public breastfeeding day and a response to the gender inequality breastfeeding article

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Today is public breastfeeding day! This is super exciting to me which I recognize is SUCH a mom statement and also super dorky. The truth is, breastfeeding in public is not accepted, normal and encouraged in our society. As a new mom I was terrified to participate in the natural need to sooth and feed my fussy child while out on errands or visiting friends in a public place for quite some time which caused numerous months of stress and crying (for both baby and I!) when trying to plan any sort of activity out of the house. I am now at a place in my breastfeeding journey that I frankly just do not care if it makes someone uncomfortable that I am feeding my child. Its necessary for my child’s health and I will not feed him in a bathroom or continue to leave every conversation to be alone because someone can not stop starring. Of course, I am not completely heartless and I do take others feelings into consideration and try my best to be discrete when it is possible. But sometimes a baby needs to eat! I know I get cranky when Im hungry too 🙂

On a related note, a recent article was posted and caught my attention about a woman who is choosing to NOT breastfeed her next child at all due to her belief that it creates an unequal gender role in her home.

This is the link to the article: http://www.press-citizen.com/article/20130812/OPINION02/308120003/Explaining-why-next-time-won-t-breastfeed?nclick_check=1

This article made me a little more than annoyed. On one hand I can understand some of her points. She claims that “The burdens of breastfeeding are real and considerable including the restraints to women’s spatial mobility and time”, which is an absolutely true statement. As i mentioned earlier, breastfeeding is NOT normalized in our country and therefore it can be stressful as a new mom to always feel that you are forced to leave a room and be alone when your child needs your closeness, to fall asleep, is teething and/or needs to be nourished… which is CONSTANT. This is of course why many women chose to not continue their breastfeeding relationship after some time. It can be very exhausting and difficult to keep up with if you have to work outside of your home, have a difficult latch/supply problems and do not have an adequate support system.  She also claims that “Breastfeeding is a burden, but it’s also a power trip. Breastfeeding sets up the breastfeeder as the expert, the authority and the primary parent in the life of the breastfed baby.”… which made me want to scream. As i read this aloud to my husband we both laughed out of disbelief. Lets face it ladies, the first couple years, especially the first year, the momma is often the only one that the baby wants. This is not to say that babies do not love their dads, that is definitely not what I am saying. But as most of us moms know, we have a certain special bond with our children because of the fact that they know our smell, our voice and our touch from the nine months of stretching our wombs to fit their growing bodies. The breastfeeding relationship is a natural extension from this time period, and yes it is time consuming but it is most certainly NOT a power trip. There have been countless times that Xander and I have both been sobbing because nothing I was doing was what he needed, and Patricks voice would be the calmness that we needed. I could not have survived the past eleven months as a mom without the support of my partner to help make important decisions and to share in the joy, sleep deprivation and uncertainty that parenting brings.

She also comments on the bond between her son and herself because of their breastfeeding relationship as if it is a unfair and unnatural thing that occurs and leaves her husband out of the picture. In order to not repeat myself from earlier, Ill just say that there are SO many other ways to create a bond with a child aside from nursing. Mothers that are not able to breastfeed  and also those who adopt children are just as able to have incredible attachments with their children. Co-sleeping, baby wearing, reading stories, and general day to day nurturing creates a bond with your child. The possibilities are endless for proper attachment with your child regardless of how they are nourished. And if the child is in fact breastfed it does not create a disadvantage or unequal gender role in the home because as I’ve stated before most kids are wired to be attached to their mothers as an instinct.

The disturbing part of this article is that the author seems to think that by not breastfeeding she will be creating a more gender equalized home and that the parental roles will be more equal. The truth is that the so called “inequality” of women begins way before any breastfeeding relationship could ever take place. It begins at the point of menstruation and is especially obvious through pregnancy and child birth (um hello natural birth that I’m pretty sure my husband may not have been able to do… just saying). The fact that breastfeeding or not breastfeeding will break this chain of “inequality” is completely absurd. I believe that breastfeeding actually helps to create more of an equality between men and women because it helps a woman’s body to not be objectified to simply a sex object. Boobs were designed for babies, get over it people. When a woman chooses to do so (if she is able) she is going against the societal untruth that breasts are purely sexual and therefore breastfeeding is weird and unnatural and/or should be severely limited to a specific time frame.

