Motherhood is One of the Hardest Things Women Can Take On:
Motherhood is difficult! The other day, I saw a terrible cartoon on Facebook. It was captioned “what every woman wants.” The panel depicted a man with a pregnant belly his wife was kissing. Then he was in the hospital while his wife held him through tears. The last frame was the man breastfeeding a newborn. It had thousands of likes and happy comments about how yes, this is what women want. Wouldn’t it be great if men went through pregnancy, labor, and nursing for us? The support for the cartoon was overwhelming.
Motherhood is a Gift that I Do Not Want to Give Away:
Pregnancy is no picnic. At 34 weeks pregnant with my second child, I can confidently say I am ready to have my baby girl out. My husband tells me frequently he wishes he could bear my pain for me. I’m not particularly looking forward to labor again. A longer break from breastfeeding really would have been nice. Despite any discomfort or pain in childbearing, I still would not trade this gift for anything.
To be honest, it insulted me that someone would think I want my husband to do the childbearing for me. I am in awe of my daughter every day, just like I was with my son. There is a life growing inside me! I am in my own world with my child before they’re even born. When I am with my friends, at Mass, or walking through the grocery store and I feel my little one move inside me, no one else gets to enjoy that. No one understands how much is happening within my temple. It’s a secret world for her and me, and I get to invite my husband to experience it with me when he’s home.
Labor is terrible (we are really not kidding when we say it’s the worst pain ever)! But that pain felt like a miracle to me. The whole 9 hours, I kept remembering that the pain was bringing my son closer to me. I had a purpose in the pain—a purpose to welcome my boy into the new world. If I was asked to describe labor, birth, and nursing in one word, I would say empowering. Have you ever lifted a huge weight, ran a race, hit a crazy deadline, or done anything that made you say—I can’t believe I did that? Literally any accomplishment pales in comparison to looking at the child you just grew for 9 months and then birthed through intense pain.
But None of Us Would Trade it for Anything:
Please do not live in fear of embracing the gift of motherhood. Yes, pregnancy is awful. Labor is terrifying. Yes, it only gets harder once the baby is here to care for. But we women were made for this. It is the strongest, most beautiful thing we can ever do. Motherhood is our privilege, our gift from God. It should never be forsaken.