I wrote the beginning of this post awhile ago. I haven’t had a chance, or even exactly the words to finish it until now. I hope you enjoy it.
It is time. Baby Arden is now 17 days old. Leaving the blue chux pads in our bedroom won’t make the midwives come back to help me bring another sweet baby into our lives.
Leaving the labour massage oil on my dresser won’t bring back the surges that mean we will soon greet a tiny, new family member.
Those horrid, but necessary, mesh panties? The peri bottle in the bathroom? Neither will leave my womb emptying again of the soft baby nest, 9 months in the making.
The Birth is all over. It is time to pack up The Birth Box.
For me, The Birth brings so much more than just a new baby. It is such a special privilege, so full of beauty, excitement and wonder. It also seems to open wide a wound I continue to carry even into my adult life no matter how many times I offer the questions to my Saviour.
Am I special? Do you love me? Who am I, anyway?
During The Pregnancy, I am the special person. The midwife appointments are all about me. She tries to find out every detail about me — my body, my emotions, my plans, my hopes and dreams. Out in the world, everyone is extra nice to me. People are always asking me how I am, offering me the best seat, letting me park in special parking spots at the grocery store. A mama could get pretty attached to treatment like that.
But, being pregnant is just the lead up to the ultimate confirmation that I am important, I am chosen, and I am loved — The Birth. The Birth concentrates all of that attention into a few short hours (or a few short minutes if it is a quick one!). It is like being a princess on her wedding day…and doesn’t every little girl dream of being the princess?
The second The Birth is over, already the attention is divided. Now, I am still The Special Person, but in the words of my sister, “You are still special, Christine. Just not as special as him.” 😉 Thanks.
My precious Lord does not intend for me to live as a princess. That is not what he was here for and is not what I am here for. While it feels good for a while to be attended and doted over, the shallow level it keeps me on separates me from the abundant life He has intended for me. The life of serving. It is mostly not glamorous and it goes mostly unnoticed. It is everyday, not ‘special’ to anyone around here, but the irony is that each act of serving, of taking myself out of the princess role bring me closer to being like The King, closer to being The True Princess.
The True Princess wipes spit up from her newly donned dark-coloured shirt. The True Princess chooses love over anger when her children frustrate her. She cleans garbage cans, wipes little bums, throws another load of laundry in and tells her husband she loves him. No one turns down her sheets or draws her a bath when she is tired. She presses on when it seems too hard to press on one more minute. Why does she do this? Why doesn’t she just give up?
Because she is not here for herself. She is here for them. She is here for The King. Each act of serving makes her own identity clearer and that realization, the clear-seeing, brings joy, fulfillment and the intimacy she longs for.
While The Birth is the ultimate focus on me, I am grateful that The Baby is the ultimate focus on others. Never have I been called to lay aside my own wants and needs as I am in the first year of life with a new baby. Each minute is an opportunity to sacrifice as I serve someone else. I find the more I embrace the serving, the more I embrace the wonderful feeling of knowing that this is exactly what I was made for.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45