1. Life Is Beautiful:
From the moment I discovered there was a little life forming inside, to the time I heard her little cry from the first time while the doctor held her up, the beauty of life took on a new meaning. I wasn’t just an observer noticing the outward appearance of attractive things, but I was intrinsically woven into the fabric of life that was busy creating something that was truly beautiful-a newborn baby. Using the term beautiful as something that gives great pleasure and satisfaction, this doesn’t even come close to pinning the emotions that ensued after gazing upon this little life that just breathed her first little breath while screaming her little head off looking at me. The look seemed to say, “I’m here. I’m all yours. I’m completely dependent upon you for sustaining me for the next few years -don’t mess me up.” It was a very defining and daunting moment for me but also full of utter bliss. I could hear the sentiments of Life is Truly Beautiful echoing from deep inside me filling me to the brim with contentment-thanks hormones for helping feel that to an extreme level of intensity. For a moment I forgot about all the cruelty and horrible things of our world that consume our media driven cultural and became absorbed in a fresh new life that was truly beautiful.
2. Life Is Hard:
Inevitable as the rosy hormone-ridden moment of our first encounter with our baby soon faded into a wonderful memory, the everyday routine of caring for a newborn became a reality. Not any less beautiful just a little more messy. Parenting a newborn is difficult, as in most things some of the most challenging moments bring us the most rewarding memories. There are a thousand concerns, unknowns, and just plain new incidents that it is scary and beyond overwhelming- you are entrusted with a little person to care for their every. single. need. constantly. Talk about mind-boggling, no returning her, no days off, thousands of hours of work, oh and all the worrying about every.single.need-Is she getting enough to eat? Why won’t she sleep?? Why is she crying again? I’m not that concerned about her poop but now that you mention it I probably should be right? And all of this in the in the trenches of sleep depravation makes the task of caring for a baby seem insurmountable –A responsibility I’m definitely going to fail at for sure. I never thought of personal hygiene like a shower as being selfish (I’m doing it for others, so they won’t think I smell, right??) but it sure feels selfish now. I never knew how selfish of a person I was until motherhood, that journey in and of itself is hard-discovering your selfishness. The person I was before having my daughters, I don’t know her anymore. Sure I look about the same, maybe a few more stretch marks here and lines under there, but I’ve changed. Being a Mom has completely transformed me. During the first few weeks of motherhood I gained age-old wisdom that mothers have been passing along for centuries in the rite of passageway that maternity evokes and I can hear my Mom telling me now You can do this, you are the best mother to her, God picked you as her mother.
3. Life Brings People Together:
Never before have I ever needed other’s help as I have during the time after my babies were born. We pride our self on our self-sufficiency but experiencing a moment when our physical strength fails us, we are left with no choice but to rely on others and their outpouring of grace and hospitality. This vulnerability of allowing others to help us during this time only strengthens our relationship with those who rally around to take care of us. I think especially of the extraordinary women who supported me before, during, and after my first baby was born in Italy. My husband was gone - deployed to Afghanistan actually - and there I was alone, in a foreign country, preparing to bring life into this world. But I wasn’t really alone, because the birth of a child brings people together.
4. Life Is a Celebration:
Seeing the miracle of life being brought into this world is a cause for great joy. Others want to join in on this monumental occasion, to commemorate the beginning of a new person, family, and legacy. It’s a significant life-altering event that is greatly anticipated and met with great joy. This joy is contagious and others want to be a part of something so wonderful and worthy of such pomp and circumstance. (That’s probably why it gets to many “likes” on Facebook) In an age where not much is waited for, birth is longingly anticipated and triumphantly concluded with a life-long souvenir that even kind of resembles you!
5. Life Is Fleeting:
Time does march on for the better or worse. Tenderly holding my third daughter after delivery, I was acutely aware of how quickly the minutes would turn to hours and hours into days and the days into years and I would soon no longer have moments like this of a perfectly peaceful sleeping infant lying contently in my arms making those little sleeping noises I have grown so fond of hearing. I want to soak up these early moments of her life and enjoy every last scrunchy face, smile, laugh, and hiccup because I know they will fade too fast. Even the late night feedings will take on an undue romance in the memory of time, painful now, but precious bonding time I will eventually come to cherish like I do with my other two.
Bringing our newest addition home from the hospital
The beginning and sustaining of a life is something beautiful and worth celebrating. I am rediscovering the awe and amazement of bringing forth life from the womb with my third baby girl, who’s age is still being measured in weeks. It’s a beautiful time - the newborn stage - but it brings its own challenges like in every stage, and time will diminish the hard parts and pleasant times will remain more in my memory I’m sure.
First image source found here
So campers please share with us on Facebook any and/or all the lessons your little ones have taught you, the good and the not so good…