As you prepare to have your first baby, I am sad beyond all description to be so far. I am sorry I can't share this whole thing with you and be there in the hospital (after you've had her, of course) and bring you a hamburger and pizza and chocolate... (ok, those were the things that got me through labour... I suppose not everyone is as excited at the idea of eating a GOOD burger)
I was thinking this morning about what it means to have a child. The first one especially, changes everything. It changes the parents, it changes your schedule, it changes the way you do things, and how you do things, and how decisions are made, and who you hang out with. It changes where you eat, and sometimes what you eat. Your priorities change, and your list of daily accomplishments change. Your clothing size changes, and your body changes. Somedays all these changes make you want to scream. Somedays you won't even notice.
Your first child awakens the "Monster mom" and you feel as if you could accomplish great feats, do anything to protect your precious little person. But you can't. And that is more frightening than anything you can imagine. All of a sudden your worst nightmares are only inches away. You can only defend her against SOME of the bad in a world suddenly filled with BAD. One roque car, one unseen moment, one poor decision... It is now your heart at risk, and it is no longer safely tucked in your chest. It is outside. And in all this fear, you realise that the ONLY defence is the MAKER of the WORLD. The One who made it GOOD, and He can show you the GOOD in the BAD. You can curl up in His palm, because that is all you CAN do.
And while you are living on the brink of blinding fear, you are feeding, and rocking, and noticing, and caressing, and...unsure. Why is she crying? Why isn't she crying? Should I feed her the organic brand? Am I holding her enough? Studies say this, studies say that. La Leche League says this, my sister says that. But rest assured, God has given you the instinct you need. He gave you this daughter and He has given you the skills to care for her. Trust yourself. The internet will not help you. Trust your own instincts, and if you must, ask other mothers whom you trust and admire their parenting.
Parenting is the most exciting, exhausting, hilarious, insane adventure. Nothing else can make you laugh and cry in moments. Nothing else could make you more angry and more happy. Nothing else can be so cute and so frustrating.
May you be blessed in this incredible adventure, sister. There is so much blessing to be had...