Since I can remember, being a mom was what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. Having a family was the one thing I was sure I wanted for my future. I have always dreamed of having three or four children and never really envisioned my life in any other way.
How hardship and tragedy have made me more grateful for this pregnancy
Witnessing hardship and tragedy of loved ones steered me off track for awhile. Both my sisters had a difficult time getting pregnant with their first babies. It was heartbreaking to watch their journeys, the struggle, the disappointment, the desperation. Experiencing the uncertainty of a serious illness of my three month old nephew… having a friend and later, a family member, both lose their babies a few hours after birth… standing by helplessly as a best friend cries through tears after multiple miscarriages… Each of these experiences began to make me question my dream of becoming a mother. I wondered if I would rather not take the chance of experiencing these horrific circumstances. Maybe it was just better to not have children at all. Maybe it was best to avoid the chance of this heartbreak.
Instead, I decided to embrace my calling as a mother. I decided I would rather love and cherish my baby even for only an hour, with the chance of losing him, than never have the opportunity to experience that moment.
Life is made up of moments. Our children’s lives become memories of various moments we share with them. Not only did I make up my mind to love and cherish my baby, but I made a conscious choice to be completely present during my pregnancy as well. Because, this moment, THIS pregnancy is special.
It is easy to envision having four, beautiful, healthy children. However, I know what a miracle each child is. What a miracle each birth is. What a miracle each pregnancy is. I never want to take this pregnancy for granted by assuming it may be the first of three or four. There are no guarantees in life. Gratitude for this pregnancy, with this baby, in this moment has made my experience that much more beautiful.
Being present is difficult this day in age. We have so much stimulation surrounding us with technology, demands of work, family, relationships, friends, etc. And I’ll admit, there have been days that I cried to Timi because I was so stressed and completely consumed with external factors, that I felt I had missed out on a day of being completely present with our baby. I try to forgive myself quickly and use those hard times as reminders. Reminders to practice refocusing my attention on what is truly important.
Being present during pregnancy is one of the most beautiful feelings I’ve ever experienced. Noticing and connecting with each little kick, massaging my belly to help our baby relax at night, recognizing his sleep patterns and the type of foods he likes, talking with Timi and my family about all the new things the baby is doing each day, embracing my changing body and fluctuating hormones, smiling at other pregnant mamas, listening intently as Timi tells him a bedtime story… these are all moments of my pregnancy that I cherish. These are the moments that I have chosen to be present for.
Because, these are the moments that make it all worth it in the end…