As tears streamed down my cheeks, three faces stood looking at me with concern. The nurse, who had faithfully helped reposition me over and over again to help progress my labor in the passing hours, sticking her fingers inside me to help direct my pushing. My doctor, who had not once during my prenatal care said the word “c-section” and who now held my hand and told me the procedure did not mean I was a failure. And my husband, who for sixty hours had been by my side helping coach my breathing, hold me throughout bouts of uncontrollable shaking, and read scripture to remind me of God’s presence, and whose face now showed an undeniable mixture of fear and relief. I finally accepted the inevitable, recalling stories of friends who had tried to keep pushing only to find themselves dealing with additional complications.
I lay on the operating table, my arms stretched out and deep sorrow welling up in my soul. All of the questions about how I got there and whether it was really necessary came later. At the moment, all I felt was fear like I had never felt it before - and underneath it an emotional pain that made me completely passive. Undoubtedly the heavy doses of drugs were partially to answer for the utter surrender I found myself experiencing; but they did not explain it all. As I lay on the table, I realized I was truly and finally at the end of waiting for motherhood. My baby was going to arrive, but she would arrive in the most invasive and scary way I could imagine. And as the operating room chatter of doctors and nurses quickly indicated, even the details of my brightly lit, highly anesthetized delivery would not be easy. The baby was so stuck that normal procedure could not take place.
As the tugging and pulling commenced and continued, I closed my eyes. In my heart I reached out to God and he met me. Story after story of broken women flashed across my mind. Through scripture, God reminded me of his closeness to women who suffer. I thought about Sarah. I thought about Mary. I thought a lot about the woman healed of bleeding. Lying on the operating table I felt unbelievably small. But it was in that smallness that God fellowshipped with me and reminded me of the ways he has seen the small, hidden things of female existence. Now more than ever I understood the suffering of women described over and over again in the Bible and as I was ministered to by the Holy Spirit, I loved the God who condescends to see us.
The worst moment of the entire last nine months came at the very end. As they finally lifted the baby out of me, she did not cry. For an eternity I listened to doctors repeat questions and return answers about their efforts to invoke her cry. In reality this did not last longer than a minute, but that minute was fire through my brain. Everything about the last nine months snapped and all of my concerns about myself, about my identity, about my future were burned up with the overwhelming desire to know that my baby would breathe. In an instant I dropped every fear I had about what motherhood would do to me because all of those fears could not compete with the resounding thought that my baby was not okay. Until a kind nurse came to reassure him that our little girl had a good heartbeat despite the continued need for her to cry, my husband sat on the edge of insanity. But soon the cry came, and it came loudly.
Verity Ann was born at 12:53pm on Sunday, April 30, 2017. As the doctors continued to stitch and medicate me, she was brought to my chest and I said, “Hello, baby.” She couldn’t stay long, though, and it was my greatest relief to send her daddy to watch as the nurses cleaned and assisted her. She was not alone.
In the weeks since my daughter’s birth, I have dealt with myriad emotions. Against the backdrop of relief, I’ve doubted doctors, I’ve doubted myself, I’ve doubted the system - all to arrive back and back again at the belief that everyone did both what they could and what they should have done. In the end, what I have had to accept is not the I or someone else screwed myself over, but rather that I have a broken body. Despite everyone’s best efforts and even in the shadow of God’s providence, my daughter’s birth left scars on my body that will not be removed until the full redemption of all matter. My womb, which was not meant to be, was cut open and sewed back closed and this mark on my body that will not go away until the dust I’m a part of is remade again.
I’ve seen a lot of women online speak of pride in their “battle scars.” I understand why women speak this way. It helps to bring honor to a process that easily feels like your biggest failure as a woman. I too feel like I went through battle and was willing to do whatever necessary to win, even letting my flesh be cut, pulled, and sewn in order to ensure victory. I too feel as if the scars left behind are a badge of my experience. But this term - “battle scars” - only reminds me that things are not as they should be. It’s a term that speaks to the sacrifice made and the victory I had, but also that all was not right to begin with. Battle is only something we enter into when something is broken, flawed. Just as the wounds of the soldier will one day be erased along with all bloodshed and war, so too the scars left behind by the battles women have faced in birthing. The dust of our existence will be renewed. “For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). God has not forgotten who we are.
