in the beginning.....(I had no idea)

Five years ago, at this very moment (8:40 pm) I was beginning my journey to Motherhood. I was approximately 9 hours into a 26 hour labor. Good thing I didn’t know at that moment that it was going to go on for so long! 

I had returned “home”- to my parent’s house- a place of comfort and familiarity. I was surrounded by family members (and our family dog, Scotty who faithfully stayed by my side). Mostly Brent and the midwife travailed with me while everyone else hung out.

I had no idea at that moment that I was learning the beginning of giving myself for others. I had gone way overdue and I was so anxious to have my first baby! We knew it was going to be a girl, but had no idea that we were about to be catapulted into being adults, into learning to care for someone else as much as you care for yourself, into learning unconditional love for a small, helpless, demanding, creature.

What a miraculous thing!

Plucked right from the scrapbook. Brent NEVER, and I mean NEVER, left my side the entire time.

I had no idea, and I mean no idea what I was getting myself into. I said as much to Brent this morning while fixing breakfast for everyone. Lately, I’ve been “sleeping in” when Brent is here in the mornings. (“Sleeping in” means that I don’t get up before everyone else, but rather get up when they do.) So, the kids keep searching the house for me and finally find me still in bed on these mornings. I’m usually half way conscious when Charis sidles up to my bed side and says, “Mom, I’m hungry. Will you get me a snack?” And then Ezra usually comes around and lays a DVD or puzzle or something on my face. Then, of course, they both take turns draining my water bottle. Arwen comes literally bouncing into the room, filled with ideas and hopes and dreams for the day. “Can we go to Oliver Park today? Mommy, is Miss Terri coming today? Did you know that it is just ONE DAY UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY! Are we going to make party hats today?!?” The child doesn’t understand that I’m simply laying there trying to figure out the best way to launch my big self out of the bed!

Eventually I work it out and grunt my way into some clothes and slump down the stairs. I immediately start making food for everyone. No thought about it. No questions of why I have to do this, how come someone else can’t do it so I can sleep in for once. No doubts. No questioning. I’m sincerely happy to do it.

And that, folks, is the grace of God. Because five years ago today I sure was getting a wake up call! I had no idea the grotesque amount of selfishness in me that was about to manifest itself with the birth of my first child. This time, five years ago, I was just trying to make it through the night. Parts of my body were being used that had never been used before. Muscles were being called into action, but had no idea what to do. My brain was trying to battle it’s way through an inescapable pain. I didn’t know about surrendering then.

They danced with me, they hiked with me, they squatted with me, they fed me (grilled chicken, organic grapes, crackers, and cheese, and plenty of Recharge drinks) they sat by the pool and wiped my tears… and these very same people- our family, Brent, and our midwife, have been with me every step of the way ever since. Encouraging me just like they did as I labored with Arwen- at times I feel like giving up, and they cheer me on. I can remember Terri’s encouraging voice, “Missi, you’re doing so great!”

And I look at Arwen, my sweet sweet girl, and I know that I would never be the same without her! She has transformed me. Our hearts and souls are tied together.

It was tough, five years ago at this very moment. I wanted to give up. But I knew that something wonderful was coming. I never could have comprehended just how wonderful it would be though!

Tonight, I sat in her room, singing to her and her siblings while they fell asleep. Ezra was cuddled up tightly against my belly, and the baby on the inside of me was straining and pushing to get comfortable. That kept causing some Braxton Hicks contractions and I remembered those first pains I had. At this moment, five years ago, I never could have imagine how rich our life would be. These three little souls entrusted to us, and somehow even a fourth one on the way?!? What wonderful, terrific thing could I ever have done to deserve this?