When I was pregnant with Jake I looked around in sheer awe at all the women I knew who had more than one child. I was miserably sick (though not as miserably sick as some women), and I couldn't believe women would endure such suffering multiple times.
A couple years later when I was pregnant with Abby I was once again sick and miserable. But this time I would look at my sweet toddler Jacob and think to myself, "It's worth it. It's worth it. It's all worth it." By then I was starting to suspect that there was a purpose behind the miseries of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Motherhood is governed by the same law as the rest of life: we care more about the things we work for. So if we spend a few months feeling pregnant and miserable, or a few years wondering if we will ever be blessed with a child, perhaps we are being silently, slowly, imperceptibly transformed from women with slightly more self-centered motives to mothers--people who are called upon at all times of day and night to care for little people who can't provide for themselves. Our souls are being stretched to love another person with a love that is more pure and deep than any other force on earth. We become mothers through our sacrifices.
I have thought of that concept the past few weeks as I have wished that my morning sickness would go away. The house hasn't been as clean because I have been too sick to care. And I have spent lots of time lounging on the couch because I have been too tired to do much else. So I have sat and read books, snuggled my kids, told them how much I love them, and gazed with wonder into their precious faces. I have marveled at the beauty of motherhood, that I am allowed the privilege of getting to know these delightful little souls who are entrusted to my care. It is a beautiful journey and a sacred trust.
I have also thought about joy. I feel joy when I look into the faces of my children, and the beauty of their little eyes, cheeks, noses, and mouths takes my breath away. I feel joy when they play nicely together, share, help, and comfort each other, and I rejoice in the choice we have made to give them another little sibling to love. I feel joy when they know I am sick and offer to bring me a snack or let me rest a while. I take joy in the little moments of motherhood that I might otherwise be too hurried to even notice.