motherhood

It Was You The Whole Time

It was you the whole time.

Before I knew I was pregnant. When two lines showed up even though that second one was faint. When I texted our midwife with the happy news even though it was early.

But see,

I’ve learned there’s no such thing as “early.”

Just you!

You the whole time.

And when you were smaller than you “should” have been, it was you fully there. You the whole time. Your strong heartbeat the best sound in your mother’s world.

You.

You.

You.

The whole time.

There was a night I thought I might be losing you. I was scared out of my mind. Desperate, “I WANT THIS BABY!”

And that baby was you.

You the whole time.

And praise God, you were well! Strong. And all of you there, here with me, the whole time.

Conception. Week 7. Week 13. Week 20. Week 35. Last of summer, all of fall and winter, early spring, 39 Weeks, 5 Days. . .

it was you the whole time.

And now I get to hold you in my arms, see your face, treasure every bigger-than-life smile, calm your cries, run my thumb gentle across your forehead. There is wonder in finally holding the reality of you after carrying you for so long. You who has been you the whole time. Since before I knew! Since before I saw. Before I heard. Before I felt. Before I held.

It’s just always been you.

You!

Growing.

Living.

Being.

Heidi.

The whole time.

You.

No such thing as early. Just wonderful, radiant, miraculous you.

You the whole time.

Hi there, I’m your mom.

And don’t you worry,

I’ve been here the whole time, too.

motherhood

Mommy Is Human But Here (and other postpartum reflections)

Hey kids,

I’m crying in the kitchen, but I love you. And I still want you in my life!

Hey kids,

I want to enjoy mothering, but I feel like a machine.

Yes, I want to enjoy mothering, but I feel like a machine.

both kids near, postpartum April 2022

And I want to go outside with you, but I don’t know how to get us all there.

Hey kids,

You are gold, but the treasure of you feels like weight. . .breathtaking, chest-constricting. Mommy’s still learning how to hold you.

And I love that you’re in my life, but sometimes I can’t see the life inside my days. Don’t worry, mommy has Hope, is asking God for help. He always gives it.

Hey kids,

I want to play with you in the water, but mommy is still trying to get out of the deep end. And Mommy hasn’t forgotten how to play. It just takes time for water to be playful again.

And I’ll keep the music going. Mommy can’t wait to dance with you, but she’s healing. And that’s no waltz. But soon. She still remembers the steps.

Hey kids,

I love you.

And Mommy is human, but I’m here no matter what.

Yes!

I am here!

No matter how long it takes for me to laugh in the kitchen instead of cry. Or for the machinery to stop humming while we break free in the great outdoors beneath the sun. No matter how hard it is to hold the weight of gold, or notice the life of life, or come back to shore and splash in the water, and dance to the steps you’ve made up for me.

No matter what.

No matter how long.

I’m here.

I’m here.

I’m human. But I’m here.

And God is here with me.

So, we’re going to be okay.

And pretty soon,

we’re going to be great.

Hey kids,

I can’t wait.

Speaking of which. Did you feel that lovely garden breeze? Me too.

It won’t be long now.

All my love and forever here,

Mommy

motherhood

Should You Become a Mother

to the mothers now and those who will be. . .

Should you become a mother, yes you can give birth in happiness, with celebration though a generation asks why would you ever bring a child into this world? And you look at the world you’re living in with a broken heart while your whole heart beats with hope and love and joy for this child.

And so should you become a mother, the child in question was never a question for you.

Or for God.

(And aren’t you glad the mothers before us did not heed that age-old question? For here we are. Thank you, Mom. Thank you, God.)

Should you become a mother, yes you can breathe with your heart outside your body. Yes, you can sleep without fear for their breathing. Yes, you can hold little hands and be held like a child too. God is with you. God is with you!

Should you become a mother, yes you can be taken up with wonder while tangled in exhaustion and lists. Yes, you can laugh with your child while the world falls apart and wars rage and dark alleys exist. Yes, you can turn the music loud and live in the song of goodness through tears, with grief.

