Guest post by Priscilla Baierlein
Priscilla shared her beautiful IVF journey with us in the Spring of last year. We are excited to have her continue her story here with us at The Creative Mama… after her blessing was born. We hope you enjoy reading her heartfelt words, and that you will celebrate with her today!
Sometimes a prayer is just so big that once it is answered, you simply can’t wrap your mind around how great it is, and how blessed you are. Writing this post has been a struggle for me. There simply is no way to describe everything I’m feeling and how life has adjusted since. The greatness of His love overwhelms me. The greatness of His gift flat out amazes me. I am thankful beyond words.
Many of you may have read my original post where I shared our story of infertility and how we would soon be parents. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting at my computer, feeling his tiny feet kick my belly while I typed that. Now he’s a little over a year old and I’m watching him sleep. We are officially parents of a toddler and life couldn’t be crazier…I mean…better. The thing about this answered prayer is we are constantly reminded of how blessed we are. It can be seen in his big blue eyes when he looks up at me, or heard in his belly laugh when I tickle just under his arm, or in his crawl as he quickly races towards his daddy. It can be felt every time he lays his head on me, always with his thumb in his mouth, or when he gives an unrequested slobbery kiss. Every time he falls asleep in my arms, I just want to freeze the moment. Taking time to breathe. It. All. In.
beautiful birth images courtesy Amy Parsons Photography
It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago we saw our dreams of being parents slowly drift further away. A thousand times we prayed for one thing. 999 times it seemed those prayers would never be answered…until they were. Along the way we were constantly reminded that God had a very specific plan for us. I’ll never forget the morning we found out I was pregnant. We didn’t leave the car that morning until we prayed one last time. It didn’t matter that we were late. We knew that we owed it to ourselves and God to have one last conversation (not to mention all that were had between He and I on the drive to the office). Our prayers had changed along the way. Even though I knew in my heart I wanted to be a mom, after many many years I also knew that God had a plan that was much greater than I could’ve ever imagined. So, this time, we asked for what we wanted, but also asked for acceptance if it wasn’t what He wanted. An hour later we were back in that garage calling friends and family. Many joyful tears were shed. Many thank you’s were said. Our dream of all dreams was coming true. Our prayers had been answered.
He is everything we wanted and everything we didn’t know we needed. There are days I lose touch with just how blessed life is. I let the everyday stresses of parenting get to me. I become frustrated with myself for not having all the answers and not always knowing what he needs. People don’t talk about how hard it is because we all know that no matter what, we have been granted an amazing gift. Sure, I don’t know how many times I heard parenting was hard, but worth it. This statement always frustrated me because OF COURSE it’s worth it. Above everything else, I knew it was worth it. But, the truth of it is, there are times it’s not easy. In the beginning, there were days I wouldn’t move from our nursing chair or would cry a lot more than he did…sometimes both. My crying would always escalate with the thought that we weren’t truly appreciating God’s gift. My tears and feelings of frustration, were, in my eyes, somehow an offense to God. The guilt would take over and I would become even more frustrated. After all, aren’t we suppose to be in total bliss with a newborn? I hated myself for feeling so frustrated. There are times I still feel like this. The guilt eats me up during those times.
If I were able to talk to myself 13 months ago, I would say, “It’s okay. It’s okay to feel like you’re losing it some days. It’s okay to not have all the answers. None of this makes you any less grateful. Breathe.”
God waited for just the right moment to answer our prayers. He made IVF possible for us at the perfect time. He formed one 10-cell embryo (many others, but only one 10-cell). He created the perfect baby for us. There would be no Steffen if all those things hadn’t lined up just as they did. We all fit perfectly together. On the days that aren’t easy, I will always have that. I will always know that he was meant for us and we were meant for him. God answered our prayers, and along the way, equipped us with the tools and the love that we need.
Today I pray harder than I ever have before for all of my friends who are still struggling with infertility. I pray that they get to experience the joys, the truly awesome love, and even the struggles. It turned out that God had a plan for us that was greater than we ever imagined.
You can read Steffen’s birth story here. You can also see more of Priscilla’s beautiful photography and words by finding her elsewhere online:
Priscilla is right. Of course motherhood “is worth it”, as we all know. But some days are truly harder than others, aren’t they? And that’s okay. We can choose to accept those difficult days for what they are, because we know that there will be many, many wonderful days in the mix as well. It’s so important for us to realize that, as mamas, we are always making a difference in these little people’s lives. Let’s show ourselves, and our children, a little extra grace today. This task is a tough one, but we’re doing an amazing job!
Is motherhood what YOU expected it to be? Was there an event in your life that you can now look back and realize that the timing was perfect for you too? We’d love to hear your stories.