Happy Mother’s Day

I became a mom for the first time on October 4, 2011.

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I was just shy of 40 weeks along and it was a planned C-section. My medical history is complicated, and although I would have loved to have squatted in a bathtub and gone the all natural route, that wasn’t to be for me. Luckily, I was blessed to discover this would be the outcome at about 30 weeks, and so my journey into motherhood was as peaceful and as calm as I imagine it could be.

I woke up that morning, showered and shaved my legs, did my hair and put on a touch of make up. The only thing I can think to complain about was the fact that I wasn’t allowed to eat anything after 8pm the night before and my 6:30am appointment was moved back until about noon, and so I guess you could say I was one hungry pregnant lady. But my mom, my dad, my step mom, and my sister and two of my very best friends were all at my house and ready to roll to the hospital with me. It really was a big party without all the drama! No huffing and puffing. No hours of labor. No screaming and cursing my husband.

I put the carseat in the car that morning- thank you YouTube- and my best friends and I drove the 25 minutes to meet my doctors, listening to my favorite songs on the radio. It was the strangest, most glorious thing ever. I was as calm as a cucumber and more ready than I had ever been to meet the little one who had been designed to call ME mom.

Thomas and I went into the operating room with two names: Cadence Rickaye and Thomas Merit, as we did not know who we would be meeting that day. Cadence was born at 12:25pm at a healthy 8 lbs and 5oz. It was snowing when we brought her home.

Over the past six and a half years of being a mom, this little girl has been the best blessing from God. I didn’t know then that she would be my only little girl, the fulfillment of all of my childhood fantasies of having a blonde, curly haired daughter, but she has more than satisfied the role. She is smart, and knows exactly what she wants to do with her life. She is a dreamer and bold enough to chase those dreams. She is a prayer warrior and loves Jesus with all her mind, heart and soul. She is the greatest mother’s helper, and she’s going to give me a run for my money when she hits those teen years, I can see it now.

As obedient and as compliant as she always seems to be, the flip side is that she is my puker! Yes, there is always a flip side to motherhood, isn’t there? If I had a dollar for every time that I’ve had to deal with, clean up, or worry about her puke, I’d be retired. It’s so sad, and she’s so sweet about it, but she’s puked in airports, on floors, in cars, on dad, and everywhere in between it would seem. I guess every family has to have one, and man it’s hard to be a mom of a kid who pukes, let me tell you what.

September 9, 2013, at 12:34pm (my 6:30am appointment had been pushed back for the second time), I met the little one who would make me a boy mom- a completely different breed of mom. Leading up to this delivery, I was basically the complete opposite pregnant lady as I had been with my daughter. I was anxious, angry, and fearful. I struggled with what I would later find out was called antepartum depression, and did not feel at all myself the entire pregnancy. The night before my C-section, I had a full blown anxiety attack! So although my delivery wasn’t full of huffing and puffing, like any other laboring mom, I labored with this second baby. I struggled.

But on that September morning, Thomas and I, and my entourage of family, walked into the hospital for a second planned and uneventful C-section. We again had two names: Thomas Merit (still held over, waiting to be claimed) and Tatum Elizabeth, or Liv Elizabeth- it wasn’t set in stone and I suppose there is a reason for that now.

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Merit arrived with a big 9 lb 4 oz splash and as soon as he was out, I felt like myself again. It’s almost as if God was somehow prepping me during my pregnancy for how parenting this second child would go. I am often anxious, angry, and fearful being a boy mom. Some boys are calm, and reserved and quiet… I don’t know those boys. Merit is loud, and spirited, and constantly on the run- not walk. He has more energy than anyone I know, and he has the absolute biggest heart to pour out through all that energy. Merit is musical, and can hear the beat in any song. He’s known to be strumming away on the air guitar in the car to any song that comes on… like without fail. He’s a toe head with dimples and it’s a good thing! God knew what He was doing when He made Merit so cute, because he never fails me to push me to my absolute breaking point.

I don’t know what it is about mothering a kid like Merit, but I know already- four and a half years into the job- that I’m blessed because of it. I will learn the most about life through this one, I’m sure of it. He will build my character, challenge my patience, and move my world in the biggest ways. He’s the kid who you want to yell at when he’s screaming and bleeding, not snuggle and comfort, because you know he’s done this to himself!

But his laugh… I remember sitting at the dinner table a few months ago and for whatever reason, I never did figure it out, he began to laugh… and laugh. And before long the entire table had joined in with him. I was literally sobbing with laughter, tears streaming down my face, before it was all said and done. His joy is infectious.

