Dear Pregnant Mama [The Letter I Wish I Could Have Given Myself]
Dear Pregnant Mama,
You may feel ready to meet your baby, ready to see your feet again and ready to move around more freely like your previous unrounded self. There a lot of things that you may be scared or excited for but I wanted to encourage you with a couple things.
Motherhood will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done - but it will be the best thing you’ll ever do.
In fact, it’ll be more then just a thing you do but something you become and can never un-Be.
Your labour will not go as expected - it may be longer, it will most likely be harder and definitely more painful then you expect. It will show you a new side of strength that mothers have. It’s incredible - and scary all at the same time. So recognize that the most important thing about your birth is not your birth plan, not your birth team or your birthing place. The most important thing about your birth is one, becoming two - is you bringing this life into this world - one way or another. It will be painful, it will leave a mark- it must - anything so significant can’t happen to us without a trace. But your body will be a beautiful vessel of new life - your heart will know the weight of another so dependent. You will never be the same.
I want to warn you of your expectations. They can rob you of your joy and your ability to be present in the moment.
Attachment may take time. "[Attachment] is something that is built each day through struggle and joy and sacrifice."- Carley Ellis. Love is an act of the will- it’s a choice to serve even when we don’t feel like it. So continue to be there for your little one - even when the warm fuzzies are absent. Loving despite our feelings forges a deep true sacrificial form of love. The form of love that Christ had as he went to the cross, a death to self- so to speak. This is the foundation of what motherhood is built on.
Don’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You need time to heal mama, time to process. Recognize that you don’t need to be strong for anyone and that true strength is stepping out and saying ‘I’m not okay, I need help.’
Surround yourself with friends who will help you to see when you are struggling - postpartum mood disorders are harder to spot when you are in the thick of it. Community is one of the strengths of motherhood. As they say, 'It takes a village.'
Remember those things that bring you joy and try to hold on to them in this new season. Creating, singing, meeting with friends, trying new foods. Whatever it is it may look different now, but it can still be a part of your life.
Learn to love your new bod. Trust me, everything changes after giving birth. But that change is what allows the miracle of giving birth to happen. Your body made room for a new baby - now your heart must make room for your new body. Also take care of it - you are a vessel that can only pour what it is first filled with.
You are the best mom you can be when you are healthy and fully present.
Also, remember you are not in this alone. You have a God-given partner in this journey of Parenthood. He is your teammate - not your opponent. You may have different ways or different styles of doing things but God put you together as a collaboration and you are much better together. Make sure you work on your marriage. It is easy for it to fall by the wayside during those first newborn months but it is a treasure and will help you get through the hardest days and longest nights. Your marriage is a priority, even though it isn’t as demanding of one as a new baby.
Lastly recognize that God desires to be with you through this season. He has uniquely equipped you and He will strengthen you if you lean into him. Don't be afraid to share your heart, to share your tears and share your joy.