Introducing yourself and talking about your children to a room of mothers should be simple. It’s always been emotional for me. Now, it takes real courage.
I’ve always wanted to be a mother. Actually, that’s not entirely true. As a little girl, I wanted to be a “daddy”. Being a daddy seemed a lot more fun, and a lot less work. Eventually, I settled into the idea of motherhood. Did I ever!
My grandmother had 11 children, and I wanted 18. I had names for all of them. I can remember being 17, 18 years old and getting goosebumps and welling up with tears as I walked by the baby section of Walmart. I always had this urge, yearning to be a mother. When I was around pregnant women and babies, I would feel this warm and wonderful energy. I knew these two humans shared a rare and precious relationship, the truest form of “love at first sight.” I longed to experience that type of agape love with my child.
As I entered my mid-twenties, I watched as my friends were all getting married, some starting families. My three closest friends were all married the same year, and I started to think maybe I’d never find the right man to raise a family with. That’s actually the reason I went to law school. I witnessed many of the struggles single moms face. I decided that the most important thing to me was to be a mother, so I needed to have a good job so I could provide for my family as a single mom.
I was in my second year of law school when I met Damon. He was kind and made everyone he met feel good. He was generous and loving. He treated me with respect. He courted me and made me feel like a real life princess. He was my knight in shining armor.
I worked hard to pay off all my student loans and all other debts (besides home loan) so I could stay home with our children after we got married. It took six months to become pregnant with Michael. Every month that I was not pregnant was so difficult. I was sad and wondered if there was something wrong with me. When we read that positive pregnancy test, I didn’t think I could be any happier. I was wrong!
When Michael was born, he looked like an angel straight from heaven. He was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen. I attempted a natural labor and delivery with him, which lasted 49 hours. As soon as I held him in my arms, I told my husband, “I can’t wait to do this again.” Michael was such a joy, and it only took 5 months before I was pregnant with Isaac.
Oh, my sweet healer, Isaac. He came into the world so quickly that we didn’t make it to the hospital. My husband and doula tried to get me out the door, but I knew it was too late. Isaac (weighing 9 lbs 1 oz) was delivered into his Daddy’s hands on our living room couch. Damon was like MacGyver, tying the umbilical cord with his shoestring. I was terrified to be delivering outside of the hospital, but I could feel God surround us throughout his birth. It was as it should be.
Close to a year later, we discovered a wonderful surprise, Little Liam! (He was never too little, born at 9 lbs. 7 oz.) He was the easiest baby. He fit in perfectly with our family. It seemed like he had always been with us. I had some uterine complications after his birth, so my doctor felt it would be important to try and wait two years before conceiving another child. We tried our best.
When Liam was one and a half, we became pregnant with Delia Grace. It was a very emotional pregnancy due to a subchorionic hemorrhage starting at 14 weeks gestation. I was so afraid of losing her. I prayed constantly for her health and safety. When she was born safely, I was so thankful to God. She did have an issue with her blood because we had different blood types, and our bloods mixed. She was treated for that issue. After we brought her home, I thought it would be smooth sailing.
She was the sweetest, easiest baby. She hardly ever cried, perhaps because I was always either holding her or had her right beside me. She was so soft and smelled delicious. She was my little angel, perfect in every way.
When she went to heaven, I didn’t think I could survive without her. It’s taken me several months to realize that I can survive, and I must survive. God will not take from me something or someone that I cannot live without. Delia Grace was loaned to me by our Father in heaven. Albeit short, she had a perfect life, filled with love and happiness. She blessed our lives, and we blessed hers. God knew what He was doing when He allowed me to carry her to term and bring her into this world. He knew exactly how many days she would live and exactly how she would die. I still don’t like His plan, but I accept that it’s not up to me to decide the length of any person’s life. I can contribute to the quality of a person’s life, and I have always been committed to providing my children with a life filled with love and learning.
My children are the greatest gifts God has given me. I have been blessed beyond measure. I will find the courage, perhaps through tears, to introduce myself as Elizabeth, mother to Michael (age 5), Isaac (age 4), Liam (age 2), and Delia Grace, who lives in heaven.