I wish that I could say that I came into the motherhood game with courage- head held high, ready to take on the world. The truth is, that just isn’t how it happened for me. I may have once felt ready, felt secure in my call to motherhood, a few years back- but when we lost our first baby, a sweet angel at 11 weeks, the wind fell swiftly out of my sails. I was flooded with doubts of my future as a mother- doubts that remain in my heart to this day. But through my daughter’s life, and the things she is teaching me, I am slowly learning to have courage again.
When I was sure that an early ultrasound would reveal another miscarriage, there was her tiny fluttering heartbeat, telling me to have the courage to claim a viable pregnancy.
When I was overcome with exhaustion and morning sickness, there were her tiny kicks, helping me have the courage to get through the day.
When I was scared that something might be anatomically wrong with our growing little girl, there she was, sucking her thumb on the ultrasound screen, showing me that I should have the courage to imagine a bright future for my child.
When my due date came and went, and my anxious heart awaited her arrival, there were her daily hiccups, assuring me that she was just fine- and my courage to step forward in motherhood would grow.
When labor was erratic and intense and unpredictable, and I was scared that I couldn’t make it through, there she was, in a perfect position and with a perfect heartbeat, giving me the courage to have the natural water birth I desired for us.
When she got stuck in my pelvis and was without oxygen for a minute or so, and I feared that her life was already over, there was her cry, beckoning me to courageously take on the most important role of my life- being her mother.
Each day since Hallelujah’s birth 3 months ago has been a seesaw of fear and courage. I’m quickly learning, however, that this is the essence motherhood– doing the impossible, conquering your fears, and creating the future together. As the days become harder, may my courage grow, to be overshadowed only by joy.