We married in October of 2003, and that urge to be a mother was starting to creep back into my mind. I smiled at every mother I saw pushing a new baby. I looked at baby clothes if I was in a department store. I loved to talk to expectant mothers. Then the baby thing started to consume my every thought. We decided to try and two months into it, I was pregnant. It was at that instant on December 15, 2004, that I was forever changed. The moment I saw that positive pregnancy test, I knew that I had finally found my true meaning and purpose for this life. I remember thinking that now I had to think the right thoughts, I had to live just so, I had to care for this little being inside me from this day forward. I was in awe, my dream of becoming a mother was now.
The next morning, as I drove to work I was more cautious with my driving. I made sure the seat belt was not too tight. I changed the radio station I was listening too. I subscribed to every parenting magazine known to man. I immediately ran out and purchased the "What to Expect when you are expecting" book, and I purchased a pregnancy journal. I started writing my thoughts, my feelings, my hopes. Now, my thoughts were consumed by how to be a good mom. How to have a healthy pregnancy, reading books to find a name. Learning about all the gadgets and goodies that the baby world had to offer. Most importantly, I prayed constantly for my child. I remember praying that first night I found out, "Please God, watch over my sweet child. Keep him/her healthy, may they have ten fingers, and ten toes. Show me the way Lord to be a good mother. Let me be the mother you would have me to be to this child. Give me the wisdom to teach them. Watch over them as they grow." I remember praying for their future spouse, I prayed for their safety. Endless thoughts, and feelings. I was a bit scared, but more excited then anything in the world.
My pregnancy with Carter was a complete joy. I wasn't too terribly sick, just mostly nauseous here and there. Nothing to complain about though. I enjoyed watching my belly grow into a massive round ball. I loved lying on the couch and feeling him move inside. I loved day dreaming about what he would look like. Would he have my skin color, would he have Travis' red hair? Would he be a shy child, or outgoing? Would he know how much I loved him? I loved going to the doctor to hear his heartbeat.
The day came to meet our precious child. I was nervous, but knew that God had answered my prayers time and time again that He would be there with me on this day as well. As I laid in the hospital bed watching contractions on the monitor, feeling my little ones movements slow down as he was getting ready to make his debut, I remember praying, "Please God let us both be okay." I had no clue what to expect. I didn't know how much pain I would experience, I didn't know if I would end up with a c-section. I just trusted that God would hold my hand, and see me through.
August 19, 2005 at 9:18 p.m., the child I had waited my entire life was laid upon my chest. I held the most precious, amazing, perfect being I had ever laid my eyes on. My sweet Carter Neal was in my arms, safe, right where he belonged. He was with the mother God had planned for him. I remember crying as I snuggled his little face to mine. I remember the sound of his whimpers, the softness of his new skin. Counting his tiny, long fingers. He looked just like me. As he laid in my arms and we looked at one another, we knew that we were meant to be. He was mine, I was his. An older friend had told me while I was pregnant, "you don't know love until you hold your child!" That night when they handed Carter to me and I looked into his sweet face, I heard those words in my head. Tears streamed down my face. My friend was right. I finally knew what true love was all about. I will never forget the way my heart felt that night. It overflowed, it was full, and I couldn't imagine life not being a mother.
Family and friends left the hospital and it was just us. Just me and my baby, and Travis. I held him constantly. There was no way I was letting go of my new love. That motherly instinct kicks in right away. The protectiveness, it over takes you. You'd fight a wild beast to save your child. Nothing, no one could separate me from this tiny one. As I fed him that night, I remember be exhausted but I remember thanking God. Thankful for my child's health. Thankful for his ten fingers and ten toes. Thankful that he could see, and hear. Thankful that there were no complications. I also sat there wondering what would this child become? Would he love us the way we loved him? Will I be able to teach him everything he needs to know?
I was on cloud nine. No one told me the emotions I would have. I read about 'baby blues' but those were no where near me. I was ecstatic, I don't remember the blue feeling at all. I remember cherishing the moments I would nurse him. It was 'our' time. Just me and him, our bond. If we had company, we could disappear for a few moments and I could stare at the greatness I held in my arms. Late at night, I remember 88.1, ThePromise, playing on the radio and I rocked my son even after he had fallen asleep. I didn't want to let him go. I wanted him in my arms, my safety. Nothing did I want to miss. I never really understood the gratefulness I would have, for becoming a mother.
I never dreamed that being a mother would be what it has turned out to be. It's the most rewarding job in the world. My children's smiles are the sunshine after the rain. Their giggles are music to my ears. Carter's wild stories, and little tough guy country voice he likes to use, are priceless. The hugs I get for just being in the kitchen when he wants a glass of water. The way Tucker stares me down, then cracks that crooked little Travis smile of his. To watch them sleep, a reminder that God gave them to me to watch over. Watching them learn new things, it's so exciting. Hearing Carter recite bible verses, and the pledge to the Bible, heartwarming. I love my job. It's hectic and chaotic at times, and if I ever come across ungrateful, please call me out on it. I never want to for one minute take for granted the most precious blessings God could give me.
I realize that God choose me. He choose me to watch over His children. They are only mine for a little while, but His forever. May I be the mother they deserve, the Christian they can look up too, and the prayer warrior to support them their entire lives through. Thank you Lord for my most precious gifts!
My sweet boys...
I love you. I cherish you. I promise to do the best I can as your momma. You are both perfect in every way. You fill my heart with more joy and blessings then I ever thought I could feel. I pray God guides your lives, and most importantly your hearts. May you grow, and live your lives for Him. He is the way, the truth and the light. If you ever feel like you are lost... find Him, He'll carry you.
I will love you forever... to the moon and back!