For this #MotivationalMonday, I want to pay homage to the most inspirational motivation in my life today; my butterbean <3!! My joy of joys, my greatest love, my heart of hearts; my child-to-be. I love being a mother-to-be! I’ve worked so hard to earn this honor, that I continue to make a mental point of praising God for every milestone I earn, along the way.
It took me some time to get into the habit of mentally preparing for the birth of my child-to-be, as opposed to spiritually preparing for the loss of another pregnancy. I am definitely not all the way there, as we have about three months left. Yet, I can confidently say that I am out of the woods. And the honor, the love, the grace, the sincere appreciation I feel, is beyond words.
There’s something that happens to a person who dreams of being a parent, and is faced with the reality that it may not be possible. At least, not the way we expected or hoped for. There’s a hole that grows within one’s heart. One so large, so dark, so deep, that it can’t be filled by anything else in the whole wide world. It can eat you alive, if you allow it. It can actually swallow you whole, if you don’t fight against it.
The thing about it, is the irony of all the people who have never and still don’t want children, but have them. This is world can be so damn confuzzling, it fascinates me with grand intrigue sometimes, and scares me with immense despair at others. I remember walking the streets after my miscarriage, staring at the growing bellies that seemed to have suddenly appeared everywhere I turned. I would pray so damn hard. I prayed that I wouldn’t allow the resentment and judgment that dared to grow within my heart, to feed off of my hurt and pain.
I remember looking at people who would snare, scold and even curse their children, with so much hurt in my eyes. How couldn’t they see the power of the blessing God had given them? How couldn’t they do better, to honor such a blessing with more pure Godly love? I remember considering adoption. Perhaps, God had another plan for me. There were, and still are, so many amazing blessings from God that are consistently forgotten and thrown away, every single day. I considered all of the children passed toddler age, who’d more often than not, spend too many of the rest of their days in foster care, dreaming of a family that would not come for them. A loving heart, that would not save them. A mother by nature, who would not seek them out.
I still feel confident, that in one way or another, I will be an adoptive mother to as many children as God might permit me to be. Nonetheless, that too, was not enough to fill that gaping hole. I was one of those people who swore she’d never have children. I’d convinced myself the world was too awful wicked. There was not enough good to go around, that would make it worth it, or even fair for me to bring another life into this world. Moreover, I was unconsciously convinced that I was not good enough to love into a child, what is necessary to defeat the peril poised against life brought into this world. Now, here my selfish behind was, begging God to give me another shot. It just didn’t make any sense.
“This life thing is not as simple as folks would like to make it out to be. It is not so easy to bring a life into the world. Even harder to keep such a life going, once it is here.”
I’ve often read stories about parents who dream of conceiving, but never are blessed to do so. All of those people, women and men alike, who dream of bringing home a beautiful bundle of joy, to call their own. Some of them question God. His decision-making. How could He bring children tom what the world might consider to be the most destitute parents, and not bless those who are far more “stable” and “put together,” with a child? How does this whole mess of a world work? How does this whole confusion of life and giving life, play into His plan for the world?
Then, there are those people with the ability to not only conceive, but also carry a child, but who don’t want any. Or don’t feel poised to bear such a burden. There are those people, who have one child, and then can never have another. Then those, who can never carry past the first trimester. Those who, carry until as far as the second or third trimester, only to miscarry or suffer other great tragedy that leads to the loss of their child-to-be.
Those, who carry all the way through, only to have a stillbirth. Those people who have a live and successful birth, only to pass on themselves, never blessed with the opportunity to meet or get to know the newborn. Those who, birth and/ or raise a child until their first, fifth, tenth or even twentieth year, only to lose them to a world of tragic things.
This life thing is not as simple as folks would like to make it out to be. It is not so easy to bring a life into the world. Even harder to keep such a life going, once it is here. Did you know that women of color, particularly Black women, have some of the highest rates of miscarriages, infant mortality, and maternal mortality? Meaning that, I, as a Black woman, have a way higher chance of miscarrying than for instance, White women. Or even if I am poised to have a live and successful birth, I have a higher chance of my child and/ or myself not making it passed that first year after.
All this time, I was stuck on being blessed to just get to the point where I could feel the life of a growing child within me. If only I could just feel him or her kick. That’d be just enough, I’d say to myself. That of course changed, once it happened this time around. That thought grew to the desire to see my belly grow big enough, for the world to know just how blessed God has made me. Which has now grown to the desire to be able to feel the first time greeting of a live child, following my familiar experience with labor pains. As opposed to only feeling the lingering hormones, reminding me of what I had lost or given up, instead of gained.
You know they do say, ‘when you give a mouse a cookie, they will ask for milk.’ What we ask for in this life, is not and will not ever be finite. I’d be devastated if I gave birth, met a beautiful and living child, only to meet great tragedy at any point passed that, in the form of death. For either of us. Yet, that, like everything else in this world, is not in my control. I’ve done my damndest to get this pregnancy as far along as I have, and I give God all the glory for His blessing to do so. In such, I know the power of life, much more than I ever thought possible.