Since her arrival, my daughter has brought me more joy than I could have possibly imagined. When I look into her eyes, when she smiles as she poops, when she sticks out her tongue in hunger, when her eyes finally close in sleep - all of these things are a new song for my soul. These and countless other things about her life and person. It amazes me how quickly this joy flooded my life. Almost from the moment she was born, her existence reduced the worry of other unhappy things going on. The long labor, the unfortunate c-section, the initial frustrations of nursing, the discomfort of the hospital, the sleepless nights all so easily and so quickly faded into the joy of life. Verity does not fulfill me. But her life makes me happy and it is something I love to celebrate every day.
But I am not very good at writing about my joys. Words are hard for me when I turn to describing the things that make me happy. I wish so badly that I could find better ways to describe the joy I find in being Verity’s mother and in embracing her as my daughter. And I wish that I had known more of this joy during my pregnancy. Now that I know how happy it can be to have a child I wish I had celebrated her preparation every day.
In the end, it is a matter of love. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18). How can I be afraid of motherhood when I love my child so much? How can I be afraid of change when God has given me so much? There is no punishment for me. I am free to love, and it is love that makes me brave.
During one of our nights in the hospital I got up to go to the bathroom. It was the first night without the catheter, so I had to make myself walk despite the very painful incision and my abs that could barely support sitting on the toilet. I stood in the bathroom and thought about my beat up body. It made me feel very very small. I hadn’t felt that way since I lived in China. The only other time I have ever felt that small was during a bus ride across the vast expanse of a Chinese megalopolis. I sat by the window, looking out at thousands of people passing by, knowing they were only a small portion of China's billion, and I and my problems became small. I was lost among these people, invisible. And the small sufferings I faced living in their country were small indeed. But as I rode on the bus, I knew that while smallness most often means vulnerability, it can also mean hiddenness. On that ride I knew myself to be hidden in God’s hand. To be small can be frightening, but only if you are exposed, abandoned. When something small is hidden within something large, when it is sheltered and protected, it is not a terrifying position.
Since becoming a mother, I have felt very small. But I am learning that is ok, because throughout scripture it is the small to whom the Lord promises to be near. The weak, the vulnerable, the scared, the hurt, the uncertain - these are the people who receive the promises of God. In the recent weeks, the birth of my daughter has given me the privilege of knowing myself included.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
At Home, Cambridge, Massachusetts
The last couple of days have been so hard. I’ve been having a lot of pain in my pelvis and last week it finally got so bad that I could barely walk more than 5 minutes without pretty severe pain. I finally went to the doctor on Wednesday. Everything is ok, thankfully, but the pain I’m experiencing is because the baby has already dropped and is sitting low. The nurse was tight lipped about whether it meant she might come early or not – until right at the very end of our appointment. Then she mentioned that often, labor starts within two weeks of the baby dropping for first time mothers. But, of course we shouldn’t plan on it.
Once we got home, though, I started to go into panic mode. Two weeks! Literally nothing in our lives is ready for this baby to possibly come in two weeks. Nothing with work is lined up or wrapped up, my thesis defense isn’t even scheduled until two weeks from now, the house is still not unpacked, the hospital bag isn’t packed, Trey would be wrapping up his semester after she comes, trying to write papers in the midst of a screaming baby. It would be chaos.
I’ve had a difficult time not feeling totally overwhelmed by this possibility. And defeated. One can make all of the best plans, I guess, and in the end it just might not matter at all. Maybe like Icarus I’ve flown too near the sun and my wings are now melting. Added to all of this, my hormones are just raging and I’ve cried more in the last 48 hours than I did in the last month.
It’s an emotional time of life. It feels like all of the divergent threads I’ve been weaving are quickly, perhaps more rapidly than anticipated, coming to a point. I’m being pulled along and can’t stop the tide. Half the time I want it to just happen, because I’m so ready to meet this little girl and be done with her constant kneeing of my ribs. But the other half of the time I just want it all to slow down so I can catch my breath and make sure all of the boxes are checked and I get my final quiet moments with Trey.
But God’s ways are bigger than ours and perhaps this is his way of keeping me from getting too comfortable. Once again I am learning to grab onto him from out of the discomfort of what feels like a storm. And in the midst of it, he is reminding me that though everything from the world may tell me it is a problem, the arrival of our child is not an inconvenience. Life and its beginning are always unpredictable, but despite what our mechanized and timetabled culture says, it is not an inconvenience. It is not something to be controlled.
