Since my baby shower, I’ve been reveling in nesting mode. Now eight months into my first pregnancy, my “home body” side has taken over. I’ve spent all the Target and Amazon gift cards we received to buy baby room decorations and make a special home for our little one. (This mama is very thankful for her generous friends.) It’s looking comfortable and cute, fit for a little prince or princess and his or her mother and father.
I’ve recently cried and laughed through episodes of Call the Midwife, an inspiring BBC drama about midwives working along side Catholic nuns to serve underprivileged mothers in 1950’s east London. (Netflix does have it’s advantages, including making long hours of cooking real food in the kitchen enjoyable.) I can’t seem not to cry every time a baby is born! It must be the hormones. But every birth is precious, even ones on television. This particular show is based on historical writings of a real-life midwife, after all.
My husband and I have been discussing the possibility of selling our home and moving into a larger house, but now I don’t know if I want to move. I feel like bonding with my baby has already started here and now in this home. But I know it’s far more about the relationship than the place. It’s about carrying a soul into the world and nurturing that young life. It’s about being a mom. And I finally get to have that privilege.
It’s been a long time coming. I’m almost 40 and this is my first child. I’ve waited for this baby, much like I waited to be married to a mature, godly man. I was almost 35 when we got married. Now, I’m so excited to meet our baby, some days I can hardly contain myself. I can feel gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) baby kicks everyday. Soon, I’ll get to meet this little person God has skillfully woven in my womb. Will we have a boy or girl? Will he or she look like Jim or me? Tall or short? Black or blond hair?
For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a mom. I grew up thinking I’d be married and have children by my early twenties. During my college days, I had a Bible study leader who was 31 and just getting married. At the time, I thought she was so old! How could a woman wait that long to get married? Not to mention waiting that long for children! I’m sure God must have smiled down on me at my limited perspective. Little did I know what my life would look like.
I’ve also admired my own mother and appreciated the friendship we’ve developed into my adult years. I wanted to have that kind of relationship with my kids. But there were no kids. In fact, for a long time, there was no husband. How was I supposed to be a mom without being married?
When I was in my late twenties, full swing into my teaching career, I read Elizabeth Elliott’s classic Let Me Be a Woman. She writes the book as if speaking directly to her daughter and shares mature wisdom about life, singleness, and marriage. She recalls one of their conversations in which her daughter exclaims, “I just want to be a mom.” I stopped reading and cried out to God, because I could relate. I remember reflecting on that sentence for days after reading it. I just want to be a mom.
I can also remember walking on the beach in between stressful weeks of my public school teaching job on the Oregon coast, and praying for God to fulfill my healthy and natural desires for marriage and children. I prayed for my future husband and children again and again on those solitary walks. It was just me, my Lord, and the big ocean expanse.
God answered that prayer in April 2011, when I recited marriage vows to my dear Sir Jim. Then, six months later, we discovered I had large uterine fibroids. They were blocking any possibility for pregnancy. I was told that I may not ever be able to have children. We began our research and tried natural remedies to shrink fibroids, which proved to be unsuccessful. We were ready to move forward with fibroid surgery, but then another shock rocked our marriage. Jim lost his job and our health insurance with it. There was no way we could afford such an expensive surgery and hospital stay out of pocket. We had to wait two more years. My fibroid symptoms got worse, but we waited. We had no other choice. My opportunity to become a mom was put on hold, once again.
God answered more prayers in April 2014 and I was able to have a myomectomy surgery to remove the fibroids that plagued my uterus. By then, Jim had a stable job with health insurance that covered our expenses. (Read more about my uterine fibroids journey here.) Even after a successful surgery, I was still told there was no guarantee that we could have children. We would just have to wait and see.
In sharing my story, it sounds like I’ve been overwhelmed by waiting, like I was a discontented soul, frustrated with God’s direction for my life. In reality, He has given me much grace in my daily waiting, as well as in the extended years I’ve yearned for things I could not have. I can honestly say I have been content most of the time. That waiting turned into confident expectation of what God was going to do next in my life. In the months leading up to my pregnancy, I truly believed that God was going to answer our prayer for children. I just didn’t know when.
Of course, wonderful friends and family have also prayed for us and our desire to have children. Those diligent prayers have offered much hope. And their words have given me much encouragement. One of my good friends once told me she believed that God would give me the desire of my heart. Otherwise, he would have taken that desire away. Psalm 37:4 states, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Another friend’s teenage daughter spoke these wise words in her young age. “Something better is coming. God is just keeping you waiting so it seems like even more of a blessing when it finally gets here.”
After a year of healing and more waiting, I conceived this precious child in April 2015. He or she is a miracle. (I see a pattern here. April is a big month for us! I think it just shows God’s amazing faithfulness in our lives!)
Remember my prayers for my future husband and children on those long beach walks? That was over ten years ago. And now, here I am about to give birth to my first baby with a good man by my side. God is so faithful and His timing is perfect.
That’s why our recent vacation to the Oregon coast was so very special. It wasn’t just me, my Lord, and the big vast ocean. It was me, my Lord, my husband, and my unborn child growing in my womb.
I finally get to be a mom.
I’m looking forward to it with great anticipation. I know it won’t be perfect and there will be challenges. I’m old enough now to view life without rose-colored lenses. But in between poopy diapers, getting up at 3:00am again and again, toddler tantrums, and yes, even future teenage rebellion, I know there will be smiles, giggles, hugs, and heart-felt conversations that will give me pause to reflect and thank my God for motherhood.
What a privilege.
What’s your mothering story? If you are not a mom, what are you waiting and praying for? No matter what stage of life or circumstance we find ourselves in, waiting is a part of the human experience. This side of heaven, we will always be longing for something. But knowing my Creator has certainly made that waiting easier, even very special at times. I hope and pray that you know the One who gives you purpose for this life and beyond!