Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lessons on Motherhood...

I feel so blessed to be able to celebrate this mother's day with my sweet baby girl in my arms!  I remember being so excited last year at this time just dreaming of what it would be like.  I don't think I was really able to fathom the love that I would feel for her.  It is still hard to put into words the kind of love that filled every ounce of my being when I laid eyes on my sweet girl....and just when I think I will overflow, somehow there is more room.  It is definitely an indescribable and all-consuming love. 

Jeffrey was so sweet and got me a Mother's day card and a new camera for my Mother's day gift last may have noticed that I use that camera every so often....haha :)
This year, just having Libbi here with us is truly the best gift I could imagine! (Although, the delicious breakfast, spa day, and sweet cards were a nice touch) ;0)

When I look back on all of the changes that have taken place in our lives over the past year, I can't help but think that all of these changes have come hand in hand with life lessons; lessons that I have learned about my self, my sweet baby, my marriage, my family, my Lord, and my role as a momma.  

So, in no particular order, here are a just a few (because I could literally write pages and pages) of the lessons (some, more relevant than others) that I have learned in the year since Mother's Day 2009...

*Having a baby means having richer emotions.
Before I was pregnant, I was what some might consider a sensitive wouldn't take much to bring me to tears.  Then, once I got pregnant, I was pretty much an emotional wreck.  I would cry at the drop of a hat.  Those Publix commercials nearly did me in.  But now, since giving birth, I'm afraid that I am a borderline basket-case.  The pre-pregnancy me had nothing on the post-pregnancy me. I can barely form a sentence without crying. I have learned that being a mother truly moves me...and that's why I now keep tissues in my purse diaper bag.

*Having a baby means learning to count in terms of days, then weeks, then months, and eventually years.
It's amazing to me how I could remember exactly what week of my pregnancy I was in at all times. I could tell you how far along I was down to the day.  It's funny that when someone would ask, "how far along are you?" I would always answer in terms of weeks.  Once Libbi was born, we measured her life in terms of days.  "Oh, she's only three days old....eight days old.....11 days old...."
Then, at some point, without even realizing it, we switched to counting her life in weeks: "she's four weeks old....six weeks old....10 weeks old..." Again, the switch from counting weeks to months happened without even realizing it. Now, when someone asks me how old she is, I always answer in terms of months. At what point did we stop counting weeks and begin counting months? It was such an effortless and seamless transition that we were unaware it even happened.  I know that all too soon instead of saying, "She's ten months old" I'll be saying, "She's ten years old."  I have learned that being mother means time passes too quickly sometimes....and that is why I treasure every second!

*Having a baby means exercising my gag-reflex on a daily basis.
You may remember that I have, what some may refer to as, a slight "phobia" of certain bodily functions.  Whoever said it is "different when it's your own child" is a total liar.  At least in my case.  Barf is just as gross and awful and putrid when it is coming from my own sweet child than it is coming from some strange kid at the ball park concession stand.  period.  Poopy diapers are still poopy diapers. Regardless of the fact that they are coming from the cutest baby girl on the face of the planet, they still make me gag and I will still try to get out of changing them every chance I get. I have learned that being a mother involves some pretty gross things, and that is why I have invested in air freshener and "poo-pourri" ;0)

*Having a baby means "shopping" takes on a whole new meaning.
I only thought I enjoyed shopping for clothes before I was pregnant.  I had no idea. 
Once I found out I was expecting, you better believe I did not waste one second (or one penny) buying any "gender neutral" clothes.  No sirree.  I was waiting for the real deal.  I was dead-set on either pink or blue - no yellow or soft greens for this momma.  When we had our ultrasound to find out if we were having a boy or a girl, I scheduled it for first thing in the morning and then purposefully took the day off of work so I could have the entire afternoon to shop.  Bless Jeffrey's heart, he had no idea what was coming.
And again, I only thought I enjoyed buying all those cute baby clothes while imagining what Libbi would look like in them.  Lord have mercy on me, because I am downright addicted now that I know how stinkin' cute she looks in....everything! ;0)
I have learned that being a mother means having a child with a more extensive wardrobe than mine, and being totally okay with that!

*Having a baby means sleep becomes a luxury.
When I was pregnant I basically stopped sleeping.  I had weird dreams all the time, calf cramps, and back pain.  Not to mention the frequent trips to the bathroom, the jabs in my side or the 9 pound baby I was carrying in my belly. When Libbi was born, I was more tired than I can ever remember being in my entire life.  But, I still couldn't sleep.  When she slept at night, I found myself constantly checking to make sure she was still breathing.  I would put my hand on her chest to make sure it was steadily moving up and down.  I would ever so lightly place my finger under her nose to make sure I could feel little breaths coming out. If I wasn't checking to make sure she was still breathing, then I was just staring at her; marveling at the fact that she was actually mine.  I know you've all heard people say, "sleep when the baby sleeps" but I just couldn't do it.  When she napped during the day, I was too enamored with her to close my eyes and get some rest.  I would just hold her for hours and hours, memorizing every perfect feature on her.  Now that she (thankfully) sleeps 12 hours a night, I still find myself unable to sleep.  So I'll quietly tiptoe into her room.  Sometimes I pray over her.  Sometimes I just listen to the gentle rhythm of her peaceful breaths. And sometimes I pick her up and rock her taking in every bit of her sweet baby goodness.  I have learned that being a mother means losing sleep, yet  somehow still feeling full of energy each day.

*Having a baby means gaining a new understanding and a greater appreciation of the love my parents have for me.
I have a great relationship with my parents and pretty much always have.  I know that they love me and that they would do anything for me, but since having Libbi, my understanding of love has taken on a whole new life.  When my parents would say, "I would do anything for you" I never doubted them, but don't think I was able to grasp the depth of that kind of all-consuming sacrificial love. I know there were many times growing up that I heard my mom say, "you won't understand until you're a mother." Now I understand :)  I have learned that being a mother means I am still someone's daughter, and for that I am eternally blessed.
*Having a baby means being someone's mother...
All I have ever wanted is to be a mother. When I was little, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would say, "a mom." My heart's desire has always been to be a mom.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being a teacher and I am blessed to be able to work with children, but it is not where I find my purpose in life. Just as I had to adjust to being "a wife" when Jeffrey and I got married, there was also an adjustment period after having Libbi. Now, I was not just a wife, but also a mother. Caring for the life of another is a huge blessing, but it is also a huge responsibility.  I was already blessed to be a wife, daughter, sister, teacher, and friend, but I had to learn how to balance all these with my new role of motherhood.  I praise God that in three short weeks, I will be a full-time stay-at-home-mom!  I have learned that being "just" a mother is enough, and that is all I ever hope to be.     

*Having a baby means reveling at the awesome power and goodness of God.
 I have never doubted the power of our God or even the amazing fact that He blesses us with so much more than we deserve. But, I cannot deny that having a baby has taken my understanding of God's love for me to a whole new level.  That He would willingly place such a precious gift in our care on this earth is almost beyond my ability to comprehend.  What an omnipotent God that can form a baby in my womb, create her innermost parts, and then allow me to hold her in my arms.  That kind of love is beyond what I can fathom. 

If you have made it this far, bless you :)  I told Jeffrey that I was having a hard time wrapping up this "Mother's Day Post" because there was just soooo much that I wanted to write.  Maybe I should just put, "to be continued" at the bottom then I can keep adding to it- ha! ;0)  

Libbi Jane, I am so proud to be your Momma and I am beyond thankful to be able to spend this day with you.  And to MY mom, thank you for teaching me by example.  I love you!

Happy Mother's Day!

1 John 3:18: "Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth."
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