Have you ever wanted and dreamed about something so hard for so long, that the reality of it happening seems hard to get your head around?
I am sitting in that place right now.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mother. When I was a little girl I didn't have imaginary friends but I did have two imaginary children, Steven and Noneny (neither of those are names we are considering, but I'm pretty sure Noneny was a boy too, so I guess I was always ready for a baby boy - or two). The desire to be a Mum was always strong, beyond just a 'want' but truly something that I felt God had spoken over my life. I think this deep rooted calling was also something that God used to keep my eyes on him through my twenties when my life didn't make sense with the way I thought it should be.
I imagined that I would get married young and pop out a bunch of kids, surely that was the "best" way for this life calling to play out? As any Christian can tell you, walking with Christ is an adventure and rarely plays out the way we think it should. I followed a call to missions which had me moving across the world and starting a life in Seattle, and still no husband in sight. I had confirmations of my 'Mother's' call through my time with YWAM, as I worked with young men and women and was able in a small way speak into their lives as a mother-figure, but Jesus and I had many conversations about how unfair I felt this was; I knew that He knew that I wanted to have my own babies, and although I loved my job and I loved walking through life with these amazing young people it wasn't how I expected that motherhood would play out.
When I met J everything fell into place very quickly. We were married less than a year after we began dating and because we were both over 30 at our wedding, we knew we wanted to start our family fairly quickly. As we began to experience miscarriages the confusion became overwhelming. The desire to be a Mum hadn't decreased, in fact it was only gaining steam as the months passed. In my heart I still believed so strongly that it would happen and even though life experience didn't make sense with the call I felt on my life, I trusted that one day it would come to pass. I thought that adoption was our new path, and I was so excited about the leap of faith that we would be taking to make that happen. As you know, that plan was not to be for our family at this time. Our sixth pregnancy was our answered prayer, our miracle. Our baby boy started to grow healthy and strong inside my body.
The months passed and my waistline expanded but the reality of this successful pregnancy still felt/feels hard to wrap my head around. I can intellectually 'know' that there is a baby in there, I have the many scan pictures to prove it, but it still feels a little bit detached from the reality I imagined. Not to mention that as we approach these final days the physical discomfort and limits have made me tons of fun to be around - not. I expected to glow from conception to birth, especially after all it took to get here, but the 'reality' of pregnancy isn't as easy as I had anticipated. And now a new reality is just around the corner.
Motherhood. As much as I have planned and dreamed about this moment, it is hard to actually imagine the changes about to happen. Having this little man kicking on the outside of my body not the inside, hearing his cries telling me he's hungry and not just experiencing my own excessive hunger. I will have to start using my arms to hold him and not my core muscles - and I get to have others share in the holding too :)
I know it will be a little of what I have been dreaming, and whole lot of "what just happened to my life?" but even as the true reality that this baby could be here anytime is starting to sink in, the reality of motherhood is still a long way from setting in.
I am 39 weeks exactly today and according to the doctor this morning there is nothing going on to say this kid has any intention of coming out any time soon. Guess I have to wait a little longer for my reality check.