Before Mike and I had our very own baby I didn’t really like them much. They seemed to create an awful lot of chaos for not much reward. Despite this observation and probably because we were very young and very stupid, we decided about 33 years ago to give this parenting stage of our lives a go. It was more out of the inevitable and less out of a strong desire to be parents. I felt sure that if we couldn’t have children we would both sigh with relief and move on. Of course I got pregnant immediately and then began to regret my impulsive nature and my ability to make quick decisions, this one had permanent consequences. It was at this point that I realized I didn’t have a clue about any of the things that made a good parent. My mum was an amazing parent and a wonderful mother but she made it look easy, my sister was a mother too but she had always wanted children and she was a teacher so a professional as well.
I began to think of all the things I didn’t feel ready for. I didn’t feel ready to be totally responsible for someone else 24 hours a day. I liked my independence and my ability to be spontaneous. As far as I could see that went out the window when you brought the buggy and the diapers into the house. I didn’t feel ready to have no sleep, no money and no fun. I didn’t feel equipped to have a child that could possibly have an illness or a disability, I hate hospitals and I am not a natural nurse. As I became larger and rounder and my feet disappeared from view my fear and panic grew bigger too.
I hid it well beneath the maternity dresses but I was approaching the future and D. Day with a seriously large amount of denial. I really wasn’t sure I would like being a mother at all.
I was admitted into hospital with pre eclampsia at 33 weeks and after four weeks of being put on bed rest and thinking calm thoughts, they decided to induce me. This felt like the train that I was the only passenger on, had started to speed up and was heading towards an inevitable crash.
I vividly remember Mike asking me with genuine concern and love if I wanted anything and my answer was a definite yes, either you take over or can I die! The midwife at this point told me to stop panicking and being dramatic, that I was the only one who could do it and that I would be fine. I felt anything but fine.
While I was trying to breathe calmly and regain perspective the doctors and nurses suddenly thought that our tiny fragile baby had had enough and had died during the prolonged labor. They couldn’t find her heart beat. It was in that exact moment I became a mother and I knew that whatever happened in the next minutes I would hold the love I had for our daughter in my heart forever. It changed everything for me. No longer was I uncertain and afraid, I became a warrior going to war for her safety. A minute later she was born complete, perfect and breathing with a small scar above her eye where they had yanked her out with forceps. I loved her instantly and with such a fierce feeling of being her mother. Nothing she or the world would throw at us would ever change that.
I didn’t know it then and it wouldn’t have changed anything if I had, but I would hold this same daughter in my arms 30 years later as she wailed and grieved for the loss of her own newly born son, or that I would cry with tears of relief and amazement when she held the unforgettable gift of a newborn baby boy after someone else had carried and given birth to him.
Denial is such a powerful tool used by the enemy to lock us into our fears and failures.
When God breaks in with his power it transforms us at our very core. If I had stayed in denial and fear our family would walked on a different path. Instead I decided to embrace what I had really been called to be and with his help do it as well as I could. I know no other job that causes you to fall to your knees in prayer and frustration more frequently than parenting but I can’t imagine anything else bringing me such joy.
Is there something in your life that you are in denial about but that if you let the light into that darkness it would change your life?