|//Top: 10 weeks, 13 weeks, 16 weeks // Middle: 17 weeks, 20 weeks, 22 weeks // Bottom: 22 weeks, 24 weeks, 31 weeks //|
|// Top: 26 weeks, 30 weeks, 34 weeks // Middle: 34 weeks, 35 weeks, 36 weeks // Bottom: 36 weeks, 37 weeks, 37.5 weeks //|
I can't believe my pregnancy journey is over. Everett has been on my mind every single day since I saw those two lines form on the test. And now? I'm fascinated looking back over these silly selfies. I'm amazed at how significantly my body changed to accommodate my sweet son. Suddenly being on the other side of this journey is so strange. One day, everything just reverses. The burgeoning belly expands until it, literally, pops, and then begins its descent back to "normal" (oh geez, what is a normal body after baby??)
Now, being in the throws of motherhood, it's easy to move on quickly from the pregnancy experience and dive headfirst into baby development. But today, I had to take a moment to reflect on the beautiful and absurd experience that is pregnancy. I'm finally able to feel truly proud of what my body created and nurtured for 9 months. And I feel an entirely new appreciation for the vocation of motherhood, and especially, my incredible mother.
What women do for their children is remarkable. It's so, so hard. And it's the most thankless kind of job. I mean, my 7-week old baby just doesn't wake up thanking me for the hard work. The diapering, feeding, cooing, singing, bouncing, and all the asinine attempts to comfort his sobbing. Perhaps one day? Yeah, I know, dream on. But it's been this experience that has caused me to go back to my own mother, thanking her profusely, finally realizing a teensy, tiny sliver of how selflessly she gave to me all those years... and how she is still doing it. Giving, advising, disciplining, helping, teaching, growing me. I feel so grateful, so incredibly indebted and a tiny bit ashamed of those past immature moments when I found myself angry with her, accused her of "not understanding". Was I so blind? I know now. I have been on her mind for my entire life, plus nine months before that.
Now I see why this motherhood thing is such a complex, all-encompassing, never-ever-ending journey. It's the deep end of the womanhood pool. It's an extension of the most challenging and life-giving experiences one can have. All my poignant milestones, those moments of victory & triumph, those challenging battles & overcoming mountains - they weren't just for my own gain. They're the foundation for my own babe to build upon. It's my responsibility to take the most powerful, strong parts of myself, lay them at the feet of my son, and simply say, "Take what's mine, go and be greater." Which is awfully hard to do, because I feel so inadequately prepared. So unready. But I'm finding that the most gracious & authentic way to approach this motherhood thing is to just. Come. Undone.
And I'm only 7 weeks in.
Now I have to go rescue my crying baby from, you guessed it, my own mother. Because she held him the entire time I processed and wrote this post this morning. GO THANK YOUR MOM TODAY. Because wow.