The day of my second wedding anniversary will forever be ingrained in my memory. I had been feeling a little "off" and decided to pick up a pregnancy test, just for good measure. "Better make that a two-pack, in case I mess up." I reasoned. On my lunch hour, I headed to Target to get the goods, and immediately used the "facilities" to use one of those tests. "Two bars, but they are all fadey. That must mean it is negative. WHEW." I returned to work half-relieved and still half-nervous. An instinct within told me to take the other test before I left work for the day. I'll never forget that moment when both lines were clear as day staring at me in the face. That little stick seemed to have the WWF announcer voice in that bathroom stall as it declared "YOU ARE PREGNANT JOLENE!"
At that moment, something happened, and almost instinctively I became a mommy. I drove more carefully on my way home, even in the crazy Orange County traffic. I burst into tears when I opened the door to my adoring hubby (who was hit with a whammy when he was expecting us to celebrate our anniversary, not a kid.). I stopped drinking coffee and endured LONG days of caffeine withdrawal headaches with a smile. I was with child. God had entrusted me, silly ol' me to bring a life into this world, and care for it. What a blessing. What a burden. What a responsibility. What an honor.
The day I met my Christian Daniel was one of the best days of my life, even if it didn't go as planned. The day I met my Jonathan Augustine was in and of itself nothing short of amazing. Both births early (these boys must have a bit of Meyer blood in their veins), both unique, both gifts from God.
Motherhood is not as romantic as I envisioned. The 6 inch scar across my belly and 20lbs of post-baby weight I unenthusiastically embrace are small reminders of that. Frustration, unreasonable shouting and fits occur regularly, and I'm not referring to my toddler here. I daily fail and utter the words "I don't think I'm cut out for motherhood" more than I'd care to admit.
However, my arms have grown stronger from the "bathtime burritos" I carry (Christian has got to be close to 40lbs when wet and wrapped in a towel). My hair has grown longer from the little hands of my youngest pulling with all his might as he nuzzles into it. The depths of my heart have plummeted beyond measure as I witness the "firsts" of my babies. I've grown stronger in spirit as I've juggled more than I ever thought I could and kept bathtime and bedtime on schedule. Recently I sufficiently melted into a puddle when my youngest smiled and threw his head back in laughter at my silliness, while my oldest wrapped his arms around my neck from behind and kissed my cheek.
So, I'm scarred, wider, have more gray hairs and less bladder control. I sleep less now than I ever have in my life, and have the wacky forgetfulness to show for it. Things might look a little different on this side of that somewhat frightening pregnancy test announcement, but I have to say that they are far more glorious.
Even in spite of that mystery booger I just found on my shoulder.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you tremendous women who can share my sentiment.