I don’t believe anyone can truly understand the immense love that overcomes you when you become a parent. I thought I knew its vastness before I was a mom, but I had no idea. The moment I found out I was pregnant I became attached to this little body growing inside of me. My love for this baby continued to grow with each milestone: the first ultrasound, the first kick, the first scary labor and delivery visit and the next and the next.
After a very rocky pregnancy, I gave birth to this beautiful little boy, and my love for him was unconditional, automatic, and so surreal. It flooded every other emotion. Then the doctor whisked away my 5 pound baby to the NICU after I held him for less than a minute; then the sting began. When the doctor told me that his grunting meant that he could stop breathing on his own at any minute, that love was mixed with all sorts of emotions.
I find motherhood to be this way: love jumbled between a gamut of other emotions. In my short 6 years as a parent, I have endured a lot of heartache. Three of my sons spent their first few weeks in the NICU, one of which had to be airlifted to a Pediatric ICU almost 2 hours from home, and now an Autism diagnosis.
Sometimes motherhood weighs heavy on me, but every night my love for my children skips to the forefront of my mind as we check on our 4 boys before we retire to bed. I pray for them, always telling them that we love them while pausing to stare at their sweet faces for a few seconds and gently rubbing their heads and backs every night while they sleep.
This always fills me with joy and love, but last night was different. I was overcome with a sense of sadness and lack of control. I was sad because my babies are getting so big, and I felt burdened by my lack of control over their future, especially Charlie, who has Autism.
In this fleeting, helpless moment, I remembered that God is in control. He is in charge of these little angels. I am just here to guide them wherever God leads, even if that path is not what I envisioned for these little guys. I kept asking myself why we’ve had so much heartache in such a short amount of time as parents? Why does my son have Autism?
I am NOT a why me person. Usually, I accept, adjust, and make the best of life, but last night felt different. I didn’t want to accept and adjust. I wanted this perfect picture of motherhood. Then I was gently reminded that we are not promised anything, and motherhood is not perfect. We are imperfect people living in God’s perfect plan. He has mapped our lives out just how He sees fit, and we are to trust that He has a wonderful, glorious plan for us and for our children.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”