So, I digress. This article made me angry and also very sad. I truly hope that this rant may find itself to someone who is uncertain about whether or not they agree with this article and was turned off by breastfeeding after reading her points.

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pregnant with purpose

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This post is dedicated to my loving, goofy, strong and courageous husband.

I haven’t written here in awhile, I don’t seem to be very consistent with this whole blog thing. I guess i should cut myself some slack though, I do have a really cute baby who is pretty darn distracting! It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is his half birthday….where have the past six months gone?! He giggles, has two teeth, rolls around, almost sits up by himself, fits pumps, loves peek a boo and sometimes says “ma!” over and over again until i give him my undivided attention. And although the surprise of my son’s existence has been a wonderful adjustment to my life and I would never trade him for anything, the direction and plans I thought that Patrick and I had for our life has dramatically changed. I would best explain the nine months of my  pregnancy as a slight identity crisis. I say this because the moment I found out Xander would be joining our little family, my focus completely shifted to what was best for me to what would be best for my baby, yet it took me a long time to fully adjust to the idea of becoming a mother.  I could no longer consider spending the summer in Ghana with my husband because I would be (miserably) very pregnant trying to survive the humidity of NY and attending birthing classes and my baby shower. Moving after graduating from school would now mean that my son wouldn’t see his grandparents very often, oh and that school thing would also be on hold. The list goes on and on with the changes of my future and some of the dreams that I had to let go of the moment I saw the two little blue lines. I took my time coming to terms with these realities, and I spent a lot of tearful nights asking God, “what do I do now?”.

These memories returned to me recently when we had a couple days of thinking that Xander might become a big brother a LOT sooner than we had ever expected. This past week was one of the longest weeks of my life, and I had emotions running very high. I knew the symptoms of early pregnancy all to well, it was last year around this time that I was experiencing them for the first time. The fear of my purpose and direction in life resurfaced and a small voice in my head told me a lot of lies, some included, “You will never accomplish anything now.  Another child would be a mistake and you will not love him/her. You wont finish school. Say goodbye to overseas missions, forever. (and ‘you will never sleep again was the scariest’)” I began to get depressed. Everywhere I looked I saw things I would not be able to do and thought of how others might see me as a failure. I considered how Xander would react to having to share me so soon, and how my body would scream at me daily for having to be stretched so big so soon again. I came to the conclusion that I would miss out on the purpose that God had for me and that I needed to say goodbye to the dreams God had placed in my heart.

Until my husband spoke life to me.

It’s funny how even when he speaks truth that my heart knows is true I still have to fight him on it.

He looked at me with serious eyes and explained to me how we shouldn’t see this situation as something that would change the course of our purpose or the purpose and plans we believe God has for us, but we should instead seek to find purpose in the life we already are living. It’s not about purpose of life but purpose in life.

It was not until then that I was able to let go and surrender to God and say ‘I trust You’…. and then we found out we were NOT having another baby in nine months so I jumped up and down and danced for the whole world to know about it at 6AM this morning. I feel blessed that my body can get more time to rest before pushing out another huge baby, but also that my husband could minister to me in what I thought was a crisis for our family.

I find rest knowing that God’s grace for my family’s future is sufficient.

when God weeps

If I had to choose words to best describe myself, two of them would be emotional and sensitive. Yes, I do cry so often and so intensely that two adjectives are necessary. My mother tells me that when I was a little girl I used to cry myself to sleep for all the other little kids who didnt have food or toys like I did, and that spanking me was incredibly ineffective because the minute I did something that I knew was punishable I would weep at the thought of disappointing my parents. This kind of crying was not a phase, it is not something that has changed with my age. I used to hate this about myself. In high school it was humiliating that I would be the only student to cry with every war movie we watched in history class or want to read books a mile thick full of pages on the need for the sleepy, drowsy world to wake up. I remember the first time that my husband (fiance at the time) and I watched the movie “A Time to Kill”.  I cried myself to sleep for two days and the poor guy had no idea how to handle my response. I had to try to explain to him that I was crying for the injustice, that it wasnt his fault. Similarly, while in Australia and discovering my identity in Christ and His heart for the nations, I caught a tiny fraction of how God’s heart ached for the victims of human trafficking. It wasnt the first time I had cried for this injustice, but this time it was a true, uncontrollable weeping session. My poor leaders tried to talk me through it, but I knew the only way was to allow God to weep through me. If I thought that was intense,  I later  found myself unable to get out of bed or carry on normal conversations for a number of days after seeing human trafficking at work in Thailand along side the poverty and hungry children. That was an absolute disaster for my poor heart. There have truly been too many instances of this to recall, the list just goes on and on.

