Memoirs of Becoming A First Time Mother
Being a mommy to a little human so soon is such a pleasure I have never felt before. From the time we first found out I was pregnant and the waterfall of emotions I felt of happiness and uncertainty to where I am now has been an evolving process. As my belly has expanded in size and looks, breasts that are unrecognizable (all my mamas shout, “AMEN!”), strut that is more wobbly, thoughts that process longer, body that is stronger, so have I felt I am becoming.
I say becoming because beginning motherhood during pregnancy does’t stop after birth, but every single moment thereafter. I’m constantly learning how fascinating God created the female body and how our bodies just know what to do. The physical change, lemme tell you; I thought I was gonna get away with having zero stretch marks but alas. Tiger stripes have shown themselves fashionably late and initially I met them with pout lips. But wow oh wow have they grown on me like honeysuckle on an aged home. They’ve given new character, a sweet honey aroma that lets me linger in the change and I’m gladly welcoming the new view.
I’ll say I’ve had my share of crying and emotional spurts. Things will be different now that we’re responsible for not only ourselves but a plus one. Where we didn’t have to consider somethings at all we’ll have to make adjustments, or the constant yapping of, “get your sleep now, because you’ll never get it back,” advice. However, I’m reminded again and again that new life doesn’t mean an end to mine or my husband’s but a blessed addition. Not a burden but a joy. Hard and trying, yes, but worth every bit of sanctification this child and future others will bring - without a question.
One of the last major changes during this pregnancy was suddenly moving from across the country from Italy back to Texas in the last trimester. A much longer story for a different day, but needless to say we had to pack up within a month and the first order of business was to find new prenatal care for the baby and a place to birth him. One thing that was important to me was making sure we found the kind of medical care I desired as well as the gentle birth we’ve been praying for. A Birthing Center was the best choice for what we wanted; an unmedicated, natural birth where drugs and interventions are last resort. Where there is no rush to get baby here, freedom to do a lot of what I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise in a hospital such as snack, drink fluids, move around, delayed cord clamping, immediate skin-to-skin, etc. At a birthing center, I can labor in a tub (although more hospitals are adding this option) and I don’t have to be distracted by bright lights, people coming in and out, telling me what to do, etc. My whole pregnancy has been low risk, and so I began my search while in Italy and scheduled appointments for us to browse around once we made it to Texas.
I found an amazing place called Grapevine Birthing Center in Grapevine, Texas. The best thing about it was that all the midwives and staff are Christian which meant so much to me because I desired to have staff as well as Christian praying over us and baby, reading Scripture and other affirmations during labor. Not only did I feel assured and seen there, but on the walls of the center I saw other black babies and families on the wall which meant everything to me. So, as a family we chose that as our preferred place to birth, and we feel extremely confident in our decision.
I must say, this first pregnancy has FLOWN by, and I can’t believe that as I write this I am full term - 39 weeks. I don’t take that for granted. I haven’t documented every single detail of this new experience of my life, but I sure as heck won’t forget it. The next stage of this thing called motherhood will be the labor and birth and I am so ready. Not nervous, fearful, or scared, but in peace, joy, and love. We both want to welcome him into this broken world that way. So until that appointed time, our bags and carseat and ready and now we wait. :)