When Motherhood Didn’t Go As Planned

The months leading up to the birth of my first child were filled with expectant planning. I’m a Type A person, so I tackle fear of the unknown by over preparing—I read and research until I’m too informed. Since I’d never given birth or had a child, I spent the months leading up to her arrival by reading all the advice blogs and baby websites I could find. I asked all my mom friends for tips. I made all these plans—I basically knew everything there was to know about having a newborn. Or so I thought.

The first few days in the hospital with her seemed to go smoothly. We were getting to sleep pretty regularly, and she was feeding well. And then we went home. She fought me every time I tried to feed her. She didn’t eat for 12 hours. She started to look jaundiced. I began to panic. Suddenly, things weren’t going as planned. As a first-time mom, I lost my confidence in what I was doing. I gave up on nursing her and we gave her a bottle. She ate and she was healthy. That was all that mattered.

A couple of years later, my son was born. This time, I just knew it was going to be better. I was familiar with the struggle, so I felt more confident. I knew the battle ahead of me. I knew that feeding him would be a challenge, but I determined to overcome it. I wanted to nurse my baby.

It was rough. I persisted through the pain, the frustration, the post-partum depression, the sleep-deprived exhaustion, and the emotional toil of having a newborn and a toddler. I took every herb and I ate every food the specialists suggested to help increase my production. I prayed through every moment of it. Finally, after a month, it all started to work. I was able to nurse my child and meet his feeding demands. I had fought the battle and we overcame.

Motherhood involves battles sometimes, but we have a Great Warrior who fights for us. In Exodus, when the people of Israel feared for their lives as Pharaoh’s army closed in, Moses told them, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Ex.14:14 ESV). The same Lord who fought for the Israelites fights for us still today. When the battles of motherhood overwhelm us, we can trust the Great Warrior to go to battle for us.

Though my entrance to motherhood didn’t go as planned, I learned to persevere through the battles. I learned to claim as David did, “This I know, that God is for me” (Psalm 56:9 ESV). Realizing God is for you is the antidote to fear, and you can persevere knowing that He fights for you.

What battles are you fighting right now?

Rachel is a 30-something working mom of two. Though she’s an event planner and office manager by day, she’s truly a logophile. She loves words and creating with them. When she’s not chasing her toddlers, you can find her nose stuck in a book. She also writes about the “coffee stains and growing pains” of motherhood at www.rachelforrest.me.

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