You are on the edge of a great adventure, and I could not be more excited for you. I know you’ve been stressing about all the different aspects of birth and what it’s going to be like, but I want to ease your mind and say – just go ahead and prepare yourself for pain.
Like, serious, gut-wrenching pain.
Strangely enough though, I am jealous. After three babies, three C-sections, three hospital stays that each had their own issues – I am jealous. Those three times in my life were some of the most exciting, life-changing, beautiful experiences I’ve ever had. The pain is temporary (especially if you go for the drugs…. like I did. Don’t judge me), but the adventure is something you can’t even imagine.
Why do you have to be 14 hours away? I want to be IN THAT HOSPITAL WITH YOU.
I wish I could prepare you for the complete revolutionary change that is about to happen in your life, but honestly nothing can. I know that you’re going into this with eyes wide open. I know you’ve been reading everything you can get your hands on and learning as much as possible beforehand, but nothing can prepare you for what it’s like to have a large part of your heart living outside of your body.
Also nothing can prepare you for the weeks of bleeding that you didn’t realize was coming or the incredible pain the first weeks of nursing will bring. You will think your breasts are going to die, but you can do this. Persevere, it’s worth it.
One of the best tools that God uses in our lives to make us more like Him is our spouse, for certain. A level of narcissism that we were allowed when we were single is suddenly forced to be dealt with. Two becomes one and suddenly it’s not just about you anymore, but about y’all. (Southern, forgive me.)
I believe the second best tool is having children. Yes, there are the lessons about patience, our frustration level, and our ability to deal with smells we didn’t know could exist, or our education in all things Lightening McQueen or Minions. But the most important lessons come when you realize you can’t even grasp the amount of love you have for this other human being.
Sometimes it comes right away when you hear that first cry, sometimes it comes weeks or months later (so don’t worry if you don’t feel instantly bonded to that baby!), but it will come and you will be overwhelmed with awe.
All those worries you have now (or, at least I did) about the freedom you are about to lose or the messes that will be made will fade away in the realization of how much love and devotion you and Tim will have for that little soul.
Even the lack of sleep won’t dim the love; you just might need more caffeine to wake up enough to realize it. Unless you’re nursing, of course. Because a good mother regulates her caffeine intake when she’s nursing (cough, cough).
I hope our friendship and your observation of my mothering has helped you see that if I can do it, anyone can. I’m so glad that we became friends after the birth of my third child, so that what you see is a go-with-the-flow momma who knows that life will never be perfect.
That certainly wouldn’t have been what you would have seen with my first. I wish someone had told me all this then, because I was FREAKED OUT. Like you are. But let me be the one to say, it’s gonna be okay. You are gonna do GREAT.
It’s providential that our first meeting was with me holding a newborn on my shoulder and vomit flowing down my side. It’s really miraculous, and straight from God, that you gave me another chance and didn’t let your gag reflex keep you away from me.
Speaking of your gag reflex, I’m praying that God miraculously takes that away from you little by little with every contraction and push. Because babies can be super gross.
All this to say, I am so happy for you and Tim. So thankful that God has gifted you guys with this time in your life! You are going to be an amazing mother, and Tim is going to ROCK as a dad.
Words you have written have changed the lives of many and I can’t wait to read the words that will surely come with all the new lessons you are about to learn.
So remember, whether you feed your new little treasure organic baby food that you grew in your own garden, or a cut up hot dog and scrambled eggs for supper (completely random thought, not at all what my toddler is currently eating), it’s all going to be okay.
Deep breaths, you can do this.
The Schaffners are praying for you, Tim, and baby Steve (as we have referred to him since conception) to be a family that shines the light of Jesus to everyone you come in contact with. We’re praying for ease during birth, health for everyone, sleep to come soon, and for a bond between Mommy, Daddy, and baby that will overwhelm you to the point where all you can do is worship God for such a treasure.
Finishing by saying I love you seems trivial, but these are the only words I have – so, I love you.