Monday, April 7, 2014

It Grows...

I have heard countless times that when you are a mother your heart walks around outside your body.

When Hubby and I found out that we were expecting a baby, I kept waiting for that feeling.  Even though the baby wasn't outside my body yet, I felt like I should be feeling that motherly love and instinct immediately.  I have heard mothers say that they became a mother the moment they saw a positive pregnancy test.  My love for our baby definitely began from the moment we learned we were pregnant and grew significantly when we saw and heard her heartbeat last June.  My love increased when I began to feel her moving around, kicking, squirming, dancing in my uterus... but I didn't feel that fierce Mama Bear love yet.  I felt butterflies... puppy love.

Other women I know talk about that they became a mother the moment their baby was placed in their arms.  My love for my daughter certainly increased when she was born... you don't endure labor and childbirth without anesthesia without a great deal of love for your child.  When Tracey Ann was born, I did not feel an immediate rush of mothering love.  I was fascinated by this tiny creature.  I thought she was the coolest thing ever -- a real life baby that Chris and I created... I was in awe of her as her natural instincts, the instincts God gave her, enabled her to begin to adapt to life on the outside.

Since Tracey Ann was born I have been falling in love with her every day.  I can say with certainty that I have become a Mama Bear... I feel that my heart is walking around -- well, being carried around -- outside my body.  I am so deeply in love with my daughter, I have been flooded with all kinds of cliches that apparently are not cliches.

Just like when my husband and I were dating, I got to know him day after day and fell in love, in getting to know my daughter these past weeks, I have fallen in love with her.  I have learned who she is, about her nature, how she communicates, what makes her feel comfortable and secure.

All of a sudden, decisions that should be sacrifices... are not sacrifices, they are the easiest decisions in the world.  All of a sudden things that I anticipated would be difficult parts of motherhood are second nature, and parts of motherhood I thought would come naturally to me (tough love) are more difficult than I ever imagined.  My strengths in my job (working with children) so far are my Achilles heel of motherhood.

In my second trimester I began to wonder if I was really going to be the good mother I always imagined I would be.  I wasn't in love with the baby in my belly the way I thought I should be.  I loved her, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't the intense, fierce love that I imagined I should feel as a mother.  It turns out, although I have loved our child from the beginning, I needed to fall in love specifically with our Tracey Ann, and the more time I spend with her, the more I learn about her, the greater my love.

Now, I am to the point of feeling almost crippled by my love for her.  That CRAZY, intense, fierce love that I imagined comes with motherhood has taken root in my heart and it is 100 times more powerful than I ever imagined.  The love grows and grows and grows every day, and I'm thinking it needs to level off at some point... 

I have to learn how to navigate this insane love.  I have to discipline this little girl, teach her, allow her to struggle and problem solve, provide an environment that will develop her into a strong young woman, allow God to mold her and refine her so that she can become a strong and mature woman of God.  How can I do this when I never want her to feel anything but warm and safe and comfortable and cherished and loved?

I cannot speak to yet how I am going to navigate the best interest of my growing baby through this haze of the most intense love I have ever known... but if there is an expectant mother out there who is not yet feeling what she thinks a mother's love should feel like -- trust me, it grows.

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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I love your comment about how tough love will be harder than expected! I'm still hoping they allow parents in college 18 years from now! ;-)


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