One day my daughter may read these words. If she comes early, her birth story will probably involve jokes about all of the chaos she brought with her for a few fleeting weeks. But, my child, you must know that your life and your birth were not an inconvenience to us. You came according to God’s will and we embrace it, excitedly looking forward to first moment we look into your eyes.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
At Home, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Recently a friend sent me a recommendation for a book written against the natural child birth movement. I haven’t read it, but whenever in life I actually have time to do so I want to read it along with the book I keep hearing about from the woman who started the natural childbirth movement on a farm. I’ve become pretty intrigued at trying to understand how these women come up with their philosophical positions concerning childbirth. On the one hand, the natural childbirth movement argues that the process is totally natural and should be left alone. On the other hand, the doctor writing the book my friend recommended argues that pain is not natural, nor is it considered a human good; therefore, the pain of childbirth should not be considered natural and something to leave unmedicated. Suffering is not something people should view as “normal” or “natural,” and we should attempt to alleviate the suffering a woman experiences in childbirth. I find this ideological divide fascinating, particularly for what it says about the secular world we live in.
Apart from an understanding of creation that maintains it was designed to be good, and apart from a belief in the fall and resulting curse of that which was designed to be good, I’m not sure how you would navigate the conundrum of childbirth. Apart from the seemingly Biblical idea that pain in childbirth is not natural, I think the natural birthers have the philosophical upper hand. Totally apart from the fact that the natural birthers only get to focus on the experience and believe the things they believe due to historical privilege (natural childbirth can only be romanticized the way it is given the availability of medical intervention for situations that go wrong and our dramatically low mortality rates compared with the rest of history), I think they are at least ideologically consistent in promoting the idea that women should not be afraid of something that is at its most basic level natural to their bodies.
And yet, the natural childbirth movement is inconsistent in their idea of pain. Where else in life do people glorify natural pain – as opposed to chosen pain in order to achieve such as an athlete would endure – and make it meaningful and transcendent? To believe that everything about childbirth is totally natural, and therefore totally good, you are pretty much left with concluding that either women are the most screwed over biological entities on the face of the planet evolutionarily speaking, or that pain and suffering in childbirth is somehow the only place in the world we believe physical pain to be a holy, meaningful experience. If the pain and threat of childbirth is truly natural, then women are the biggest losers of the evolutionary game. If not, and we still want to maintain that childbirth should be left unmedicated for the natural spiritual experience it provides, might we not call it masochistic?
Pain seems to be a reality that neither side of this debate really knows how to adequately grapple with. The natural childbirthers make it integral to the identity and substance of womanhood, accepting evolution’s luck of the draw and attempting to bequeath it with meaning. The medical system rightly understands that suffering should not be inherent to anyone’s identity and that in order to protect the dignity of women, it is good to prevent or limit the pain which can so easily reduce women to vulnerability and misery. Yet in the process, the medical world so often forgets and overlooks what is good and beautiful about childbirth – that in some shape or form it is what women were created to do. The medical profession, as represented by the doctor writing this book, equivocates childbirth and a broken arm in order to suggest we are foolish not to offer women medical intervention; but arms don’t naturally break and women’s bodies do naturally produce babies.
Only the Biblical idea of fallenness seems really adequate to hold both realities together – that women’s bodies are made to do this thing and should be given room to make it work (natural childbirth) and that along with so many other things about our physical existence, childbirth is fallen and can do real, serious, and lasting harm to women, which we should try to prevent (medical intervention). More than anything else I can think of, childbirth stands at the crossroads between the glory and the shame of humanity. Only in childbirth do we catch such a crystal clear glimpse of what was meant to be – the power and strength of humanity exerting, maintaining, and producing life. And only in childbirth are we confronted with the futility and misery of life severed from fellowship with God, smashed into the fragmented remains of his image. For both woman and child, birth is a beautiful, glorious, God-imaging moment that cannot escape from the confines of suffering and death, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves of its transcendence.
Oh the beautiful, breathtaking mystery of the incarnation and the redemption it ushered in. The glorious marvel of Jesus is not only that the incarnated Son of God suffered death, but also that he suffered birth! How often do we contemplate the mysteries of the incarnation, marveling at Christ’s embodiment without thinking about his birth. His birth was not romantic and transcendent for Mary; and this is not because it was in a manger, but rather because it was just like every other birth. It involved the same mundane, banal pain that every woman and every baby has felt since Eve. The mystery of the incarnation not only involves the mystery of Jesus’ smallness; it involves the mystery of the God of the universe experiencing the banality of birth itself, since what was intended for glory can only ever offer pale reflections of the original design once it is fallen. In the cross Christ paid for sin. In the resurrection Christ finished death. And in his birth Christ redeemed the very idea of life itself.
