“One. Two. Three. Harder. Four. Five. Harder. Six.” The doctor gave no mercy. “Don’t let your breath out. Seven. Keep pushing.” How could I keep going? I had been pushing for an hour and 20 minutes. I had been in labor for a day and a half. Her count to ten was more like a count to 35. I was exhausted but everyone in the room kept saying they could see the baby’s head. The baby. My baby. I was about to have a baby! That was the reminder I needed to give it everything I had left. One more big push and baby came out.
I will NEVER forget that moment. They put a little, wet body on my tummy and I was instantly relieved. I’m so glad we have a video of this part because I probably wouldn’t remember what we said or did, but I’ve watched it a hundred times so I know it by heart. I instantly smiled and talked and almost acted like I had felt no pain at all. I kept saying, “My baby! Little baby! Are you mine?” I looked at Jacob and said, “We have a baby!” My sister finally said, “What kind of baby?!” I didn’t hear her, and was so in shock that I still didn’t look to see if the baby was a boy or girl. I just kept rubbing my hands on that tiny, wet back and saying, “Are you mine?” Finally, after about a minute, the baby was still lower on my tummy and face-down so I said, “I can’t even see your face!” The nurse flipped baby over and Jacob kissed me and said, “You call it.” I opened up those little legs, gasped, and looked at Jacob with the biggest smile and the most shocked face… “IT’S A GIRL!!!” He choked back tears (something I hadn’t seen since our wedding day) and kissed my face and we both fell in love all over again.
This was the moment I became a mother. I’ll never forget it.
Being a mom has genuinely been the most beautiful experience of my life. My appreciation for my parents has grown, my love for Jacob has multiplied, and my understanding of God’s love for me is so much deeper.
Today I am thankful that I get to be a mom – that I get to kiss these babies, wipe their noses, feed them morning, noon, and night (and middle of the night)… I’m thankful for the ways they love me, teach me, and inspire me to be more like Christ.