In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Strong Enough to be a Mom

"I don't know if I can do this again."

I had a lot of different reactions when I found out I was pregnant again at 41.

Morning sickness ambushed my body for 4 1/2 months, so physically I battled all-day nausea. No fun, whether you're pregnant at 21 or 31 or 41.

Mentally, I started calculating all the "I'll be this old when my child is that old" statistics--what I call the "Mommy-Come-Lately Math." Want to know how old I'll be when Christa finally graduates from high school? I had that figured out before I finished my first trimester.

Emotionally, I was on a wild rollercoaster ride. Stunned. Overwhelmed. Ashamed of my ambivelance. Most of all, I wondered if I could do this again. This being motherhood--investing my heart and soul into the life of this child.

I wasn't worried so much about the physical exhaustion of motherhood. There is that, to be sure. I didn't look forward to sleepless nights with a fussy baby. And there were so many times I sat and held Christa in the same rocking chair that I'd rocked her three siblings in and told her, "I'm too old for these late nights, baby."

I was more concerned about the wear and tear on my heart. By the time I was 41, I'd been on active duty as a mom for 17 years. My heart bore the battle scars of motherhood.

A mother's heart aches with every hurt her children experiences--be they skinned knees or bruised emotions. I knew I couldn't shield my "caboose baby" from being hurt by a careless step or a careless word, just as I hadn't been able to protect her brother and sisters.

Was I up to this again--the heart-expanding experience of motherhood where my heart would beat with this child's, feeling her joy and her pain? To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was. But the moment I held my daughter in my arms for the first time, I no longer had a choice.

I love, love, love Christa. I hurt when she hurts. I open my arms wide when she needs a place of comfort. I wipe away her tears. I rejoice when she is over-the-moon thrilled with her life and laughs with childish abandon. My heart aches with both the sadness and the beauty that comes into my Christa's life.

I'm a mom.

It's what I do.


At 11:33 AM, Blogger Tiffany said...

Beautifully said. God knew he could trust you to open your heart one more time!


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