Monday, February 13, 2017
At Home, Cambridge, Massachusetts
God is near to the weak. I will let this comfort me, give me joy, and renew me.
I hit a new pregnancy low last night. I had a pretty good day actually. Slept in, walked a lot, didn’t eat too much. We assembled the crib which was so much fun. But I woke up at 1am and it was horrible. I had terrible reflux. Truly, truly terrible. And that triggered my asthma. I couldn’t sleep at all. My restlessness was keeping Trey up, so he decided to sleep on the couch, but I made him stay in bed. He doesn’t really fit on the couch and I knew I wouldn’t be sleeping for a while anyway, so at least one of should actually sleep. I watched TV and shopped for bed skirt for the crib until 3am. At 3am I just broke down sobbing. I had already eaten four tums and used my inhaler, but everything still hurt and was uncomfortable. I finally climbed back into bed and it took about another hour to fall asleep. I tried to sleep in this morning, but wasn’t super successful. Even napping this afternoon hasn’t been so great. It’s like my body has decided it just can’t take it all anymore, and even though it’s so incredibly tired, it refuses to settle down.
Jesus! Please, please help me. I have 10 weeks left in this pregnancy and I don’t know how I’m going to survive it.
Yesterday a pastor’s wife I know in the area was telling me about how the minute she actually delivered her child, she could feel all of her organs take a breath. As everything immediately started to settle with the removal of seven pounds of child, she could once again catch her breath, breathing deeply for what felt like the first time in eternity. She said it was a spiritual experience, reminding her of what it’s like to finally find spiritual release from a burden. This is all I want right now – that degree of release. A deep breathe. The ability to fill my lungs with hope. I know it’s coming, but it’s going to be such a long and miserable two months until it does come. Just as the world is waiting to take a gasp of air with arrival of renewal, so I wait, breathing but restricted, for the arrival of this baby.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
At Home, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Pregnancy is just kind of a demoralizing experience. There is so much about it to love. I love feeling my baby move inside of me. I love the way it has opened my eyes to the realities of being a woman. I love the way pregnancy puts so much into perspective, not quite drowning out my goals and interests in life, but providing a reprimand to the ways I can obsess over them. I love the way I am being forced to consider my body and accept its power and limitations. But despite all of these things, there is still so much about pregnancy that I find to be humiliating and demoralizing.
To start, there is the persistent physical discomfort. Even my second trimester was marked by it. My body aches and groans and at times it rears up against me in violent protest as it simultaneously stretches and squashes. Every night I go to bed with a whimpering body trying to digest what it needs but is unable to take in and process. I wake up in the middle of the night and my hips are sobbing as they try to slowly unhinge and loosen to make room. The walls of my belly exist in shocked protest as an ever bigger and bigger foot or elbow thrusts newfound weight against them. My body often can’t seem to decide if this is the best thing ever – because it is what it was made to do – or the most embarrassing, as it struggles to figure out how to make it all work. It doesn’t feel like failure – not at all. But it does feel like a slow, nine month long study in confusion and mayhem.
And I feel this all the most when it comes to sex. My body seems to be so distracted by everything else it’s trying to figure out that sex is pretty much the last thing it wants. I often grieve over this reality for my husband, but in truth, it’s just as sorrowful for myself. I love sex, but I do not love it with a bowling ball strapped to my midsection and hips that scream when twisted. I don’t feel like myself. I don’t not feel beautiful; in fact I love my belly and the shape it’s given me. I just feel like my body doesn’t know what to do with itself.
I remember thinking before we got pregnant that the whole experience would be so romantic. Sex to try to conceive would be so hot and we would have nine months of googly eyes before the baby came. Trey and I have had many wonderful moments throughout these months. We have had some beautifully intimate and special times, and I have never felt more protection, concern, and affection from my husband than during these months. He has served me sacrificially the whole way through. But it hasn’t necessarily been romantic – getting pregnant was more funny than anything else and my body has generally not been well disposed to food and late night activities. The idea of a babymoon sounds more exhausting than rewarding. Survival has been the goal more than anything else.
