One of my friends from college came to visit us this weekend for just a brief time and since she left I have been contemplating being a mom a lot more because of a question she asked me... it may sound silly for this one simple question to cause such a stir in my mind, but after a series of questions and answers about childbirth and breastfeeding and losing sleep at night, she asked, "And your belly, what is that like now? Is it all squishy?" My first response that came to mind was "I hope not!" But when I looked down, I remembered that I was blessed, unlike most women, to be free of stretch marks, but, "YES, my stomach was now, indeed squishy." That thought was followed by a quick moment of disappointment, looking at my body and knowing it would never again be quite the same. Soon after though, I began to take pride in my squishiness!
Life will never again be the same, but this is life I have always wanted. I envied the ladies walking around with big bellies and strollers and after my miscarriage last June, I desired more than ever to be a mom again. God granted me a greater appreciation of life through the suffering endured with that. So, now, I live my dream life. It contains 3am feedings where I am trying my hardest to stay awake, but assume that someone at that time needs my prayers (so I take advantage of being awake), dirty diapers, being drenched in throw up and having to change my clothes and his and my sheets, and never being able to leave the house without making sure the diaper bag is packed, his diaper is changed, and with one last look in the mirror before going, make sure I remembered to shower that day. It's all an amazing process... of being taught selflessness. People seem to be scared to to do that (I'm not saying I wasn't). But, now I have begun to discover the real joy in giving of myself.
Morning sickness, not fitting into your clothes anymore, waddling with a big belly, back pain, contractions, childbirth, recovery, feeding someone with your own body, smelling like milk, lack of sleep.... and the list goes on. It makes more sense now at Mass when I hear those words, "This is my Body, given up for you." We have no choice. Christ draws us closer to Him through our vocation as mother. And isn't that our goal anyway... so, squishiness, bring it.