By Nicole John-Thomas
My first son, Jeremiah, was born on Thursday, April 9, 2015. This child was long awaited—my husband and I had been married for just about nine years when he arrived.
In those nine years we had always been open to life, trying and desiring to have a family. In those nine years, we suffered several miscarriages and one ectopic pregnancy. And then it happened: we had another positive pregnancy test. I was so afraid to hope that things would go well this time. We had been sorely disappointed many times before. Dare I get my hopes up? Dare I even pray once more?
Well, I’m not sure if I truly prayed, but I knew without a doubt that others were praying for us and so, our baby grew and flourished, and finally, we held him, our long-awaited child, Jeremiah. I remember thinking as I gazed upon his little face, he is the most beautiful sight I had ever beheld. I could not get enough of looking at him; I was fascinated with him. I was spell bound. As my husband would say, he had us ‘bazodee’.
Our second son, Joshua, was born via emergency C-section on Saturday, March 4, 2017. My pregnancy with Joshua was not as easy as it had been with Jeremiah. I was tired most of the time, suffered aches and pain, muscle cramps, headaches, and felt so emotionally drained that I remember wondering if I would have the strength to love our second child.
The day before he was born, I had been thinking that I had not felt him move within me in the manner that I had gotten used to; his movements had slowed down. Twenty-four hours later, on the Saturday, I called one of my clinic doctors who was also a friend, and she advised us to head to the hospital right away.
The emergency c-section revealed that the umbilical cord had wrapped around Joshua’s neck twice and tight. He suffered no ill-effects and we were discharged from hospital a few days later.
I remember thinking as I gazed upon his little face, he is the most beautiful sight I had ever beheld. I could not get enough of looking at him; I was fascinated with him. I was spell bound. As my husband would say, he had us ‘bazodee’.
Jeremiah and Joshua: they have made me what I have always desired to be, a mother. But what does that mean? I suspect it might mean very different things for each mother out there.
For me, my motherhood has been a journey of discovery. Yes, I am discovering the personality of our two boys, but I am also discovering facets of myself that are both delightful and distressing.
I have enjoyed learning about my ability to function on less sleep than I would like. I have marvelled at my ability to love each of my sons as if each was an only child. Yet, I was forced to admit, that motherhood has also shown me I am not as patient, kind, or generous as I once thought myself.
Neither am I as confident in the rightness of my own opinions as I once was. When your day is thwarted by a tiny person refusing to eat, or bathe, or sleep, or dress, you come to the swift realisation that clearly you are not as persuasive a personality as you might think!
The most critical discovery that I have made is that in my motherhood, I experience, very strongly, on a daily basis, God as the constant encourager. When I am struggling to maintain an even temper in the face of Jeremiah’s tantrum, I can feel our dear Lord Jesus Christ, encouraging me to greater patience, greater understanding.
When I think that surely I cannot go another minute without losing my mind, because Joshua is refusing to let go of my leg, I feel the Lord whispering to me that ‘everything is OK’. In the middle of the night, when I awaken a few minutes before Joshua does, I know it is an angel waking me. I just know.
I believe that God is very close to mothers. I believe that He eagerly awaits our confidences. I believe that the best friend a woman can have to accompany and support her in her journey as a mother, is our dear Lord.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers. God is with us.