Friday, January 3, 2014

What I Would Say To That Girl...Part 3

(Waiting for Jack's arrival...December 1997)
Marty and I dreamed of Jack for years. We married young and took time to be a couple for a while after saying "I Do".  Still, we daydreamed about the day we would become Mom and Dad.  Six years after "I" became "We", Jack was on his way. Right after we discovered we were going to be parents, Marty bought a lottery ticket. He was certain we would win the Jackpot since we were the luckiest people in the world. It turns out, he was right. We didn't win money, but we got something better.

 At our first sonogram, we were told that Jack had a cyst on his brain and that we could lose him at any time. I will never forget the fear that gripped my heart when I spent that afternoon with a genetic counselor and listened to statistics shared to prepare us for the worst case scenario. I will never forget the way I walked through the days that followed, terrified that I might never meet the little boy with whom I had already fallen in love. I will never forget a woman named Grace, who worked at my school, and asked if she and her church friends could pray for my little family. And I will never forget the words..."The cyst is gone. He will be fine."

 It was in those dark hours that Marty and I learned the power of prayer. It is a gift far greater than anything money can buy, and it has sustained us all these years of parenthood. This picture was taken right after we had learned the danger was passed and that Jack was completely healthy.  The cyst on his brain, that appeared so threatening in his sonogram 6 weeks prior, was completely gone.

 Jack Riley Arbuckle was born on March 8th, 1998. Life has only been sweeter since his arrival almost 16 years ago. Today, our son is a healthy, strong, courageous, and gifted young man. He has taught the girl in the picture many things. This is what I would say to her if we sat down for a cup of coffee...
Pregnancy is beautiful. Motherhood is even better.
Rest up. You will need it.

Being a mother will test your courage. You  have more than you know.
Pace yourself. The journey ahead is a long one and you have much to learn.

 By the way, reading "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" cannot teach you what you need to know about being a Mother. For that, you need another book. It's called The Bible. Read it everyday.
Don't forget your worth is not wrapped up in your dress size. You will not always be a size 4, but you will always be beautiful.
Always make time for that boy standing next to you holding your tummy. He will still be with you when the boy in your belly has flown away.
Many things are out of your control. That will never change. So, take a deep breath. Pray. And learn to roll with it.
Fear is only as powerful as you allow it to be.
Pray about everything...and I mean EVERYTHING.
Miracles happen. Believe it!

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