On Saturday, my friend Cassie threw a wonderful shower for me at her home. For some reason, this event really brought the reality of The Babe's impending arrival to a head. Some of my friends and family shared stories of their most difficult birthing and infant-care moments. As I am now 33 weeks pregnant and nursing a cold that threatens to blow my sinus cavities, I was not in the best place to receive these tidbits and take them in stride. By Saturday night, I had worked myself into a small worry-mess. I woke up on Sunday morning with tears in my eyes, telling Kevin that I am, officially, scared to be a mom.
What if the birth is like a nightmare?
What if the baby is not healthy?
What if the baby is colicky?
What if the baby never sleeps?
What if I suffer with postpartum depression?
I realize that some of the above "what ifs" are more likely than others, but bottom line, fear had set in. Yesterday, I started to take an inventory of the baby trappings we've accumulated over the past few months. I went through all of the shower cards, looking for gift receipts, gift cards, gift lists, anything important. One particular card's handwritten message rang out some serious truth:
"Ahh...Motherhood...The path to holiness! May [God] take you there. May you grow in great virtue, true fortitude, faithfulness, patience, love. Remember, as you lose your life, you will gain it."
That was not a message promising all that is easy and adorable in children like so many baby cards. It hit on what is real and necessary in motherhood: God's power to grant ever-increasing holiness. And is that not what God has for us in our vocation? No matter what may come, he promises to provide all that we need to become holy: ready to enter heaven to rejoice with the blessed. And apparently, the sufferings and joys of motherhood are part of my journey toward paradise. Mom-dom, even in this pre-birth stage, ain't always rosy, but it is my path to holiness and TRUE JOY. I'll do my best to embrace it.