Ever since finding out we were expecting several weeks ago, this question has been playing across my mind. Am I a mom? I know come September I'm going to be a mom. But am I one already?
When we announced on Facebook and Instagram, so many people commented "Congratulations! You're going to make an amazing mom." And I decided right then and there that is the best thing to say to parents when they announce a baby on the way. Because you never realize just how deep the doubts about your ability to mother run until you read those words over and over again on the screen and realize how much comfort they bring. "Look at all these people who say I'm gonna be great at this! I can do this!" I know what they mean, of course. When the little muffin arrives, they think I'll be really great at caring for his or her needs and wants. And that's a really great compliment to hear from someone, because from what I know from babysitting and nannying for 11 years, caring for a little baby can be seriously hard and thankless work. Some people are good at it, and some people aren't. And I'm flattered to be considered in the category of people who might be good at it.
But it makes me wonder. Do I count as a mom already? If caring for a little one's needs every moment of every day is the mark of a mama, does that mean I already am one? Because that's exactly what I'm doing, right now, this very moment, as I type this. My body, which used to belong to me, is now being used by another for their every need. My body, which used to be so dependable, is now wildly unpredictable as it forms a human from scratch. This baby is taking everything it needs from me, and I'm left to manage the consequences. Of course, I'd choose every consequence over and over and over again, but it just makes me wonder. Aren't I a mom?
If God calls this little child of His to Heaven before we ever get a chance to see their face, am I still a mom? If I never meet this baby on this earth, will I still be their mama? Do I still count? I can't help but tear up reading those words, because of how much I want it to count. It's become my prayer everyday. "If it's your will, Lord, make this baby strong and healthy. Please let me be a mom."
If I believe that life begins at conception, which I do, then doesn't that mean I'm already a mom? The minute God breathed life into this little soul, he wrote the words "mom" on mine. Actually, I think he wrote those words on my soul a long time ago, but the breath of life 9 weeks ago made it real. I think I'm a mom. Already. Today. 9 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I don't think I have to wait until Baby K arrives in all their screaming glory. I have to believe that, because that's what makes this time of pregnancy, this time of waiting, joyful and fruitful instead of fraught with boredom and frustration. Of course, there's a finish line to this season, and that's the birthday of our baby love. But I don't think I magically become a mom that day. I think I became a mom 9 weeks and 3 days ago. I think God has been forming a mama's heart in me for a long time.
And you are too. All you mamas who have rejoiced over two pink lines and have been broken by the loss days or weeks later. All you mamas who have babies in Heaven but none in your arms. All you mamas who have signed pages and pages and pages of paperwork, who have babies growing in other wombs or living in other states or countries, just waiting for the day when they live under your roof. It doesn't take a baby in your arms to make you a mom. I believe that with all my heart.
I'm not just going to be a mom. I am a mom. No matter what happens to this little babe. No matter if we meet them or if we don't. Forever and always now, there's no going back. I'm a mama. And somehow that makes all of this first trimester struggle 1000% times easier. God made me a mom. Already. Past tense. God called me to this, he wrote in on my soul, and he will not leave me here.