This weeping for God’s heart hasn’t happened to me in a while (unless you count the times in pregnancy when every commercial about the food bank would send me in tears or how after I gave birth I would cry at every noise Xander would make, feeling humbled that God allowed me to have a child while so many women are barren), until this past weekend. As I type this entry I am multi-taking by doing laundry, dishes and packing up my family to go to Pittsburgh for ten days. Normally, we count down the days together like little kids,ecstatic to get away from our home and see Patrick’s parents, siblings and our nephews and niece. This time is different, this time we have a dual purpose. One is to say goodbye and to attend a family funeral for a life that has been taken far too soon, while the other is sharing our childs first Christmas with family. My heart has been heavy as I pack up our things for such juxtaposing events, ones that will not be easily forgotten. With the upcoming funeral I try to imagine what my mother in law must be thinking as she says goodbye to her little brother, so I text mine to remind him of my deep sibling love for him over and over. Or how Patricks grandmother will deal with out living her son, so I kiss Xander’s cheeks an obnoxious amount and stay awake to watch him sleep even with my eyes are growing heavy. I could handle the heart of God needing to weep over this life ending, I could take on that task. But then the tragedy of Friday hit…and I had little ability to take on that as well. God needs to weep for every child’s life taken unwillingly, for the child himself who took them. For every parent who is celebrating Christmas without their little one, for every person who survived and may have nightmares and trust issues for the days to come. The weeping of God’s heart hit me like a ton of bricks last night, and I could no longer sleep or compose myself. The stress of trying to ignore these burdens was to much, I could not carry it alone. I was tired of pretending that this is not a part of who I am, who God has created me to be. I weep along side of him, and its an honor to know his heart ache to such magnitude, even if He just shares a glimpse with me. I’ve come to realize that God does not desire me to go on in my life without recognizing heartache and running towards it, I need to be reminded that I cant hold myself together without His strength.

So I let the flood gates open. I cried out to God with words that no one could have understood… but He did.

 

“Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest”

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love letter to my body: post partum and proud

Dear body,
here we are again, it’s time for me to take a good look at how I love you and need to learn to love you more. the last time we spoke I realized I could fall in love with and trust you to deliver a baby into the world, and I was right.

there is only one word to describe how I truly feel about you at this point; PROUD. it’s so difficult to express what we experienced through our labor of love for Xander to be born, but you and I both know that you were absolutely incredible.  I’m so sorry I ever doubted you and stayed up at night praying you would not disappoint me, I should have known that part of your design was to bring life into the world.  even when we began the (quick!) adventure of laboring through the night, you took control and dealt with the pain in a remarkable way. just when i started to allow fear to take over and think that I couldn’t take the pain any longer, I was pleasantly surprised to know that you had done all the work that we needed to do, and you were ready. you knew just how to deliver my baby so gently and safely. you stretched to your limits and gave him a peaceful entry to his new life outside of my womb, and you didn’t even require an IV for extra support! I am so proud of you for giving me the gift of labor and delivery that I had been praying for. when I see Xander, I am reminded on how miraculous you are for creating a part of me and a part of the man my heart loves. we are amazed by the way you knit together and sustained such a tiny human being. you are my favorite artist.

i am still learning to coexist and love you in a new way, just one week and one day after you proved all my doubts and fears to be wrong. I trust you, you really do know exactly what you’re doing and what Xander and i both need. those itty bitty stretch marks that appeared only after your hard work of labor? Go ahead and wear them proud, you deserve them as a badge of honor. the extra pounds you are still carrying? Go ahead and keep them for as long as you need, you are in fact still recovering while at the same time still sustaining my babies life each and every day through the milk, warmth and comfort you naturally provide. ill promise not to get trapped into giving you a timeline of when i think they should be gone. i see now that you deserve the extra support for caring for an infant 24 hours everyday. there is much else that truly matters to me now.

