Our most treasured gifts from God are our children. To feel a baby stir inside your body for the first time is a feeling that can’t be replicated. Very lightly at first almost like a fluttering butterfly, those sensations soon become more intense. Instead of a fluttering butterfly, the sensation is more like a nudge and then a kick. With each kick the excitement of what is happening leads to much anticipation and preparation for the imminent birth of a baby. Everything is in order. The nursery is decorated. Diapers are stacked on the changing table. Books are placed beside the rocking chair and the baby’s clothes are all washed and neatly folded. You think you are ready; you have read all of the “right” books, attended Lamaze classes, toured the hospital and have met with the pediatrician. You have your hospital bag packed…and then you wait and wonder if the baby is ever going to come.
The twinges in your back and your abdomen demand your attention as they become more regular. The time has come. The arrival of your most precious gift is near. The fatigue and the discomfort that has engulfed your body soon gives way to elation as you experience the miracle of your baby’s birth. The moment the baby is placed in your arms, the moment you hear your baby cry for the first time, is the moment your life changes forever. Perfect in every way, this baby, this tiny human being is born into this world totally dependent on you for all of its needs.
The first few days at home are hectic with trying to settle into a routine. Family and visitors frequent your home to get a glimpse of the most perfect baby in the whole world. In your mind all is right with the world; and then it happens. Everyone is gone and mommy and daddy are all alone with the baby. Now what? Where are the instructions?
We experienced this with the births of our daughter and our son. Two perfect babies and two perfect (😳) parents equaled a perfect family! Wow, did we have delusions of grandeur! We had no idea…
Sleepless nights, dirty dishes, laundry that needed to be done, colic, poopy diapers, the list was long. When would the chaos end? Living in married student housing, there were other couples with babies who were wondering the same thing. We listened to our pediatrician. We read the books. We thought we were prepared. HA! I often wondered later on what our mothers thought. Advice was given, suggestions were made, but the expert was the doctor who told us to “do this, not that”. “Let the baby cry, it’s ok.” “The only thing wrong with the baby is the nervous mother.” I could go on and on. Had we listened to the real experts, our moms, there would have been more sleep and less tears. There would have been less pacing back and forth and more rocking back and forth. Although this was our first rodeo, we failed to remember that between the two moms, they had delivered and raised ten children. They had “been there, done that”. When we finally realized that perhaps they really did know what they were talking about, our lives began to calm down and what a difference that made.
So, to my sweet mama who is in Heaven and to Margaret, aka “Grandma Jack” it was you who laid the foundation for our children. It was you who reminded us to “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” [Proverbs 22:6]
You were the real experts, not the doctors. You had lived our lives many years before and you shared your wisdom and knowledge willingly. For that and many other reasons, we are eternally grateful to you. No, instructions were not included with the births of our babies. We had something better. We had our moms.
We love you and thank you.