Becoming a Mom was never an easy task for me. I was put under the fire the day my daughter was born. Dreaming Daughter came first making her entrance to the world to a Mother recovering from preeclampsia, attempted natural birth of a breach baby and the dreaded C-section. My only recollection after giving birth is shivering in the recovery room after the surgery, away from my baby girl. Then my warrior Mom standing waiting for me, her own emotions pushed aside, with my dear baby ready to get me started on breastfeeding whether I was coherent or not. She knew too much had already been robbed from my first hours as a Mother and didn’t want to see my ability to nurse my baby added to that list of things I didn’t get to do. To this day I am thankful she was there waiting for me and getting that rolling as soon as possible. I became so sick in the hospital that my husband had to take over for 4 days and nights because I couldn’t get out of bed until they finally administered a much-needed blood transfusion. The next day I was finally able to go home. I didn’t fully comprehend the drama or grief that would follow all of this for weeks to come.
Tender Guy came bringing me some redemption. I was able to have him naturally and recovered like a champ! Then around 2 months of age he was screaming All. The. Time. He wouldn’t sleep. Every half hour throughout the night he would wake up screaming and I would get up to tend to his needs. We had tried sleep training but he would cry inconsolably and I knew something wasn’t right, but didn’t know what to do. The doctor recommended acid reflux meds but that worked for only a very short time then we were back to the beginning. Just before his 1st birthday I took dairy out of his diet and he slept through the night the next day! It was amazing. I had gotten to a point where I couldn’t remember what I felt like before going without sleep for so long, I became an extreme Mombie. I cried a lot because I didn’t have the energy to be a good Mom to the kids I already had and felt like a failure, at the same time I was the primary caretaker for our kids and had to get through it. I was also already pregnant with my third born!
Wild Little Girl came same as my son, quiet and wonderful into the world. I waltzed out of the hospital and this time I was prepared to eliminate food from my diet so I could nurse her through her allergies. I was confident and ready, I’ve GOT this! Which I did have to give up certain foods for her and she slept like a charm. It was all worth it. At this point I had 3 kids under 4 years of age but I was honestly loving it. Hard work and full of challenges but full of challenges I was prepared to handle.
Then we had the year that just keeping a pregnancy seemed like a difficult task. I had lost babies before and always early on in pregnancy. In fact Wild Little Girl I was told at a certain point to prepare to miscarry. I began hormone therapy that weekend and began resting and praying that I wouldn’t lose this baby. She had arrived safe and sound but not all of the times was that to be the story. The year after my second daughter turned 1, I lost three precious babies. Each one went so swiftly to heaven it took my Doctor months to put all the pieces together and figure out what was going on. My hormones were completely imbalanced and as soon as I got pregnant my hormones told my body I wasn’t and the miscarriage would start hardly before I could take the first pregnancy test.
We finally had a plan but my heart was broken. I honestly didn’t believe God was going to bless our family with another baby. Dreaming Daughter was 5 by now and she had dreams of another brother for Tender Guy. She was my rock during that time and prayed morning, noon and night for a sibling. She told me God told her He was going to give us a baby boy. I would honestly scoff on the inside at her prayers I so much didn’t believe it would ever happen. I’ve been a Jesus follower my entire life and I just couldn’t understand why adding to our little family was so hard. Looking back I realize I didn’t believe I was worthy of a miracle.
My Doctor had me on orders to start taking that pregnancy test as SOON as I felt pregnant and let them know immediately to get started on hormone therapy. Next time I felt pregnant I could hardly believe it and didn’t care how much money those things cost I used them up. Sure enough it was to be and after a confirmed pregnancy test and a month on hormone therapy I had a healthy baby on the way. I was overcome with gratitude for my daughter who believed and took prayer action when I didn’t have the strength. For the rest of our lives I will credit her and God with the birth of our baby.
My pregnancy this time around was full of all of the fears and worries that come when you lose pregnancies. I can’t say I was strong, or fearless, or amazing but I had learned to rely on God and wonder in his amazing, miraculous mercies. I prayed every day for this miracle on the way.
We didn’t find out whether we were having a boy or a girl until the night of the birth. My parents had driven down from up north to watch our kids because I was going to be induced the next morning. By the time they had stopped at our local ice cream joint and arrived at our house I was in full-blown labor. After my Mom convinced me I was actually in real labor I was on my way. During the middle of an intense July thunderstorm, in the middle of the night I was admitted to our hospital. I will never thank God enough for my Doctor who had taken the time to dig deeper into the mystery behind my early miscarriages and he was there shortly after we arrived. A few hours later my parents surprised me by getting my brother to come over and watch our littles, who were already sleeping, so they showed up around 2am just to be in on the fun. They are crazy like that! Finally the baby arrived and it was a BOY! We were so overjoyed. We were going to be happy with any miracle that day but a brother for my son on top of it all was just amazing. God had us the whole time.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more spoiled baby in all my life. Adored by his siblings and the entire family we had learned to treasure every moment. I lingered over feedings. They played with him constantly. My heart can hardly bare it when I let myself go back to those dark days when I didn’t beleive anymore. Then I think about the fact that I have a squishy, chubby toddler running all over our house. It’s amazing!
So why this very long story before Mother’s Day?
Because I still get snide remarks about the size of our family and it pains me when I hear it. I think to myself that they don’t know what I had to go through to have each one of my babies and if they knew, they’d keep the remarks to themselves.
Because I have rough Motherhood days and when things get really hard I force myself to remember when I was desperate just to hold the babies I lost and gain a deep appreciation for where I am now. Sometimes I want to flee the scene of the loud, crazy children just like the rest of the Moms out there. But not on Mother’s Day.
Because all of this has taught me to appreciate my kids on this special day. I’ve seen women take this journey and still don’t have babies on Mother’s day. That is heartbreaking and I spend Mother’s Day morning every year praying for those dear women whose arms ache for the feeling of a small child in their arms. I have known the feeling even while I have older children surrounding me and even screaming for my attention, my arms sometimes still cry out to hold my babies in heaven. Their absence will never leave me as long as I live. So consider this year instead of fleeing your home as I know is a temptation for all of us, consider your kids a pretty huge part of your celebration!
It’s an honor to be their Mom.
Hug them a little tighter.
Listen to their long, drawn out story.
Accept that homemade card like it’s the best thing you could have ever gotten.
It would be a day to celebrate your Mom but it is only a celebration of you because of your kids.
I dare you to delight in your kids!
It is important to remember that our littles are the ones that started it all.
The Day you became a Mom.
However dramatic your story or not, it is the truth.
Happy Mother’s Day to all who have littles on earth and in heaven.
The picture posted at the top of this post is of Dreaming Daughter and Little Brave cuddling up together this week. No matter how many years pass I believe they will always have a special relationship with each other!