although your eyes have never been held open for as many hours as they have in the past week, but each day you welcome the sight of my baby with a new ability to keep smiling. yes i’ve already had days that i wish we could just get up and go without being too sore or over tired from a simple trip to the grocery store, but then im reminded by your subtle clues that you have done me so well.  you deserve as much rest as you need for a full recovery. im done pushing you past your limits. i promise to renew my gentle spirit each day, for your sake.

when I look at you in the mirror I now see your strength, your faithfulness and your incredible capacity to love beyond measure. for that, I owe it to you to love in return, to love you deeply and to be gentle to you as you continue to know exactly what to do. for all of this I am thankful, and I am proud. you have amazed me more in the past eight days of our knowing each other than ever before. I hope I never forget the pride I have for you right now. even when I don’t think you know what to do on your own, please prove me wrong, yet again.

I finally love you, dear body of mine.

Xander: our labor of love

Over Labor Day weekend my husband and i slept in way too late, ate way too much yummy food and watched an ungodly amount of Lost on Netflix all weekend long. It was incredible. With both of our busy schedules we hadnt had a weekend with no plans but to relax in far too long, and we needed it. We both finished work on Saturday and devoted the rest of the weekend to just be together and wait for our baby. Sunday and Monday were probably the laziest days of our lives, and it felt glorious. Monday felt no different than the day before, we visited with good friends, watched some TV on our cozy couch and put together the baby swing (finally). That afternoon a dear friend, who is a massage therapist, said she had an opening if I wanted to come by and see if my body might respond to pressure points to start labor, or just to simply help me relax and get a good nights sleep. I didnt want to get my hopes up, but i decided it would be a good idea. The massage was heavenly of course, and afterwards I had an overwhelming feeling like I needed to get my hair trimmed. Im not one to fuss over my hair, since really I don’t have much of it anymore, but I thought that maybe a trim would be nice in case I had the baby over the next week and it got to be in my way or grow too thick. After my haircut Patrick and I made dinner and resumed watching Lost, we were very determined to finish the entire last season before baby arrived.

I bounced on my birthing ball throughout the season finale of Lost and counted my contractions which were three minutes apart but not painful. I figured that if they continued this way over the next two hours of the episode I should call my midwife, but I was nervous it would be a false alarm. When the show ended (and we were done commenting on how awful of an ending it was and dissected every meaning of the closing) I told Patrick “it’s time to go” and he was shocked but went along with my decision. We closed up the house and joked around as we drove to the hospital at about 9pm. When we got checked out I was only a little bit more dilated than i had been the weeks leading up to this point, and Patrick was sure that we would be going home in the next couple hours without our baby. We walked the halls and I continued to laugh between the contractions, but we were both getting tired and agreed that my body was probably just practicing the real deal again, we wanted to go home. The nurses in triage couldnt decided what to do with us, and kept us waiting until about 1:30AM until my midwife arrived and said we should be admitted and get this baby born….excuse me what? Apparently my contractions had suddenly become off the charts and my body was doing the real deal…I was suddenly in labor and she didn’t want to risk us going home and not making it back.

