Becoming a mother

May is for Mother’s and this guest blog is from Jennifer Hopwood, sharing her story of becoming Gretchen’s mom

A mother to Gretchen:
A little over 8 years ago, I got the pleasure of becoming Gretchen’s mom. It wasn’t as easy as others told me it would be. After almost 2 years and fertility treatments, I was finally able to get pregnant. It was a bundle of happiness and fear that I had a little life to grow and protect.

The delivery, another thing people told me would be painful but amazing afterwards, wasn’t that way for me. Gretchen was born via unscheduled c-section. After two days of labor, there wasn’t enough progress and the doctors thought she may be too big to birth. All my life I had been told motherhood comes naturally and I was not experiencing that in the confines of the hospital. The two days in the hospital grew my fears at every turn, there was something I didn’t know about taking care of my baby, much less keep her alive. On the third day, we went home, that is when it all started to fit for me. I was back in my comfort zone and no longer feeling the effects of the drugs from the c-section and was able to dedicate my attention to her and making sure I prepared the best life for her.

I didn’t know then, but I become a brand-new person. I soon learned that by teaching her to live her best life, I would have to live my best life as an example. I struggled with this for many years as I was raised that you did what pleased people and stayed quiet. On this journey to living my best life there have been hills and valleys, straight and crazy curved roads. Each of these lessons taught me about the person I was becoming and showing Gretchen real life is not like what you see on TV or what others tell you how life is. Each person has their own life and their purpose in life is to live it to the way God has placed in their soul.

Gretchen has taught me what unconditional love is, the way God’s love is. She loves me no matter what. I was raised love is conditional. You behave a certain way or give something and then maybe you can earn that love. I love her no matter what and there are days I catch myself living the conditional terms. I then apologize to her and explain what I will do differently. She always responds, “it’s ok” and it tears my heart that she is so quick to forgive my actions. I am then reminded forgiveness is a key to unconditional love, her default response. She is a gift from God that continues to give every day. I seek God to lead her on the path he designed for her. I get to witness her learning new things, overcoming obstacles, and cheering her on when she is ready to give up.

We are only 8 years in, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of her life will teach us.

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