjoyable sleepless nights would be to have a baby to rock. I think about cousins and holidays and traditions. I think about the view from her crib and wonder if she will notice the birds that fly by. I think of new routines, new sounds, new smells. I think of the naïveté of all of these thoughts and chuckle at how romantic these visions are, but how delightful the preparation is.
I think about what this little girl is going to be like. If her personality outside of the womb is anything like she is on the inside, she’s going to be very active! God already knows exactly what she will be come, and there is so much comfort in that. No amount of parenting or training on my part can form her personality — that gives me so much peace.
I think of the ways I will no doubt fail her, and fight hard for peace within my soul as the lies and insecurities in motherhood are strong, even before it begins. I will be going back to work full time and it is very likely our girl will grow up in daycare for part or all of her early childhood. This is what is best for our family at this point, but I feel edgy and defensive even typing that last sentence.
I constantly have to remind myself that while God has chosen me as the perfect person to mother this child, it is arrogant of me to think that I am the perfect person to be with her at all times. God has gifted so many men and women to help mold her character, and I need to be okay to let others take care of her. My calling is to nurture and protect and love and make wise decisions as best I can.
I think of little fears, like the mundane monotony of motherhood. Feeding, diapering, changing, bathing, discipling, cleaning, repeating — motherhood is a life calling of constant servanthood and sacrifice. I was recently listening to an interview with Sally Lloyd-Jones, the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible, on the Jamie Ivey Happy Hour podcast, and she talked about the importance of bringing excellence to children. She shared that the same level of preparation and attentiveness we give to adults should be given to children, even in the daily-ness of our lives with them. That was convicting to hear, and gave me some perspective as I anticipate the monotony that is to come.
I find myself thinking about this baby girl’s siblings, too. I think about their little personalities and how many we will have and when they will join our family and how this baby girl will be as an older sister. Friends and family have thrown me two showers, and I am so humbled by all of the love we have received. It’s a little unfair that all of the attention is poured out on the first born isn’t it? (Spoken like a true middle child.) But I understand it — the celebration given for us now is as much part for our family beginning as it is for this specific baby. The gifts and advice I have been given are going to hopefully be used two or threefold. I am so looking forward to the ways God will overflow the love we have to more children in the future.
What a privilege it is to be a mother. What a joy it has been to carry this child for the past nine months.
My heartbeat has been the soundtrack for her life thus far, and mine is the voice she will know best. I am so intimately involved in her growth — she grows simply because I live, and yet I have so little control over that growth. The whole thing is so miraculous and I stand in humility and awe that I am able to be apart of this whole life.