I was excited and nervous, but we were both tired and kind of felt like it was a joke. I wouldnt describe my contractions as painful, it wasnt as dramatic as I thought it would be at all. First thing I decided to do was to jump into the amazing jacuzzi tub at 2AM in the birth center and see if I could relax before my labor started to progress….but instead my body relaxed so much that my contractions suddenly, almost instantly increased to something I had never felt before. I stayed in the tub for almost two hours, I was scared that if I got out I wouldnt know how to work through them or relax in my breaks. The nurses kept telling me how great I was managing and how they were pretty certain that we’d meet our baby by lunch time and definitely by dinner time.
When I got out of the jacuzzi tub i was more dilated, but 100% effaced, so now all my body had to do was continue to dilate and he’d be in my arms! He was already positioned so low that the nurses thought this was a sign he’d arrived by lunch time. Little did I know that I would rapidly go through transition labor and be fully dilated only a couple hours later. Working through the contractions was something that Patrick and I learned together, and he responded so well to what I needed. At one point i may or may not have bitten him, but he forgave me. He may or may not have said “you’re okay, just breath” a couple hundred times before I gave him a look that told him he didnt switch it up i would bite him again. He then began to tell me how proud of me he was and how amazing I was doing, and i started to believe him, i was really doing this! the staff at the birthing center left us to labor as i felt comfortable, which i found to be out of bed and swaying from side to side to breath through each contraction. As i began to go through transition (without knowing it) i couldnt catch my breath and i started to cry. i asked Patrick if he would think i was weak if i decided to receive medication even though we had planned on a natural birth, he got teary  eyed and said “you ARE doing this! i could never do what you are doing and i support you. we asked for something to take off the edge, but i was already fully dilated and the baby was ready to meet us, it was way too late for any medication. i did it!

At that point I couldn’t believe that I had made it this far and it was time to push….my mind started to tell me I couldn’t do it, that I didn’t know how. It seemed like I had just figured out how to make it through contractions, I had a mini panic attack. our midwife, nurses and Patrick surrounded me on the King sized bed and talked me through the next contraction and push, reminding me that my body was ready and I was made to birth my baby! Patrick sat to the left of me on the bed with his arm around the back of my head, with every push i grabbed his arm and pulled….he told me afterwards he was slightly nervous I would pull his arm out of socket, opps! our midwife sat at the end of the bed, calm and encouraging me with every push. I closed my eyes and tried to tell my mind I could do this and it would soon be over. With about ten intense pushes and some mighty birthing warrior screams my baby was placed on my arms. The moment that he was born i finally opened my eyes and felt no pain, but like I was watching a movie of a birth. All the hormones rushed through my body and the first thing I said when he was placed on my chest was “I can’t believe I did it!” It was surreal. Patrick kissed me, we both cried and he cut the cord. Our baby was here, we called him Xander Alan. And he was born before breakfast weighing 8 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches long. oh how we love him!

 

(Xander means “defender of men”, pronounced as a “z”. Alan is in honor of his two grandfathers, ones first name and the others middle name.)

reflections and anticipations

the last month of my pregnancy has been overwhelmed with mixed emotions, nesting, eating!, some pre/prodromal labor, lack of sleep, and…waiting. I think I should compile some reflections aboyt the process of growing another life and the anticipations that I have for when we finally meet. who knows of I’ll get another quiet moment before he arrives that I have the motivation to do this!

reflection on pregnancy:
I wish I had been more gentle on myself. i wish allowed myself to take time for leisurely walks rather than stressing about the need to exercise and ending up not doing it at all. and at the same time I wish I had not given myself a limit for my total weight gain goal. since when has it been the goal of pregnancy to gain as little weight as possible? I’ve been healthy and my body has done and gained what it needed to in order to sustain another life, end of story.

I wish I had used more sassy responses when people said things like “oh my god! you’re huge!!” just once I wished I used the ‘pregnant and sassy’ card to respond with something like, “thanks! so are you!” with a smile and not feel bad about it. or how about when people look at me and say, “still no baby?” maybe this weekend I’ll get the courage to respond with, “oh yea we had him a couple days ago, we didn’t announce it because its not a big deal. we didn’t feel like bringing him out either so we left him home alone. and this is obviously my post-partdum body”. the list is endless of the responses I have missed out on, I wish I had used them more to humor myself abbot the comments I’ve heard rather than getting upset in the moment.

I wish I never took a labor class. that’s an odd reflection, but it’s true. it stressed me out so much to watch videos of babies heads crowning, the visualization of that pain was probably something I could have lived without. maybe I’m just crazy, but we didn’t find the classes too helpful, especially because my husband decided to turn into a 12 year old and crack jokes the while time…doesn’t he know how serious this is?! 😉

I wish I had written in our baby’s journal more about my honest feelings of carrying him around 24/7 for nine months through work, school, stress and joy.

anticipations:

I can’t wait to count his tiny little alien fingers and toes!!

I can’t wait to see who he looks like and to announce his name to our family and friends.

I can’t wait to breastfeed and take are of his needs outside of my belly.

