One Year Post-Partum Reflection from a First Time Mom

by - December 15, 2018

I hope to keep my thoughts organized as I write this. But honestly I'm writing this in the spur of the moment, so bear with me as I plunge down memory lane and reflect on what I learned in my first year in motherhood. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful beyond words.

Test Shows Positive

When I first found out I was pregnant, I didn't have a reaction of thrill and bliss. I cried. I screamed. I said "NO, not now!". I had plans, I had a timeline. We were living halfway across the world in Egypt and we had already signed to work another year.

And now all those plans were being altered and thrown out the window. If I'm honest, I'm ashamed of my reaction. Even though it only lasted maybe an hour. After a good cry in our AirBNB in Odessa, Ukraine, I started to think of the life inside of me. My mood started to shift.

By the time my husband came back from the market where he bought a shirt for the Swan Lake ballet we were going to see, I had calmed down. But I was still whirling with emotions and a bit stunned. Wayne's reaction was much better than mine.

As the evening progressed, I grew warmer to the idea of having a baby. After all, it's not like I didn't want children, I always knew I wanted to be a mom. But my schedule went haywire, and I had a hard time coping.

Read More: Letting Go of Control

God allows all kinds of circumstances to happen to teach us one of the greatest lessons He repeatedly drills into us: be humble.

I look back now, and I see someone who was so incredibly selfish and proud. Someone who thought she could control so much more than was in her power, and had kept God out of the loop of what decisions she made.

Accepting This Gift

Once I accepted that this was my new reality, that night at the ballet I started falling in love with this anonymous being who was making us go from couple status to family.

God created marriage, and He created families. And even though there are a lot of broken marriages and families out there, even the secular world still recognizes the amazing beauty in these institutions.

So I suppose the steady progression of love and excitement about my pregnancy came somewhat naturally, since it is part of my female design.

If you follow me on social media, especially if you have been around for a while, you know I really enjoyed my pregnancy. Not all of it, -who can love heartburn or nausea?- but I was constantly filled with amazement and wonder by what my body could do. There were days I was more than happy to give my body up to bring a new life into the world. There were days I cried and cried in pain.

Read More: My First Trimester

That being said, my pregnancy in general was not only relatively normal and healthy, but I grew increasingly more in love with my unborn baby, who I found out was going to be a girl.

We were so overjoyed when we found out we were having a girl, Wayne even cried. I know we would have loved a baby boy as well, but we're human and we have desires. And God chose to grant us this one.

Birth & Labour

I won't go into too much detail since I have a whole post dedicated to my birth and labour experience.

As far as births go, mine went pretty well and I consider myself so incredibly blessed. Baby girl was born healthy, I had a bit of eclampsia during the final stage of labour, but it didn't affect it.

On December 14th at 5:52 pm, we welcomed Laurie Grace to the world, and my heart exploded!

All I remember, after she was out, was looking at her as the doctor held her up and being STUNNED. All I could think was, did this really come out of ME? Something so beautiful, so perfect, came from my body?

She was so ALIVE. She had hair, toenails, the most beautiful nose and quite the set of lungs. Once again, I was so overcome with the miracle of pregnancy and birth. From two tiny cells, a complete unique human being was made, and she was finally in my arms...

Growing as a Mother & a Christian

This will likely sound super cliche, but it doesn't make it untrue. When my parents would say they loved me and how I won't know what that feels like until I have kids of my own, I used to think I probably knew the jist of it. I couldn't have been more wrong.

As I grew in love and motherhood, I learned a great deal of lessons along the way:

It was through Motherhood that I learned how your life completely changes forever.

It was through Motherhood that I understood more how God loves ME.

It was through Motherhood that I learned that happiness really does come from selflessness.

It was through Motherhood that I saw how flawed I am as a human being, in the moments where I lost my patience, wanted to throw in the towel, and generally just failed at being a decent person.

It was through Motherhood that I realized just how amazing and perfect and awesome God is as a Heavenly Father.

It was through Motherhood that I grew a whole new level of appreciation for my mother, and all that my parents sacrificed for me.

It was through Motherhood that I learned that I was wrong to think I knew what my parents were talking about, because the love I have for my baby girl is utterly like nothing I could ever explain or expect.

When in Doubt, Turn to God

Yes, being a mother is hard. Really hard. Like, really, really, really hard. And there isn't much to prepare you for how hard it can be. But I truly started seeing growth in patience and understanding as I spent more time in God's word and I shed more layers of selfishness that always get in the way of a heavenly perspective, and from growing in the gifts of the spirit.

As I look back on my first year as a mother, I see the countless blessings and trials God brought throughout the journey. I grew in so many ways, and I know I still have a long way to go.

My goal and prayer for this next year, and every year to come, is to make sure I never stray away from a Christ-Centered motherhood. So that I may not only grow in patience, kindness and wisdom, but instill Laurie (and any future children) with the life-giving truths of God's Word. So that she may one day become a follower of Christ herself.

This the conclusion of my thoughts of reflection upon this last year that changed the course of my life, my ambitions, my goals and even to some extent, my dreams. It certainly changed my body, whoa boy! But that's a topic for another day...

I hope you enjoyed these ponderings. If you are a new mom, I want to say: welcome to the journey! Now strap in, because you're in for one heck of a wonderful ride! With ups and downs, stress and exhilaration. And it's going to be one of the most beautiful things you will ever witness.

As always, thoughts, comments, musings, are welcome down below.

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