It’s hard to believe that three years ago today I didn’t know if I or the baby I was carrying would live or die. I remember waking up and praying that God would be merciful and would spare us both. As we headed to the hospital and I kissed each of our other children goodbye, I prayed that whatever happened, God would also be merciful to them.
Choosing life for our baby had been easy… the next nine months were not. But the sacrifices and the crosses that came with giving life were so worth the gift God provided us. If Leo had not made it to our arms or if I had died in pregnancy or birth, we still knew that his life was a blessing and a gift. God’s gift to us was not in the security of having a child reach our arms nor in the promise of my own life; His gift was in sharing a role in creating new life and choosing his life above all else. By choosing life we chose to participate in something so much bigger than ourselves- we chose to participate, heart, mind, body, and soul, in God’s sacrificial love.
As I browsed my Facebook memories today, I began to cry. The outpouring of love from our friends was amazing. Across the nation and around the world many people were praying for us. So many friends posted on my wall that they were anxiously awaiting news of our sweet baby’s arrival and news of our safety. They shared links to our story as I had shared it at Catholic Sistas. And they simply told me that they loved me. It was overwhelming then and three years later it is still overwhelming.
I love that like today, Leo’s birthday will sometimes fall on Mother’s Day. He wasn’t the first to make me a mother, but the miracle of his life is a reminder to me of why I chose to become a mother so many years ago. Each of our children, whether they are in our arms or waiting for us in heaven, are worth every cross, every trial, every tear, every smile, every laugh, every heartache, and every moment that we are blessed to have them.
Sometimes when life seems overwhelming it can be easy to overlook how very precious life is… when I look at Leo I am reminded that God chose me to be the mother of all of these children. I may have been asked to sacrifice in ways I could never imagine and I may not have been able to hold each of them for as long as I hoped, but I was able to participate fully in their lives for the time they were here. I have known these children in a way that no other person in the world can or ever will know them. I have held them in my body, their hearts beating beneath my own, and my own life helping to sustain theirs. I have no words for what an honor it is to be allowed to partake in helping to create new life.
Today, as we celebrate Leo’s birthday and Mother’s Day, I am thankful for not only his life, but for the lives of each of our children. No matter how long we were blessed to have them in our lives and no matter what we have been through with and for them, each child that God has blessed us with is a testament to His love for us. As parents He calls us to sacrifice for our children. I have known great sacrifice in my time as a mother, but I have also known great love and joy.
I am thankful for every miraculous aspect of motherhood… the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the heart-wrenching, the overwhelming, the disappointments, and the unmeasurable joys. They each have helped to create a love story that is like no other. The story is uniquely ours, never to be repeated again. It is written each day by every experience we have as a family.
I treasure each moment I have with my family and thank God for allowing us to share in His love through the gift of our children.
Happy Mother’s Day!