Kindred: Just The Three Of Us

 
Fine Art NYC Maternity Shoot Maggie_Don-76.jpg
 

Hey everybody. It's been a while. As most of you now know, my husband and I are expecting our newest family addition in just a few short weeks (6 1/2 to be exact!). Our due date is April 9th - almost one year to the day that we miscarried our first - and it feels like the most beautiful story of redemption that God is writing in our lives. I sometimes still pause when I hear myself saying the words "my son". It's as if I'm an observer overhearing someone else. "MY SON." Is that real? 

You see I was just not the girl that wanted children. But let's back up even farther - I was also not the girl that wanted to get married. Some of my friends that knew me back in college were very surprised when I decided to marry my husband, Don. My brother even quipped when I told him, "I never thought this day would happen." I still laugh about this sometimes. To me marriage was a death sentence and something to be avoided at all cost. And children? They were even further from my mind. I was career driven and felt like this was enough. And in retrospect, if I'm being honest, fear was a huge driving factor; even though at the time I would have packaged it in the guise of having fun. What a pretty way to dress up fear, right?  

I enjoyed dating, but had shut my idea off from the idea of having a family. Most of the guys from my past weren't the healthiest of people and I just couldn't imagine a long-term life with them. I (like most women who have been hurt) assumed that men were pretty much the same minus their height, weight, and whether their affinity was for boobs or butts (*insert laughing emoji here*). Then enter my husband - stage left. It wasn't immediate, but God started changing my heart in the most beautiful and downright surprising of ways.

For me, it had to be the right person; and he was. It also had to be the right timing; and he was. My husband has taught me that while marriage can be hard at times, it can also be joyful, fun, secure, sacrificial, and for lack of a better word, happy. I didn't realize what I had been missing until I met him. But even then, I still did not want children. Throughout dating and marriage he and I had many discussions surrounding this topic. We had considered the idea of adoption, but it was always something that felt somewhere off in the distance much like a boat sailing by on the horizon line. Nothing actually tangible. I also felt very ill-equipped to be a mother because of my past struggles with anxiety and depression.

Then God did what He does. He started a healing work in my life and in the process my heart began changing once again. It was a slow process that looked something like, "Okay, maybe I'm open to it" then "Okay, maybe now we can not necessarily try but not not try."  to "This is taking longer than I expected" to "I really don't think I can get pregnant" to "I know I can't get pregnant" to "HOLY COW! I'm freaking PREGNANT!" to losing our first at 8 weeks. That's when the story really changed for me. I was profoundly impacted by that loss in ways I was not anticipating. It was Easter weekend and come Sunday morning I found myself sitting outside in our backyard numb and wrestling with God. I was angry. I did NOT expect to feel what I felt: heartbroken. 

Fast forward a few months. My husband got the most amazing job opportunity - after gracefully trudging through a year of unemployment - in the most unexpected of places: NYC. Three weeks later we got pregnant again. And here we are just over 6 weeks out from our due date and I still can't believe it. I was convinced that I couldn't conceive and even further convinced that if I did I couldn't carry full-term. Sometimes, I think God just likes to prove us wrong :-). And even though I am overjoyed in ways I cannot explain, I would be lying to say the fear is completely gone. I fear my ability to be a good mom. I underestimate the gifts I can give this little life and overestimate my short-comings. I fear bringing him into a world with violence and hate. I fear my ability to care for him in the early days and what not sleeping will do to me. I fear my past and what that means for his future. 

BUT just like marriage has ended up being far better than I expected, my anticipation and hope is that motherhood will as well. As I get older I realize that the old adage "Nothing good in life is easy" is not just an overused cliché but actual truth. My husband often talks about trade-offs. As I enter into this new season, I am beginning to understand that motherhood is full of trade-offs and sacrifice. But you also gain some of the most unexpected benefits like: how much bigger your heart grows, how much more you are able to tackle your fears, and how much meaning your life suddenly has. For I know that on the other side of these fears is freedom. And I want to live my life full of freedom. So I will walk into this next season, not unafraid, but facing these fears with God, my husband, and my community on my side. 

I realized the other day that my son was always meant to be. And he was always meant to be mine. I just didn't know him yet.

Here are some of my favorite photos from a dear new friend, Kylee Yee, to help document this journey. Enjoy.

The candid one above is one of my favorites!

For these next photos, I got a wild hair while we were shooting to try something different and wrap one of Kylee's new Silk & Willow cloths around my body to show my belly. I am surprised by how much I love them.