I can’t wait to say that I survived labor, and to know that he was worth it.

I can’t wait to sleep on my stomach!!! and for my body to start the healing process so we can eventually take him on adventures and I can wear normal clothes in public. all very selfish anticipations but so real.

here’s to our final countdown: we can’t wait to meet you baby, you are so loved already. I think we’re “ready” for you (whatever that means)

he’s good to me, always has been

this morning I woke up really early. a mix between my huge baby losing room inside my belly, some contractions and the urgency to pee have me waking up at all sorts of hours, lots of times I wish God gave me a snooze button for those things. I looked over next to me to see my husband sleeping soundly, good thing he’s a heavy sleeper or we’d both be awake. I grunted as I tried to sit up gracefully (ha! yea right, I’m mealy 9 months pregnant, nothing is graceful these days) and he didn’t even move. I opened the door without trying to be extra quiet and went to the bathroom, he still didn’t wake up. as I laid back down to return to my dreams (of eating ice cubes and sitting in front of a floor fan most likely) I noticed he was making this annoying hissing sound as he exhaled. I waited for it to pass for a couple minutes, but I’m not patient so it was probably only 5 seconds, and when it didn’t stop…I punched him. I didn’t even gently move his arm to urge him to resettle and change his breathing without fully waking up. Nope. I punched him. and he woke up and all he said was “hi…are you ok?” I don’t know about anyone else but if I was unpleasantly woken up for a not so great reason there might be hell to pay. he gently squeezed my arm and smiled and went back to sleep, and the hissing sound stopped.

I’ve always known my husband was really good to me. he’s gentle, so gentle with me. with his words, his tone of voice and his actions he has taught me to be gentle towards myself. I can remember one of our first dates, I think our second, in August of 2009. we got breakfast and talked about our past mistakes, he laid everything out on the table but I hardly heard him. I heard a soft voice say “this is the man you’ll marry”. and that’s all I needed to know. I obviously didn’t tell him that or he might have thought I was a little bit insane, but I listened and pretended that the words he spoke made me contemplate if we’d have a next date, just to keep him on the edge of his seat. then he said to me something along the lines of “if we’re going to continue seeing each other, I don’t want to kiss you”. Um, do I have a cold sore? No. He wanted to set the standard of respecting my body and learning who I was without any distractions. I nearly cried. No one had EVER been so gentle with me, so patient. and it was just the beginning of our relationship.

As I think about it now, he really set a standard of how he desired to love me, with patience, gentleness and strength. he chased after me and begged me to let him love me when I was too afraid to let him see my ugliness and scars. he waited for me when I left just one month after we met and was gone for six months traveling and learning about God and my heart for missions. he even told me that if I wanted to stay and not come back he wouldn’t stand in my way of Gods calling on my life. and now today, over three years later and 1.3 years of marriage he still smiles after I selfishly punch him bc I think the way he’s breathing in his sleep is annoying.

He’s far too good to me, he always has been. And I think that God uses my husband to show me His love for me too. I hope I never stop recognizing Jesus’s love in my husbands voice and actions.

the author of love

Today I read through some old emails that I wrote to a friend when I first typed out the words “I’m pregnant” (followed by lots of other colorful words as well). I knew that she was the perfect person to tell, she was far away in another country and would pray for me the minute she laid eyes on my desperate email. and then she would smile and freak out with me, and pray some more. Reading our email thread confirms that this is exactly what she did, and she also reminded me of a truth that I still hold onto in my deepest place in my heart of hearts : God’s love for his children is like an expectant mother.

At first I was too anxious and distraught to really comprehend those words that I read, but I knew them to be true. Today, I know them so much more than I ever thought possible, and he’s not even here yet. As I sit here my belly is making rapid movements that I can see from the outside, and I know my son is doing a little happy dance or a “why won’t you let me out yet so I can meet my wicked cool parents already?” dance. personally, I like the think it’s the latter, but that’s just me. my touch already soothes him, my heart beat is his lullaby and my voice is what he longs to hear. he is cared for and is not lacking as he continues to grow inside me. And to think that someday he will be free and make his own decisions, and someday not need me (as much) as ge does now. I can’t imagine the day he gets his heart broken or has his first real medical emergency, or decides to pack up his little cheap car and drive off to follow his dreams. I’ll have to chose to let him, and love him unconditionally through all his mistakes. I can tell him I can relate to his pain from rejection, his experimental phases of partying and his joy of finding love for the first time but he might not listen. And then I think of how I will suffer through labor for him to have life, and that he’ll be worth it, worth every minute of it.

