on motherhood and joy

I long for the moment when we are matched with our adoptive child, and the day when we bring our Ethiopian baby home to be part of our family.  I anticipate both great pain and unbounded joy in our relationship with our next child.  Motherhood calls me, and I yearn for it.

And then, someday, after our adoption is complete, I hope to be pregnant again.  I know the deep and full emotions that pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding create within me, and I desire those luxurious gifts at least one more time.

I read Crunchy Domestic Goddess’s home birth story yesterday.  Her story challenges me to consider home birthing if I experience pregnancy again.  There is a new and controversial documentary produced by Ricki Lake called The Business of Being Born.  (If you happen to have a Netflix subscription, you can watch the movie instantly online.)  After watching the movie a couple months ago, I realized for the first time (though I’m ashamed to admit my ignorance), that home birthing is actually a safe and beautiful birthing option for women.  I imagine a quiet and darkened room with the people I love and trust.  I have no fear of hospitals or doctors, but if I can deliver a baby at home with the expert and caring coaching of an experienced midwife and perhaps My Sister the Doula, maybe my next childbirth experience can be seen more as a celebration of life than as a medical emergency.

Oh, I have so much to look forward to!  In recent months, I find God teaching me to be a thankful person.  I am in awe of how He has fashioned me as a woman and as a mother.

I came across Psalm 139 again last week, and it causes me to exult in the love God has for humankind:

“For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

(Psalm 139.13-17, NIV)

When I am thankful, and at peace in my heart, I can live with purpose as a mother.  The anger that bares its fierce head when Isaiah tries my patience can melt more quickly; I don’t have to be a slave to it.

And when I am thankful, each of my actions seems to be an exercise of devotion — even writing, even eating.  After a rough week of eating some unhealthy foods, I am returning to my diet of whole and raw foods, this time with more concentration on fruits.  Aren’t fruits just delightful?  I wonder what this diet will mean for my future if I would get pregnant, but I imagine I will have plenty of time to do research on how to best nourish my baby.

I anticipate years of time to learn the beauties of life as a mother.  But if something happens, if it were all taken away, I truly believe that this brief season of watching life grow — and being an instrument of that growth — has been enough of a gift for me to be eternally thankful.

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