That’s what it feels like to watch a clock or a calendar once you’ve past your due date.
Time slows down to a crawl and every pain, every twinge has you second guessing yourself. Is this it? Will it be tonight? No, this baby is never coming out.
I was having one of THOSE days at the end of pregnancy #3. I started a craft project with my older kids – a cut out build-your-own scarecrow. I started making dinner. By the time we sat down to eat, the only thing I could think was “Well, I don’t want to throw this up later. I’ll pass on the whole eating thing.” I didn’t want to eat. Contractions were irregular but intense. A walk up my driveway to the barn elicited a running, check-in from my husband.
Hindsight says I was in labor all right. But that day, there was no way I was admitting even a moment before I was sure because I didn’t want to be wrong. Ten days past the midwife’s calculated due date and five days past mine, I didn’t want to get my hopes up one more time, only to have them crushed by a night’s sleep or a hot shower.
When I came in from my excruciating walk, my daughter turned and looked at me. “Can we finish our craft, mom?” The million or so (ok, ten) cut out pieces that looked like such a cute craft before dinner and walk, seemed a terrible way to spend the ten minutes or so in-between contractions. Then there was the gluing, oh, the gluing. And the tiny little splinter fest littering my floor. And yet, I sat there. I coached on the right amount of glue from the glue stick. I helped relocate rogue scarecrow pieces. I cheered when the arms ended up where they were supposed. I cheered when the arms didn’t end up anywhere near where they were supposed to.
The whole time I sat there, I kept thinking that this was crazy. Doing a scarecrow craft project while I’m probably in labor is the nuttiest thing I’ve ever done as a mom. It was thrilling and agonizing, delightful and terrible. Now that we’ve all adjusted to the entry of Baby #3, I realize I do crazy stuff all the time. Maybe I’ve always done crazy stuff. Maybe crazy stuff goes hand in hand with this whole ‘being a mom’ thing.
From making funny faces at my baby at a swanky wine bar to attending a wedding in a urine-soaked skirt, I guess I’ve done my share of crazy.
From flying with two kids three and under, while 20+ weeks pregnant, to moving states away from our family, I’ve done some crazy.
From having a fully memorized repertoire of Veggie Tales to playing tag at highway rest stops, I’ve done some crazy.
With each kid we welcome home, I’m recognizing our brand of crazy. It’s the kids. It’s the parents. It’s the mess. It’s the way we get the mess. And clean (maybe) the mess up. It’s the way we intentionally teach our kids and then send them off to put those lessons into action. It’s the idea that we’re raising and loving these tiny humans in a fierce and powerful way so that they can go out and impact the world.
Maybe doing a scarecrow cutting craft while in labor isn’t the craziest thing I’ve ever done as a mom.
But this love I have for these babies – it’s a crazy-strong, crazy-tough, crazy-undeniable, crazy-beautiful, crazy-endless, crazy-inducing love.
Maybe that’s what loving my kids is – the craziest thing I’ll ever do.
Leah Heffner the wife to a sexy, beard-sporting, man of God and mom to three cutie-pie-heads. She’s a new southerner, a sometimes-DIYer, and a novice gardener. She loves coffee, a good Netflix binge, and encouraging other women. You can find her giving encouragement to fuel the journey of marriage, motherhood, faith, and friendship at Life Around the Coffee Cup.