My motherhood journey began in the fall of 2014, although my desire to teach and raise children was planted many years earlier. I had always dreamed of being a mom, however, I really wanted to finish university and complete a degree in education before starting my family. After working for several years at a job that I enjoyed but that did not fulfill me, I decided to return to university and pursue the promise I believed God had for me to teach and help shape the education system for Christ.
Shortly into my university journey, my husband and I conceived our first child. Although extremely excited and somewhat shocked, I quickly realized my life was about to change significantly. I was a do-it-all kind of gal. I never stopped working and was always pursuing goals and taking on new challenges. Pregnancy was a new challenge that made me incredibly excited. I wanted to be that idealistic mom who didn’t have to surrender all her dreams in order to excel at motherhood. I feared boredom and lack of purpose and was very determined to keep up with my fast-paced life.
My reality check came with the first hurdle in my pregnancy. I experienced extreme nausea that just would not go away. Attending classes, studying, writing exams was impossible. Despite my physical weakness, I sought God for strength and really depended on His sustaining power to get me through each day. He met me and revealed His faithfulness to me by providing the strength and energy I needed to have the most successful academic semester to date. With each trimester that passed, the pregnancy became more complicated until at 32-weeks, I was diagnosed with extreme hypertension (high blood pressure). The weeks that followed completely stripped me of all control and I believe I went into a pre-partum depression that felt incredibly lonely. My family doctor had referred me to specialist; however, I was unable to see this doctor for several weeks. My health was declining rapidly. I began seeing spots in my vision, crawling into bed everyday incredibly nauseous, dizzy and feeling like something was very wrong and unable to function at everyday tasks. As I struggled physically, I would seek medical advice, advice from other moms, and really leaned on my husband. Emotionally, I was extremely unstable and losing control over every aspect of my body; this challenged me spiritually. I felt unheard and again, very alone. No one understood my struggle or believed that I felt as bad as I did. I tried to pretend I was happy and enjoying my pregnancy, however, I was not glowing like I always dreamed and told myself I would be.
At 36 weeks pregnant, I was rushed to the triage unit at St. Boniface with roller coaster blood pressures and dizziness. Once there, they ran tests and discovered that I had extreme pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening pregnancy complication. I was swept off to the high-risk ward and immediately induced, as getting the baby out was the only fix. Although I was scared and my foundation was being shaken, I will always remember Jesus whispering in my ear, “I’m with you, Missy. I understand your pain and fears.” 36 hours later, my little Bennett was born, tiny, but happy and healthy. What a blessing that moment was! I didn’t fully bounce back after my delivery. I was forced to lean on others, as my unstable blood pressure remained an issue for some time after giving birth. It was through the birth of my second child that I received full healing from my previous experience. I know now that I experienced PTSD from the traumatic life events that took place. Along with this struggle, I also accepted several lies that completely shaped me as a mother. I attended personal ministry and can now say that I have complete healing in these areas, and no longer feel the pain and defeat that this experience created in me.
I’m currently in the trenches. As I write this, my two-year-old is literally hanging off my neck as if I’m a human jungle gym. I’m nursing my 6-month-old baby and trying to keep her from being completely smothered by her big brother. Moments like these, although beautiful, remind me of how much my life is not my own. I am never alone, and I still hear Jesus whisper, “I’m with you Missy.” Most days are not planned or put together like I would like them to be, but everyday I’m growing in my capacity and confidence as a mom. These first few years of child rearing seem very crazy and exhausting. Every single day throws learning curves and exposes areas of vulnerability in me that I never knew were there. This season of life is passing far too fast, and it’s so easy to just go through the everyday motions of sleep deprivation, potty training and constant chaos without seeking God for purpose and His ultimate goal for each day. I am learning to lean on God and hand over the reigns of my life every day. Each day offers new challenges and purpose that can either strengthen me or defeat me. Submitting to God at all times in parenting and giving up control of the path my life takes is not easy, but the journey offers incredible peace, confidence and strength to do the most important job I’ve ever been given.
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