This Week: After
My best illustration for the change in my life before I became a mom and after I became a mom happened right around the birthing time.
Duh, you say.
Yeah, it’s not what you think.
Not like that.
Just one stupid sentence that sticks with me and makes me laugh at the way I used to think. Before.
I’m a planner. An organizer. An orchestrator if you will. I don’t like surprises. I like things to run the way they’re supposed to. As in – the way I have laid them out to run. Preparing for pregnancy and giving birth was a fun – actually an exciting experience for me. It was one of the healthiest times of my life. My mother blessed me by passing on her “no morning sickness ever” genes. It was fantastic. I had my notebook – the complete order of the way things should be from beginning to end. I had my birthing plan. I had my contact lists. I had my play lists for during delivery. I was set.
So when we went in for one of our last routine ultrasounds and they said something like, hey, you need to have this baby like right now. I wasn’t thrilled. I was even less thrilled when they said, no, you can’t go home and drop off the other car and get your bag. You need to go to the hospital right now. And by the way, it’s going to be a C-section. Not happy at all, but I was ready to roll with it. As we drove over to the hospital (in separate cars), I was on the phone calling everyone on the list (because of course, the list was also in my head). My type-A personality and I marched into the hospital room, made an assessment and started getting things ready and organized. My husband was dispatched home to get the bag, I got strapped up to the baby monitor, I consulted with everyone walking by wearing a hospital badge to coordinate the time of the birth – since, hey, scheduling was an option now. And I distinctly remember saying this:
It’s going to be great. And if you just get this wrapped by 8pm and I can still watch Survivor tonight.
That was before.
Before. When I thought that I was in charge. When I thought that I still ran the schedule. When I thought that I would still care about a crazy reality television show somewhere in the South Pacific.
|My Bella - smelling the roses|
After they cleaned me up, sewed me up, and wheeled me into my room and brought me the most amazing little bundle of wonderful I’d ever seen all I could think was bella. It’s still her nickname. I think I stayed awake for three days straight just staring at her (TV – what TV?); watching her breathe; examining each tiny finger and toe; wondering if her ears would unfold; wondering if her hairline would always be that low (was I going to have to shave her forehead before she started Kindergarten? Seriously, sometimes, they forget to mention these things); wondering how I got to be so blessed and wondering how in the world was I going to help this astounding little creature navigate this great big world.
We are still in after land. And I live and breathe and struggle in this timeless dance of mothering where I constantly have to release so much of me (and although I fight it hard, I know it’s the stuff that needs to go anyway) so that she can have a better image to reflect. Where I walk the fine line between protection and freedom – always raring to fight off the bad guys (even when the bad guys are nine years old), and reigning myself in to allow her to grow into her own strength. Where I have to remember to let her learn to do things – let her have her experiences – let her be – even if it takes more time that I think I don’t have. I have time. This is after land. And it’s not about me anymore. It’s about we, and she, and who she’s going to be, and God Almighty I am on my knees every single day praying that I don’t screw up after land. Praying that I will have grace, and patience, and kindness, and the ability to flex and bend – all these things that I think I started to lose along the way before.
I’m getting them back in after land. God willing. His grace leads me on in after land.
It is the only thing that does.
How to Join:
Want to know how Five Minute Friday got started and how to participate? All the details are here. No editing or second guessing. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.