I wasn’t one of these women who was born to be a mother. It wasn’t that I didn’t like kids…I liked them. I was just pretty consumed with establishing my career, broadening my horizons with travel, educating myself with classes. In other words, I was selfish. Kids were always a thought for MUCH later down the road. I didn’t really know how much later down the road, just later. That all changed one August morning as I stared at a positive test result and contemplated either running down the stairs screaming or passing out. Thankfully I didn’t choose anything quite so dramatic. Instead I threw myself across the bed sobbing.
The next few days were a blur. My husband took it much more calmly than me. I think he was shell-shocked. I, on the other extreme, kept thinking about the fact that we’d been married less than a year. We’d just bought our first house that took the term, “fixer-upper to a whole new level. I couldn’t keep house plants alive and the animals that lived with us barely survived by eating the crumbs off the floor. Since I was fairly certain that would not be an acceptable practice for a newborn I was in a panic. How did this happen? (For the record, yes, I do know where babies come from) The hits just kept on coming when I realized the kid was due 5 weeks from insanity. Translated that means the baby was due splat dab in midst of my annual dance recital at the studio I owned. I was a train wreck of emotions and each fear that tiptoed through my mind would cause me double the guilt. I mean, everyone was ecstatic for us. Here I was anything but happy. Much later I discovered something that I wish I would have learned early on in those scary days and that is simply this. Many women have felt exactly as I did. And it’s ok to have fears and worries. It’s even ok to not want to be pregnant because of those fears (unfounded or real). But what happens is, instead of creating an atmosphere where women in those situations feel comfortable about sharing their feelings, an environment of guilt exists. Many women just get through it by keeping their mouths shut and working through it the best they can. Luckily for me, I’ve never learned when to keep my mouth shut so I called up my mom one day and poured out my guts to her. You know what that woman said to me?? “Old girl, you know this baby is only coming out of you one way right? I wouldn’t worry so much looking that far down the road. You’ve got to get past the ring of fire first.” She was so wise.
I did start focusing on the here and now and day by day I felt my excitement growing with my belly. I was a fairly new Christian and as I look back now I see how the Lord used that time of uncertainty and fear to continue to draw me close to Him. To teach me to lean on Him. I am happy to say that after making me wait an additional 2 weeks, our precious Coconut #1 was born naturally and without complications at a birthing center. In one magical moment, God let me feel what it’s like to create a miracle. As soon as they laid her on my chest, so warm and alive, any and all fears dissipated like a mist. At least for that moment in time. I did, however, have to give my mother a piece of my mind. I politely informed her that I did not know anything about her “ring of fire”. What I had experienced was more like the “Blowtorch of the Birthing Inferno” but I digress. It was worth it.
As a matter of fact it was so worth it and God, in His sovereignty, gave me childbirth amnesia so we went ahead and had two more. These two were born at home. And so now we were blessed with not one but three offspring of our very own. Suddenly the woman I had been was replaced by someone new. Someone who had exchanged tiny, cute purses for over flowing diaper bags. Someone who smelled often of sour milk and needing a shower. Someone who once used to stay out all night now stayed up all night to walk the floors with fussy babies…and loved it. And someone who used to be able to carry on witty and thought provoking conversation (or so I thought) and now found herself discussing diaper rashes, nipple cream, and engorgement issues. And that was alright by me. These tiny creatures consumed me. They mesmerized me. I was hooked. Yet the greatest joy of all came when they started talking. Their constant chatter brings sunshine to my days. My life was forever changed by the ones who have come to be called “The Coconuts”.
Our life with Coconuts is now 8 years in the making, but every day they still make me laugh and amaze me with the things they do and say. So this is dedicated to them. My hope is one day they’ll read some of these posts and have some small idea of how much space they occupy in my heart. Perhaps they’ll know that although I may not have been the most perfect mother, I love them with all that I am.