First a few disclaimers:

I, in no way, mean to discredit the fathers here. I’m purely speaking from the point of view of a mother myself. There is no doubt in my mind a father’s love is equally important and valuable.

Also, I stay at home with my 3 month old baby so I get minimal time to actually communicate with other humans much less sit down to write, so this post mayyy be a little scatterbrained. ;)

I’ve often wondered at what point a woman becomes a mother. Is it before she gets pregnant? During? After she gives birth? After the first month of getting to know her baby? For me, it wasn’t when I was pregnant, it wasn’t even when they put him on my chest. I think I’ve only started to feel like a mother recently when I’ve realized how much he needs me and not just needs things. The first month feels like you’ve lost yourself, lost your purpose for life, in the middle of sleepless nights and baby cries. You become a robot of sorts. Wake up to them crying, take an hour to feed them and get them back to sleep, only to lay down for an hour and be right back up again repeating the same process over and over. As the days flow on, however, you start to redefine your purpose for life, mostly due to the fact that the baby does eventually sleep longer and you can get back some shred of the sanity and relaxation that you had before they were born and are, therefore, able to break free of robot mode and actually have normal thoughts again.

Redefining my purpose for life came when Everett started smiling at me more and really looking into my eyes. I felt like a mother. I began to know exactly what he needed when he needed it and was reassured that my intuitions were correct when he would respond peacefully. Granted, there are times where I have absolutely no clue what he is fussing about and the whole trial/error/try again comes into play, but for the most part I get him. I’ve learned how to sacrifice my own needs in order to meet his. I’ve learned what I once thought was important was really just miniscule. My purpose is to be there for him, teach him, love him unconditionally, to live each day setting an example of how to do this thing called life, how to put your trust in God when everything seems to be falling apart.

I thought I had really learned what it means to be a mother.

Then I met JoAnna.

Her twins were born in October at 26 weeks, weighing in at 2lbs. 5oz. and 1lb. 15oz. She didn’t get to take them home until just recently. They are still on the road to growing and developing but they are the sweetest little fighters!

I watched her with her babies and as she told their story. I saw strength in her hands and perseverance in her eyes. Eyes that have undoubtedly cried many nights as she was home without her babies. Hands that gripped the steering wheel tight with equal parts frustration and hope as she drove the many miles to see her babies. It’s not a short drive, either. I imagined her watching the seasons change as the days passed, wondering just when she’d get to have her babies ride home with her for good.

She is the definition of strength as a mother. She showed me what it means to wake up every day holding to Hope and how to persevere when it seems like every step forward means two steps back. She walks in light and clings to Hope. I hope I can be half the mother she already is.

Please continue to keep baby Layton and Magnolia in your prayers, as well as their Mama and Daddy!