How do you write an introduction for someone who is better described as a sister than a friend? It sounds cliche, but I mean those words from the deepest parts of my heart, for she is has truly shared life with me over the last many years of knowing one another. She is many things to all of us who love her: wife, mother, sister, friend, teacher, doula and writer. Her words have graced the online pages of many blogs and forums, over the last few years mainly addressing her and her husbands struggle with infertility.
I watched the journey from the inside and can tell you that this woman wore her heart on her sleeve through the pain that no one but those who have been through it can imagine. Her words serve as a testament to the heart break of the infertility journey, and make the joy of this season of motherhood oh so much sweeter. When she talks about motherhood, I hush and listen, because she was a mother long before she held Abigail in her arms. She is full of wisdom, grace, and love. I hope her words today encourage those who are mothers and those who wish to be, no matter the journey to get there.
Read more of Lauren's writing and inquire about her doula services at: https://acupofbliss.wordpress.com/
By Mama & Birth Doula Lauren Hasz
I taste the word. Turn it around and over and swirl it about in the deep places of my heart.
How I yearned for the little arms that wrap themselves around my neck in the morning and the little toes that play with my face in a haphazard sort of way while rosebud lips nurse and smile a milky, impish grin. Oh, how my heart throbbed for the very same miracle that is currently sleeping just a room away from where I now sit in bed, reminiscing…
During the years I was not conceiving and then losing babies early in pregnancy, I would wrap my own arms tightly around my flat belly and imagine a tender life growing there. Imagine what it would be like to snuggle my own baby. Imagine being called, “Mama.”
I clung desperately to a quote by 1800s missionary Amy Carmichael: “It is a safe thing to trust Him [God] to fulfill the desires which He creates.” Well, my hope didn’t feel safe when pain seared scars dark and dreadful, but Hope did not disappoint.
Today, I twirled and danced in the early morning sunshine with my one-year-old. Today, I fell even more in love with the little girl who simultaneously dressed herself in my jewelry AND made a determined beeline for the yellow dump truck and muddy mulch in the corner of the yard.
When I asked my dear friend Rachael to photograph a motherhood session, I used words like whimsical, dreamy, ethereal, and vintage. Not because I don’t walk around barefoot like every good Texan girl (because I do most of the time), but because I knew that Rach could capture my motherhood story. She’s the friend that has been there since my husband and I first moved to Colorado and began pouring our lives into middle and high school students. She shared her home and heart with me when she was pregnant with Henry (my favorite little man). She cried with me when I couldn’t get pregnant. Brought me bakery treats, more cups of coffee than one can count, and handwritten notes. When I finally saw two pink lines on a little white test, I called Rachael right after my own mama. And, she rejoiced. Took photos of my belly. Encouraged me even during days when we were both pregnant and whiny.
So, when I requested “dreamy,” she knew that I meant more than lace. When I asked her for “whimsical,” she knew I needed more than flowers and ruffled tutus. She knew I was asking her for the impossible: capture the joy and heartache and beauty and pain of the past many years all in a single hour of dancing with my daughter in front of her camera. And, she did it. With her sweet Hazel strapped on her back no less.
Becoming a mother this year has tilted my world on its axis and thrown my well-organized plans into chaos. Birth empowered me to see my body as strong and capable. Postpartum depression allowed me to unearth, unlock, and release many burdens that just have no place in God’s plan for me. Returning to work full-time allowed me to see the incredible need for healthy boundaries. Resigning and then pursuing my dream of becoming a doula and stay-at-home mama began the sometimes brutal, sometimes gentle process of reshaping a woman.
This woman. Me. Into a more honest friend. Into a sleepier wife. Into a new mom who had no idea what “cry-it-out” entailed (which is probably why I am just this week getting to sleep through the night for the first time in over 12 months).
For me, motherhood equates to brokenness. Surrender. Grace. And though always caffeinated, it’s not usually been a graceful process in my life, folks.
Yet, in the midst of all the collateral damage (sleep, personal hygiene, romance, etc.), there has remained a steady stream of God’s goodness. Given freely. By my incredible husband. My family. Sweet friends. All who dared to join me on this adventure.
Today, as I held my baby girl close and allowed the wind to rustle our hair, I dreamt an even bigger dream of grace. A dream that is no longer a yearning in my heart, but tangible, active toddler with dirt on her toes and marshmallows in her mouth (how else do you keep a one-year-old happy?!?). A dream with eyes turning hazel like her Grandpa Bill’s. A dream that squeals in delight when her belly is kissed or she is given more blueberries or the cat tickles her fancy.
I dream of making her smile, exploring this big beautiful world with her, teaching her truth that she might find wisdom and courage and joy.
I dream of Abby.