“Blessings come in disguise all the time, and it’s our job as good servants, to search them out and accept them upon reception. When we don’t, we find great strife and struggle in life.”
One of the greatest lessons I had to learn, prior to this pregnancy, is how to humble myself before God. I had to ingrain in my mind, that the world did not and does not, revolve around me. He has a plan. A plan that is way larger than me and has been in place, long before I was ever a part of it. I am simply blessed to have been given life, to be added to this great plan. When the world doesn’t go my way, no matter how tragic the circumstances might be, it is not about me. None of it. Thus, when the world does go my way, the same reigns true. It is not about me. I didn’t do anything special, per se, to receive the blessings bestowed upon me.
I’ve of course had to work hard, as any good servant of God, to make room for what God has ordained for me. Nonetheless, those blessings are a part of His plan, not mine. My greatest deed is to understand and accept this. There are things that I don’t always openly receive, in acknowledgement of its potential to be a blessing. As I’ve heard a time or two, “what they meant for evil, He used for good.” Blessings come in disguise all the time, and it’s our job as good servants, to search them out and accept them upon reception. When we don’t, we find great strife and struggle in life.
I am a single mother, pregnant with child, praying for the ability to see this all through with God’s blessings and healing. I’ve found hurt and sadness along the way, on this motherhood journey. I’ve even danced the dance of loneliness, confused about what to do with a little baby, all alone. Until it came to me. God blessed me with the most graceful and influential spirit I’ve ever encountered. She’s already brought to me, the wisdom, humility and appreciation of life, I never knew possible. Anything more than this, would be beyond a blessing.
Her spirit, more than her life or physical body, will always be with me. She’s apart of me. We’re one. And nothing in this whole wide world could break that bond. I was searching for that other piece of the puzzle, to make me a whole piece. And I found it. Right inside of me. Literally. No matter what happens, I’ll always be one with her. Unlike all of the past romantic relationships, fake friendships and even, sordid family bonds I’ve held, this love will never go bad. It’ll never end or run away. I’ll never love her too much or too wrong. No one ever has to accept, like or even want me ever again. Truly. Because the one spirit that I always needed, I already have.
I’ve waited my entire life to feel a connection this true and real. A connection so strong, that not even life and death could come between it. All along, I thought it was about her life in the physical. Now, I know better. It is her spirit, that I have most profoundly sought out. And she came to me. More than once. She was as determined to share the spirit of life with me, as I was with her. And now, we’re linked forever. No one in this world, has to understand our purpose or need to be. She is the only team I’ll ever need. That’s a feeling, so priceless, life itself can not afford it.
There was an amazingly inspiring story I once read, about a family that was pregnant with a child (yes, a whole family can be pregnant, though only one person physically carries the child-to-be) that tested positive for a terminally ill disease. It was known well before the birth of the child, that the baby would not likely make it past one week of life. The family decided to keep the child, despite “medical advice.”
“The reason why I’ll never feel alone again, is right inside of me and she kicks the heck out of me every single day. We have a journey to go, that only God has the full blueprint of.”
They prepared themselves as much as possible, for what was to come. They looked forward to the honor of meeting this life-to-be and sharing as much time and love as possible, before the baby went back home to God. They shared beautiful and inspirational pictures of that blessed child. Pictures of every day he lived. He lived a whole 11 days. And they enjoyed every single minute of time they shared with him.
I’ve remembered that story of life and spirit, during this entire pregnancy. There are the doctors who wouldn’t acknowledge my pregnancy, telling me that I am not pregnant. Telling me that this pregnancy is in my head, since it could not be confirmed by their pregnancy test. There are also, the many folks who don’t look kindly on me “going forth” with a pregnancy, by an unpronounced man who has made it more than clear, that he will not be around to share this joy. I never really cared about what they thought. Though, I fought hard along the way, not to succumb to the pressure of dreading what was ahead, in fear of my own doubts and confusion. Now, I thank God that my strength and will to fight, alongside this amazingly strong spirit inside of me, won that battle.
Every moment we have shared, has meant more to me, than any moment I’ve ever shared with any other human being in my whole life. Not even my joy and heartfelt appreciation of my childhood and even, adult memories of being held my dearest momma, come close. I haven’t even held this little one, and she’s changed my whole world. She’s changed my whole purpose. My whole life. My whole understanding of life. Imagine, just imagine, what it might be like, if and when we do get the blessed pleasure of meeting in person.
The reason why I’ll never feel alone again, is right inside of me and she kicks the heck out of me every single day. We have a journey to go, that only God has the full blueprint of. I used to be scared and worried about what lie before us, as I can’t truly plan for what I can’t see. Now, I am just so excited because anything that lie ahead, could only add more blessings to what lie behind us. It is the quintessential remnant of God’s command to live by faith, not by sight.
I don’t want to say it, but I can’t imagine how it could get any better than this. I’m sure it will. In fact, I know it will. I just can’t see how. How could there be anything better than the love I already feel flowing in every part of my heart, mind and soul? How could there be anything better than knowing what it means to be alive, while I still have life within me to celebrate such knowledge? Only God knows!