At Home, Arlington, Massachusetts
Today is a big day for Nation family reproductive history. This is my first day off of the pill.
I've been trying to write about the end of using the pill for a few days now, but I just haven't been able to do so until now. It honestly just didn't really register until last night when I went to set my alarm for this morning. I didn't set my 9:00am alarm for the pill and though I haven't set it for a week every month for the last four years, this was what caused the reality to really hit home. I don't intend to really ever set that alarm again. An era of my reproductive life has concluded.
Birth control is a funny thing and I've been thinking about it a lot recently. I am deeply thankful for its invention and thankful that I live in a time and age in which I have the option of easily separating sex from procreation for a time. Granted, it does mean that I have been constantly tempted to view those things as fundamentally separated and fundamentally in my control, but I also have had the opportunity to learn the lesson of surrendering my will to God. I get to choose to step into a new role, following the Lord as I do so.
This thing – motherhood – is not my own story. I belong to the bigger story of Eve – the story which involves helping and suffering, adoption and heirs, waiting and promises, the Bride and childbirth. I don't get to choose whether I face a reckoning with this story. I live in a time and place in which the world is constantly trying to trick me into thinking that I can escape this story if I want to, that I can wrest this story into being my own, and mine alone. But all women everywhere will stand face to face with their potential, abandoned, lost, or gained motherhood at some point and decide how to engage this story that has always been bigger than our small individual selves.
Lord, I am small and I am usually pretty afraid of this story that you have spun into motion. And most days I think that by expelling a baby from my womb, I will inevitably expel my brains along with it. But I am trying, really trying to believe that the story you created is not a harmful story for my person. That you did not make me second rate. That by being a mother, I will not be losing everything you have created me to be. That you have created me to be a self and a mother, and that I do not need to be a mother to be a self. And ultimately, that motherhood was not intended to be a destructive force that shuts down a woman's gifts, talents, and strengths, but rather something that can be wondrous.
(Image by Erik Cleves Kristensen, "Mother painting.")
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.