I don’t want to complain. I really, really, really don’t want to complain. All of this is worth it and more than anything else in the world I can’t wait to meet my daughter. But I also just wish I could have better understood how much the sacrifices of motherhood would start with pregnancy, not birth. My expectations weren’t right. The challenge parenting presents to your sense of self starts at the very beginning, at conception. From that first moment, the call to give of yourself begins, and though the physical reality of my life will soon start to improve once again, the need to die to self has only just begun.
(Image by Wolfgang Sterneck, "A Reality called Boom."
Thursday, January 26, 2017
At Home, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Pregnancy is rough. I’m so tired of it. My body is tired, my mind is tired. Sometimes my soul feels tired. I know it’s not going to get any better when I have an infant, but nonetheless, I feel very ready to not be pregnant any more. I am just not a good pregnant lady.
Last night I couldn’t sleep and those are just always the worst days. It’s totally unpredictable when I will and won’t be able to sleep, so I haven’t really taken any steps to deal with the insomnia. I just lie there at night and everything aches. My back and hips ache if I lie on my back. My stomach hurts if I lie on my side, even with all of my pillows. I feel itchy. And my legs are starting to feel more and more restless. And as all of this is going on, my mind races over everything that I’m worried about. Am I just going to crash and burn next year? There is so much I want to do and this child is not going to let me do it all, so what do I choose to give up?
Trey asked me a couple days ago if I feel ready for motherhood. The truth is I don’t. I don’t in the slightest way feel ready. In fact I feel afraid. But that is only when I think about it in the abstract. When I think about this abstract idea of motherhood and all that it involves, I’m very frightened and I feel very vulnerable. But when I think about my actual baby, when I think about actually getting to hold her and look at her, kiss her and welcome her into the world, then I don’t feel afraid. I don’t feel afraid because the concrete excitement and beauty of getting to greet this little person make all of the abstract fears and concerns step down and take a back seat. Motherhood is a scary thing, but what gives me courage is the chance to get to know and hold my child.
And she is there, she is alive. Every day there is something new to discover. Yesterday I put two and two together and realized that she starts to move when I’m playing music. I’m not sure how I missed it before, but I’ve noticed that she is pretty quiet when the house is quiet. But not long after I start to play music, that is when all of the sudden the kicking and jumping starts. I tested it again this morning and sure enough… she was silent all morning and then as soon as I put on some music, the rolling, rounding, bumping movements began.
How can I be afraid of these scary ideas in my head when I will soon meet a life that already dances?
Friday, January 20, 2017
At Home, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Oh my goodness. I just read a woman’s post on the baby app about her baby boy who was born with severe birth defects. He lived for only 20 minutes before passing away. Her feed had his sonogram pictures and the pictures she took immediately after his birth in the hospital. It was too much emotionally. I start sobbing. These stories are always heartbreaking, but reading them while expecting and with all of these hormones going through me, I thought that I was going to pass out. The emotional weight of it was too much.
I had never heard of the whole “rainbow baby” thing until starting to follow this app. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out what all of the rainbow emojis were for, but once I did figure it out, the weight of them really hit me. It’s chilling how many women use the emoji.
Oh our broken world! What a sad place the world sometimes is. The weak and vulnerable are truly that in this world – too small and too fragile for those who are strong to know how to protect and preserve them. The small things are the most easily neglected, forgotten, trodden on. But we serve a God who became small. The biggest thing became the smallest thing, the weakest and most vulnerable. His birth was the ultimate rainbow – the sign to this world that the destruction of the small and fragile will not go unnoticed, will not go forgotten. The suffering that has been hidden by its smallness will be revealed, and then justice and redemption will arrive.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
At Home, Arlington, Massachusetts
Last night I woke up to a riot inside myself. Before I woke up I dreamt that someone came up to me and aggressively tickled my belly. I angrily awoke, worried that their tickling was going to hurt the baby. But after realizing it was dream, I realized something even funnier. The baby was having a party. I’ve never felt her move so much. I could feel her bumping up against the top left and bottom right of my womb simultaneously. I guess she was completely stretched out and kicking on one side and punching on the other. Or maybe she was literally bouncing off the walls. Whatever she was doing, it was so intense it took my quite a while to fall back asleep. Oh I can’t wait to meet this little bundle of energy.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
At Home, Arlington, Massachusetts
It's become so hard to write. Not because there isn't anything to write about, but because there is too much to write about. Every day is filled with so much to process, so much to try to understand. Most days I just don't know where to begin.
