41 weeks and one day. 288 days. 6,888 hours. 413,280 minutes.
That's how long it took for our baby to grow and decide it was time to enter the world. And in a matter of 26 hours, she had arrived.
I didn't really have set expectations for what it would be like to be a mom. Some women feel like a mom from the moment they find out they are pregnant, and others, like myself, transition into this role when they meet their kiddo for the first time. To be honest, I always wanted to be a mom, but didn't realize how head-over-heels I'd fall into this role. It's hard work, don't get me wrong. Taking care of a little one is no joke and I've been been more exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally than ever before in my life. It is in fact, quite incredible what one can accomplish on little sleep when given no other option. But for someone who is very much type-A, having a baby in our home is a much needed and welcomed chaos. The fact that it has taken me a number of days to actually finish this post, and that 90% of it was written whilst feeding my child, is case-in-point. Nora is reminding me to take life one moment at a time, hold loosely to plans, and to relish the quiet and mundane moments.
Being a parent is constantly teaching me about myself; revealing the ways in which my world has been centered around me. It's teaching me more about my husband; showing me the depths of his love for myself and our daughter. And through Nora, I've been learning more about the incarnation; understanding more fully the beautiful and messy blend of pain and hope and joy. Waiting for this baby girl helped me to understand advent in a new way this Christmas season and made the reality of "hopeful expectation" even more real.
However, it was after experiencing birthing a child that my perspective on the incarnation has shifted. Singing Christmas songs of "Silent Nights" and all being "calm and bright", didn't resonate with me anymore. Nothing about bringing a baby into this world is calm and silent and clean. Experiencing "God with us" is messy business. It's loud at times and raw and often pushes us to the limits of our capacity as humans. But in the end, the joy of meeting makes the challenge worth the while..."a weary world (or weary mom) rejoices".
Sarah Bessey puts it best in this excerpt from her essay, In which we get this part of the incarnation:
"Mothers can tell this part of the story this Christmas, the glimpse behind the veil, the life lived in the in-between of the stuff of God.
There is a story on your lips, isn’t there, mama? of how you saw the face of God in the midst of fear or pain or joy and understood, really understood, Mary, not kneeling chastely beside a clean manger refraining from touching her babe, just moments after birth but instead, sore and exhilarated, weary and pressing a sleepy, wrinkled newborn to her breasts, treasuring every moment in her heart, marveling not only at his very presence but at her own strength, how surrender and letting go is true work...God, Incarnate, Word made flesh, born of a woman and the Holy Spirit. We can tell the true, messy stories of the Incarnation. Emmanuel, God with us.
May we recognize the miracle of the Incarnation, not in spite of the mess, but because of the very humanness of it."
Parenthood will no doubt bring about other truths and revelations about God and self, life and family, and we're excited for this new year and welcome the abundance of triumphs and challenges that will come.
We invite you to continue to be a part of the journey with us and thank you for supporting #theadventuresofdillandash so far.
Happy New Year!