Should you become a mother, yes you can let go and truly enjoy your kids growing up. Even if it feels too fast. No overwhelming burden of “only this little once,” only this, only that,” and all the onlys you can think of. Exhale! Because should you become a mother, you are their mother for life. Take it one brilliantly fast, wonderful, hard season at a time. And let it take you! All your love. All your life. A mother forever. So let them grow. And love the days that feel like years, the years that feel like seconds. You’ll lose. And win. All at once.

Should you become a mother, yes, you will be in the thick of it, stretched thin, feeling like you’re disappearing into thin air. But the magic is you reappear over and over as your child laughs, falls asleep safe and peaceful in your arms, talks to you without end, explores the world in wonder, little arms tight around your neck. And you’ll remember that, magic aside, you can ask God for strength. Of which you will receive. And thin air becomes fresh air as you become more mother, more child. More of both at once.

Should you become a mother, yes, you can hide under God’s wings as you run through fields with pervasive weeds and poisonous snakes, showing your children where all the wildflowers are, where goodness and beauty dwell, where feet are safe to go, where laugher overflows, where green pastures and still waters always outrun the valley of the shadow of death.

Should you become a mother, yes, you will forever be becoming. So, let your guard down and grow tall into your motherhood needy as God’s child.

This is a love story two-fold.

Mother of your child.

Mother, child of God.

You are safe to be as you become.

What a love story.

So, may you and us all, go forth breathing, laughing, enjoying, reappearing, asking, leading, singing, sleeping, resting, being, belonging, becoming.

And may our children see us as children of God. And how wonderful it is to belong to Him as we be and become.

Enough talking.

There are wildflowers in these fields to pick. Life to gather. A love story to live.

Let us go!

a mother like you,

S.V.F.

motherhood

The Garden Welcomes My Daughter

If the garden told the story,

there was nothing much to see,

until she put a garden under me.

a rosy bush, a sunflower,

some weeds, some grass, all joy.

so maybe it was she who was the flower first.

-the tree

the only light I will ever know is the way your hand held mine.

thank you for such hope and cheer.

thank you for planting me.

thank you for the celebration in the midst of all our waiting. . .

it didn’t turn out the way we wanted,

but I really loved my life.

-the seed

I make way for light, the underground of hope.

when it’s a flower, it’s also me. . .

the wellspring of a story,

writing a beautiful thing

without seeing the light of day.

well, that’s the impossible, magical thing

of being the unseen.

-the roots, deep

I won’t be here long,

but I love how long you wait for me.

with eager hope and eyes to see.

we both have wintered well.

let’s enjoy the view.

I am the blush of spring,

and so you are to me.

-the rose bloom

it was safe to be like dirt in a garden yet to grow.

and it was hope to bloom like a wanted thing

from a broken pot of dreams.

and after the burial, the burst of the flower,

who knew this was me.the gardener

and so the gardener, the roots and rose,

the tree and the seed waited and welled with joy.

life had already been, and it was really good.

but so much more was coming.

first spring, soon after, her.

all garden arms wide open for

the tiniest bundle of sunshine. . .

here comes the gardener’s daughter.


As for the gardener’s daughter? Well, I’ll let her tell her own story as she lives it. I am excited to get to know her as a person! She’s just shy of a month earth-side so we have a million things to catch up on as she grows into herself.

Make no mistake, this postpartum season hasn’t been without tears or overwhelm. It’s been a ride with highs and lows. I took this picture in the garden last week and also took a home video right there with our cat curled up on my lap, my son toddling around, and my newborn daughter resting against me. I know I’ll treasure this 60 second video forever. This particular moment(s) in the garden was much needed and so sweet for me as a mother.

I’m learning so much right now and feeling the discomfort that comes with breaking out of an old shell, working through postpartum healing and hormones, and growing deeper into my life as a mother. I am excited for what’s to come. Postpartum is far from over. But I’m here for it. Here for my life. Here for my motherhood. I am 100% here.

And God is here with me.

Here is the best place to be.