Christmas was both a very good and a very strange time. For some reason a lot of people seem to think that it's particularly special to be pregnant at Christmas. This is so bizarre to me. Why would it be more special to be pregnant at Christmas than at any other time of the year? I guess the insinuation is that somehow it brings you closer to Mary's experience. That I understand. But shouldn't pregnancy bring any woman at any time closer to Mary's experience and the mystery of the incarnation? Christmas is simply a yearly reminder of what we should know to be true year round. The whole idea that it's more special to be pregnant at Christmas just feels to me like part of our romanticization of maternity.
Being home while pregnant was also weird, but in a totally different way. It felt similar to the first time I stayed in my parents' house after getting married. It was a marked reminder of the changes that happen in life – the dreams of an adolescent Hannah about marriage and family are no longer dreams, but reality. After marriage the physical presence of this man in my childhood bedroom marked change in ways I could touch and smell. With pregnancy, my own physical space within my parents' home is changing. I'm not just bringing another body into this space, but my body itself no longer exists the same way. I literally no longer move around the house in the same way I once did and that will intensify once this baby is born. My very movement is now marked by another and the space I inhabit changes as I change.
I had my first "stranger touches the belly" experience over Christmas. It was awkward. It was after church and I was catching up with an old friend. Her brother, who I've never met, came over and we all started chatting about the baby. He asked me if people touch my belly and as he asked, he reached over and touched it himself. I don't think he even thought about what he was doing, but it was quite a shocker.
The belly is definitely taking on a life of its own. Baby V moves around all night long. It seriously is like she's having a party in there. Sometimes I wake up and she is thudding against the walls of my uterus. Not kicking, not punching – full body slamming. I love her so much.
The aches and pains are definitely on the rise, too. Driving ten hours to Pittsburgh was a beast. Everything ached when we arrived and it took a few days for my muscles to loosen up again. I've started getting this pain in my left butt cheek, and my lower abdomen gets sore. Sometimes it seems like the baby is balled up in one area of my uterus, either down low or the side I'm sleeping on and then it hurts. I move to my back and she seems to move to a more central area and the relief is wonderful. We have three more months to go, so I can only imagine her love of curling up right on my bladder is only a foretaste of the discomfort due to arrive when she's so big there is nowhere else for her to go. I probably need to be doing more stretching, and I definitely need to be walking more. I tried to dance at Debbie's wedding and that was telling. Everything was so tight I could only make it through a song or two before needing to sit down for a break.
I just can't wait to meet this little girl. Every time I think about holding her and laughing with her, smiling into her eyes, I feel like I have a high school crush all over again. We started registering for baby items over Christmas and that was the worst. I hated just about everything having to do with deciphering and picking out things we want for the baby. There is just so much crap in the world to buy for a baby. Even now I can feel my blood pressure rise thinking about the baby registry. But when I think about the baby itself, I don't feel anxious. I know there is so much that I could be anxious about, but all I want to do is hug her. It's hard to feel anxious and afraid when you just can't stop thinking about meeting the person you've been feeling inside of you for months.
(Whitney Waller, "Pregnant.")
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
At Home, Arlington, Massachusetts
This morning V was moving around quite a lot when I woke up. I could feel her kicking through my belly so that my whole abdomen moved. Trey has felt her move before, but only once, and every time he tries to feel her moving she seems to quiet down. So I told him to put his hand on my stomach and he got a few really good kicks. They were so hard we wondered if they were head butts. Oh, I love this little girl so much. Sometimes it feels like I'm falling in love with her - I have all of the butterflies and heightened pulses and everything.
About the Project
This is a very personal project. It tracks my growth and development as I journeyed toward motherhood over the recent years. It doesn't document every experience I had, and probably neglects my more joyful and peaceful moments in the frenzy of trying to communicate my fears, anxieties, and doubts. If you are a friend or loved one, please do not let anything you read here overshadow what you know of me personally. If you are a stranger, please remember that a living and flawed person stands behind these words. To all my guests here, please understand these are not political statements and try to extend me grace, even as I share my failures and foibles - I have repented of much of what I share. I don't share this journal as an exemplar, but rather out of the desire to share my hope that entrance to motherhood does not need to be a fearful thing - despite the very real fears I have fought against. Motherhood is simply a part of life and one through which I am discovering more of myself and my God.