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Dear mama…

I know exactly how you’re feeling in this moment. I know that fear feels like it’s closing in on you, like that test cannot be real and that life, as you know it, feels like it’s over. I know you feel incredibly alone. I was in your shoes. Back on February 17, 2017, I was whispering a prayer in a desperate last-attempt to delay the inevitable,

“Please, I’m not ready to be a mother.”

But before I identify with all of the pain that fills you right now, I want to tell you something someone might not have said by now:

Congratulations, mama Though you are filled with fear, you carry this tiny sac of perfect joy within you. This little joy is like none you’ve ever felt before. You have a beautiful baby beginning to form - one with its own unique DNA and purpose. One that might share your eyes, your nose, your fingernails. You carry the most magical gift you’ll ever know to-date. I am, from the bottom of my heart, overjoyed for you. Now marks the beginning of a journey like one you’ve never experienced.

I know your pain so deeply. I know your fear intimately and, for that, my heart hurts with you. I know the paralyzing terror of the unknown that lies ahead. I know the numbness and the inability to move in it. I, like you, stood in disbelief with that test in hand. I, too, felt that life as I knew it was over. I know what it feels like to break down in public places and to feel like you're falling apart. To fear like you've never feared for the future before. To cry like the world is crashing down around you and feel like you’ll never unbury yourself from the rubble that weighs heavy on your heart. I know what it feels like to hope and then feel hopeless. I know pain that words can’t make sense of. But I’ve also known joy this year - a joy I didn’t know existed. I felt it for the first time the day Ren was born. When the doctor said, “Reach down and grab her!” and I looked her into her eyes for the very first time. That was joy. The girl I’d carried for ten months. Even in my sorrow and in my anger, I carried her. And in each of my sorrowful, anger-filled nights, I knew some day when I looked into her eyes she’d carry me. Out of my sorrow and my anger, she’d lift me up. And she has. Every morning when I look into her eyes I feel lighter. When the world feels dark, I know that she exists within it and things look brighter. Her innocence renews my faith when I feel I have none. She is perfect in my eyes and for that reason, I feel God’s perfect love.

Though I never thought of or (quite honestly) liked children, my daughter filled a void in me I never knew existed. She saved me. Every wound that fills you will be healed with this magical love that grows in your womb.  Every corner of your loneliness, every depth of your emptiness, every neverending-ness of your despair - I know it and I know how the love of a child fills each and every void. If I could give you one simple gift that took me ten months to receive, please know that life - as you know it - is actually just beginning.

You don’t need to feel full of courage right now. You’re allowed to feel weak and small and alone. The antidote of fear is not courage; it’s trust and surrender. You are made woman. You were created for this moment. You’ve always had this within you. And, if you can let faith take over, know that God is walking alongside you. He wraps His arms around you in your aloneness. He is with you as you take each step into darkness. He is with you when you feel abandoned and unlovable. Know this and remind yourself every single day:

You are beautiful.

You are good.

You are loved.

You are not alone.

You have everything you need to carry on, already within you.

I am here with you, cheering you on in your joy and seeing you in your pain. You are not alone in this, sister. You are so not alone, even if you feel very much alone. I am so excited to watch you grow and see your life transform with love.

Welcome to the mama’s club, lil mama. It’s so good to have you here.

All my love,