I don’t take the time to think of how this relates to God’s love for His people enough, specifically for myself. He created me, carried me through my development and growth, and let me be free in Him. He told me He could relate to my sufferings and happiness and sometimes I didn’t and still don’t believe Him. He listens yet sometimes I don’t want to talk. I’m stubborn and self centered and immature and He’s still crazy about me. Madly in love with ME. He labored over my freedom, and chose death to take my place. He loves me more than I can comprehend, more than I could ever possibly love my own child.

I say all this to say that I need to be reminded and think about love coming from the author and creator of love, the one who loves me and all my imperfections. And how right now, as I carry this child within my womb I can be reminded of how my own expectancy is a metaphor and representation of Gods undying love for His people, even me.

a new start: love letter to my body

linking in to the sychronoblog:  A Love Letter to my Body

So here it goes. I’m starting a blog that I’m not sure I’ll keep up in order to write a love letter to my body. A challenge that has been….well, challenging. I’ve thought about it and put it off for a number of days, but I think I’m ready. I’m ready to be honest with my body and share my thoughts, regrets and deepest feelings that I often keep hidden. To some, a love letter to your body may not seem like a big deal or a tough task, but my body and I have been on an intense journey together, and its been a  while since we’ve had a gentle talk.

Dear Body,

it’s been awhile since we’ve talked….

So many times I have called you names. Cursed you. Hated you.

I told you that you were worthless and had so much to change, that perfection was your only option. I pushed you so hard that you released ever flowing tears and collapsed with this overwhelming and unattainable task. You were never meant to be perfect, whatever that word even means. I’ve kept you from eating, sleeping and resting in order to mold you into a form that you were never intended to take….but then you formed another life inside of you. I wept when I thought of how you surprised me with one of your greatest achievements that I couldn’t yet see. I cursed you again. I told you that you were only allowed to stretch so much, get so big and look so full of life, but you didn’t listen. You grew, and continue to grow, at the the pace that my baby needs. Sometimes I still hate you for it, and tell you that you should look more like the other bodies who didn’t get as heavy or uncomfortable as you are now. I cried when my midwife told me that you knew best. I couldn’t believe I had to trust you to carry me through the growth and laboring over another human life. for so long I thought I had to control you. I’m sorry I haven’t been gentle enough. understanding enough. loving enough. and thankful enough.

Countless nights I have forced you to stay awake so I could spend time with the man who loves you far more than I do, and to study and write papers furiously in the library before the sun came up.Your eyes have seen so much, they’ve read so much, they’ve stayed alert when all they wanted was rest. And yet you still allow me to open them and greet each day. When i see your hips I try to minimize them, but you have made them stand out like they do so I can walk, carry a baby in my womb and a toddler on my side. And  your ears, oh how I’ve hated those ears of yours. But you allow me to listen and learn, to embrace the sounds around me.You do these things without me knowing them, and for that I am thankful.

Remember that day when  you carried in ten bags of groceries at the same time, with only your two arms that I often call flabby and weak? Or when you ran miles and miles in the heat on that little island we visited where you only wanted to relax, but I pushed you to your breaking point, and you didnt give up on me? How about all of the times that your embrace has comforted babies, strangers and friends? Or how your hands have sacrificed and served in countries faraway and to neighbors close by?    You have done these things for me, and I am thankful.

I know we aren’t there yet, but in a couple weeks I’ll need to be reminded again that I can trust you. That you are strong and able. And together, dear body of mine, we will deliver a baby into the world. I may need to be reminded that you will take time, maybe lots of time, to heal. Please be patient if I don;t understand right away, I’m still learning how to love you. But until then, lets go rest. Yes, I’m going to be gentle enough to let you rest. To rest your back from carrying a little life, a life that I can trust you with.

 

 

Dear Body, I think I can fall in love with you.