Surprised By Motherhood

“I want to say this body has been to war. But war seems too ugly a word. How do you describe something as primal as the dirt from which the flowers grow? There has also been a love that came so thick and fast that it has made everything new. It has rewritten a story. The story of you and I. Because my child, you are born of me. And with you I am born again.”

— Caroline Snider

“Mama, no one even mentioned it. In nine whole months, not one person said⁣: ‘You’re about to meet someone entirely new. And it’s not your baby, it’s going to be you.’”

— Unknown

Isn’t it quite like God to just add story and metaphor to every nuance of life? He weaves moments and experiences to become such beautiful tapestries of love. And that’s the lens I’ve seen pregnancy, birth and motherhood through. It’s been something else for me.

It took oxytocin (the love hormone) to make this baby, birth this baby, and now feed this baby. It’s all love – from beginning to end. Love dreamed her up. Love made our baby. Love birthed her. And love is what helps her grow.

I’m so undone.

Motherhood has given me so much to unwrap. As much as I’m loving on our daughter (wild and surrendered like ocean tide), it’s like God opened a portal in time for me to love on myself as a baby and to heal simultaneously. With every kiss, hug and hold, baby Koki is healing. Every place she ever wondered if she was truly loved as an infant is sending back a resounding echo to my now that I was loved, more than I’d have ever known.

And I’m not the same.

I always thought I’d enjoy my children more when I’d be able to have conversations with them, but this newborn phase has come with its own reward. I love the sound of her cries, the baby breath, that feeding stare our little one gives me that cuts deep into my soul, her tiny wriggles and the sleepy faces. I love the hand on my breast as she feeds, her little fingers holding my finger, bath time, soft giggles and gummy smiles. I love the quiet sleep, the soft whimpers to be held, the curling up in my arms, the stares that turn into smiles, the coo conversations and the way when she feeds I physically feel like she’s drawing life out of me. I love it all.

And I’m learning and seeing God anew again. How He loves me. How He loves us all. How He’s gentle with us, patient with us, enamoured by us. How He will never quit on us and is deeply delighted by us. How He never runs out of what we need when we need it even before we realize that we do.

Becoming a mother and seeing Dave father our kiddo is helping me see God as a Father in so many tangible ways.

Truly, His uncountable thoughts about us are good. His plans for us are good. He, He is good. To us. To you. To me.

I’ve really enjoyed these last few months of motherhood. I try to hold each day like fresh baby laundry and breath it in hoping I could freeze time just to make it last a little longer.

There’s been moments of overwhelm, but they’ve been far and in between. And I always recentre myself when I pause, seek to be calm and quiet any inner stirrings with the understanding that all this is gifted, and good, and shaped for my baby with me in mind.

“Mothers may want to find room to breathe, to weep, to panic. But they don’t want it to end—this delivering, shaping, cheering, loving, bringing life into the world.”

— Lisa Jo-Baker

Before you become a mother, you always wonder if you’ll be good at it and if your heart can really stretch that wide for a little one. You wonder if you’ll ruin things. But when you hold your baby in your arms, you realize that you already are just what your baby needs earth-side. You’ve become the hands and heart of God to them. And this is both sobering and gracious enough to leave you drowning in the warm honey and milk of it all. A sheer gift with a ribbon on top and your name on it.

I know the Message Bible defines long-suffering as a willingness to stick with things, which is true, but I liken motherhood to a sweet, long presentness. I get to see it all. I get to help shape it all. I get to be the one.

And what a lavish privilege and gift that is.


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