What I Didn't Know Before Having Kids
Despite growing up a full-on Alabama Southern Belle, I never
fantasized about my future wedding or played with baby dolls. I grew up with
boy cousins and preferred to play outdoors. In my teens, I opted for waitress
and desk jobs over babysitting. The thought of really getting married one day never entered my mind until I became
serious about my husband in college.
I loved children, but not babies. This became more evident as years passed and all my friends started having babies. I relied on the Boppy® pillow to help me cradle the fragile life that was plopped in my lap whenever I visited a new mom. The scared and awkward look on my face revealed to my friend (and all of social media) that I was not comfortable with a newborn.
My husband and I got along great . . . as long as nobody mentioned that four-letter: BABY. I pleaded with him to adopt a toddler, sharing my deepest fears of not knowing how to nurture a baby. “They're so fragile and helpless. I couldn't possibly know what to do.” He'd argue back that he wanted a child from the two of us unless biologically impossible . . . “My own blood.”
Our careers were both going in the desired direction and we had just refinanced our home. I couldn’t be happier, until I started mysteriously gaining weight in my lower abs. Pregnancy was the furthest conclusion from my mind since I religiously took birth control and had one defective ovary. I blamed the gain on being 29 and amped up my abs workouts and cut back on fried foods.
Another month went by and I took a pregnancy test just to rule it out. Four positive tests later, I found myself racing to the doctor for blood work. I would love to say that I accepted my mommy fate and was pleased at the surprise miracle. But in all honesty, it was the most emotionally difficult part of my life. I was mad at God for messing with "my" timing and selfishly decided my ideal life was over. If that wasn't enough, I had to deal with preeclampsia and bed rest in my third trimester.
I put on fake Southern smiles during baby showers and took a sabbatical from social media to not risk anyone tagging a picture of my pregasaurus self. My journal was a bipolar biography that blamed God for His unfairness, followed by pleading with Him to protect my baby in the next entry. Little did I know that He had not forsaken me that His timing was actually perfect.
My doctor induced me about three weeks early, and from the first time they put my son on my chest I felt an instant love like no other. He stayed in the NICU for over a week due to the medication from my preeclampsia, but it seemed like an eternity to me. For the first time I truly grasped the depth and the love God has for His children, and even more so understood the huge sacrifice He made in giving up His Son.
But it didn't stop there. Over the past three years I have realized the true meaning of selflessness and putting someone’s needs above my own at all costs. I’ve always loved my husband, family and friends, but something about caring for a child opened my eyes to how selfish I had unknowingly acted for so long.
I now had a helpless child totally dependent on me for everything. This helped me learn to totally trust God for all my needs and not worry about doing everything in my own strength. Before I would go to God as a last resort after I felt stressed and had tried all other options. My son has taught me that all you need to do is ask for what you need right when you need it.
I also realized that God really does have my best intentions in mind, even when His actions didn't make sense to me. My work has actually increased and improved since having my son. I now have more to work for and much more material to write about. The women I used to think of as baby-obsessed housewives now seem so wise and often have my empathy.
Last year we added a baby girl to complete our little family. Although I do have some worries about raising a girl, I am confident that a daughter is part of God’s plan. I know that He will give us the grace and wisdom to raise her in His care, and I can't wait to see what we will learn from having her in our lives.
Author Bio: Kaci Lane Hindman lives in Northport, AL, and is the wife of Blake and mother of Lane and Blakely. She works as a writer, editor, fitness instructor and stand-up comedienne, and blogs at kacilane.com.
Originally written as a guest blog on throughcloudedglass.com.