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Learning to Love

I wanted to share another secret with you.  Before I had children I couldn’t imagine anyone could ever be as good a mother as I would be. When my daughter was born everything was perfect. When I found myself pregnant with my son I suddenly struggled to accept that I could mother both children. How could I love anyone as much as I loved my daughter?

I NEVER thought that would happen to me.  When other parents shared their struggle with it I blew them off as being irrelevant because they obviously didn’t know how to love. When it happened to me I panicked. I panicked so much that God needed to stop me in labor to have a little conversation about it.

“What are you afraid of?”

“How could I ever love this baby?”

“You will love this baby.”

“I don’t love this baby, I am a bad mother.”

“Why do you think you don’t love this baby?”

“This baby was unplanned – unwanted.  How can I love a baby I didn’t want?”

“Unplanned does not mean unwanted.”

“Wait, what?”

“Unplanned does not mean unwanted. Did you only want one child?”

“No, I wanted many children.”

“Then why do you think this child is unwanted?”

“He was unplanned.”

“Unplanned does not mean unwanted.”

“You are right, I do want this baby.  I can love this baby.”

Other women’s experience is similar.  You might experience it too.  I share this with you to encourage you to not wait until labor to bring your concerns before God.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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