One Year Later

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One year ago today I took a pregnancy test on a whim and found out a little miracle baby was on the way! After nearly three years of negative tests, I found myself staring at two lines. HOW COULD IT BE? September 12, 2014. POSITIVE.

This last year has been the best year of my life. While I loved watching my belly grow and feeling the little life inside of me, I waaaay love having her on the outside. Motherhood is AMAZING. It makes me praise God in a whole new way. I quite often look at my daughter and still can’t believe she grew inside of me. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.

People often ask me how I like being a mom. My response is always, “it’s way better than I ever imagined!” Seriously! But that’s not to say there aren’t challenges. Of course there are challenges. For starters, there’s birth. No comment necessary on that! Then there’s the little, teeny tiny stage when baby is SO needy and breastfeeding is hard and you wake up every couple of hours during the night, etc. etc. etc.  Those days are a mix of pain, joy, frustration, and wonder. The I’m-in-over-my-head but my-heart-is-so-full feeling. Then when all the initial help from family and friends is over (I had excellent help) and you’re back to the cooking, cleaning, errands, ministries, and hobbies WITH the addition of a baby and you’re thinking “life as I know it has ended completely” (and it has…but in a good way)!

Then you start to get into a rhythm. God’s grace is there every single day. As it always has been. It’s there on good days and bad days. Then more challenges come. Like a baby who throws up profusely at random times for a solid two months. Like 10 trips to the pediatrician in seven weeks because of slow weight gain (that’s enough to make a new mama crazy). When baby still needs to eat every two hours during the day. Then another victory. Baby all-of-the-sudden starts eating every three hours during the day (what a difference that made)! More victories. A 9-week old who flies to Utah, sleeps in an unfamiliar house with lots of unfamiliar people, is go-go-go from 8 am- 10 pm, and who still manages to sleep eight hours through the night for the first time in the middle of all that chaos. Then there’s a short break and off again to a week of camp in another unfamiliar setting with unfamiliar people with no air conditioning and it’s HOT. Another challenge. But we make it and actually really enjoy ourselves. Another victory. Then we come home to stay for a while. The relief and rest is needed. The now 13-week old is starting to sleep 10-11 hours straight at night and then two weeks later is sleeping an uncanny 12 hours straight each night (I claim no credit for this. She just got mama’s sleeping genes on that one)! More victories!

But now we’ve hit “the four-month-sleep-regression.” Whatever that means. Little one is waking up once each night to eat, between 4:00 – 5:00. And on top of that, she often needs me to rescue her pacifier during the night. I let it frustrate me at first because I want her to follow a neat and tidy schedule and never change. YEAH RIGHT. Who am I kidding?! Duh, she’s a mini human and humans’ needs change with age and time and seasons.  I am slowly learning to expect that and appreciate it!

The ebb and flow of these little challenges and victories might seem trivial one day when I’m dealing with bigger parenting issues but they’re not trivial now. God is using them to teach me the unpredictability of mothering. I am a “tidy” person (reflected in my surroundings and in my personality). I struggle to be flexible. I struggle to let things be messy. I want all my ducks in a row. I’m beginning to realize that my “tidy” personality is often all about me. And there is no place for selfishness in mothering.

I look at moms with multiple children and freak out a bit. How do y’all do it?! Well, it’s the same way I’m doing it with one child. Grace. Aren’t you glad God guides us through life ONE step at a time? Grace upon grace one step at a time. I know I’m in the eeeearly stages of motherhood but I’m already  learning so, so much. The learning curve is huge, but the process is so amazing. I can’t get over how much I love my little baby girl. I didn’t even know love like this was possible. It really is like watching a piece of your heart walk (or in my current case, lay) around outside your body (to paraphrase Elisabeth Stone).

I think back to one year ago today and I’m ever so thankful. I’m thankful that God has chosen me to be a mama and gifted me with a precious little soul.

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