On November 28th, 2015, God answered my prayer with a touch of dramatics for my third and final delivery. I had prayed and prayed for this one, this last one, to chose his own birthday. I had wanted to feel labor, just a little piece of it, to really feel like I had collected all the badges of motherhood. And I knew this was my last chance to feel a contraction… my tubes would be tied upon this babies arrival.

Just before midnight, the night after Thanksgiving, with a house full of family, my water broke about a week before my due date and only a few days before my scheduled C-section. I was scheduled to delivery December 2nd I believe, and I just knew from the get go that I would have a November baby. You see, I can’t have birthdays in September, October… and December! God is good. He hears our prayers and sometimes answers the strangest of all our desires.

Lord, bring me pain. Make it obvious. That was my prayer.

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Gage Mørck was born at 2:41 am, weighing 8 lbs exactly- my smallest one. I would have bet my life savings on meeting Faith Elizabeth that day, but alas, Cadence was destined to be my sweet friend, and only daughter. And Merit, who needed one more than anyone, would be granted a brother.

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Gage is the only of my three who arrived on his own time, and he’s been living his life independently ever since. He is full of joy- I call him my joy boy- and he’s perfectly content playing alone, with siblings, or hanging with us. Gage is the easiest to make smile. He’s the silliest of them all. And even as a baby, when I would ask him to stop crying, no matter how worked up he was, he would pop the thumb in and say ‘Okay!’ He is easy going and loaded with sickeningly cute blonde curls atop his blue eyed head. He’s bold and daring, he’s sassy and loving, and he’s super smart. Too smart.

Recently, he’s been known to say “I’m just a baby!” at the top of his lungs, when reprimanded or told that he’s doing the wrong thing. Currently he is my threenager- at two and a half- and finds himself on time out more minutes of the day than I can count. Gage has the eye roll down pat! He pushes boundaries, he holds his own with his brother- even bringing Merit to tears at times- and he has injured both the kids by throwing things, with painful accuracy, at their heads. He’s a handful, and I know he’s not about to slow down in that department.

Being a mom is by far the most exhausting, thankless, depriving, sacrificial, painful, terrifying job that I have ever had. It’s 24/7/365. It never turns off, it never slows down, it’s never predictable. It’s fast paced, and never on your schedule. It’s out of sync, off rhythm, and full of potholes. It’s hard. It’s so hard. And with every step forward, you’re not sure if you’re taking three steps backwards. Nothing has required more energy, more prayer, more patience, more yelling, more tears, more trips upstairs, more mops, more wet wipes, more toilet paper, more bandaids, more faith. Nothing, not even close.

And yet, I’ll never do anything else as gratifying, as fulfilling, as loved. And nothing will be more important.

We’re only here for a little while, and we only get influence for a short time, and yet these tiny minds, hearts and souls will carry on our legacy. These littles will be our donation to the future of this world, for better or for worse.

What a weight! What a responsibility.

I’m glad I’m a mom, and I’m up for the challenge, and I’m grateful that for as much punch as these littles pack, they live up to their role of shaping us. Man have I grown since becoming a mom. And I don’t just mean around the waistline! I’ve been pushed and stretched and knocked down and dragged back up. I’ve been changed.

In the bible, there are several characters who have their names changed by God. It signifies that everything that they were before that point, is now over. It’s gone. That was who you used to be, and this is who you are now.

I’ve had my name changed by God.

Everything I used to be is gone. I’m a mom now. For better or worse, that’s my new story. I didn’t expect the changes that have come,  or the way they’ve come, but I welcome them. The good right there along with the bad.

And for those of you who find that today is a hard day… today is a reminder of the name that you don’t yet carry, can’t carry, will never carry perhaps… I see you. I break with you. I hurt for you. I love you. You might be in tears reading this, if you’ve been brave enough to continue on, and I just want to encourage you that God has a name for you. And there will come a moment in time where you’ll see that everything you used to be is gone. For better or worse, you will have a new story. You likely won’t expect the changes that will come, or the way they’ll come, but you’ll welcome them. The good right there along with the bad.

I believe your story is coming.

One of my leaders and mentors, Cecelia Stoll recently said this at a training, and I’ve clung to it in my business, in my life, and most definitely in my walk as a mom…

“In the end, it will all be fine. If it’s not all fine, than it’s not the end.”

Thank God for grace and mercy, for mom’s and dad’s and not yet moms and dads alike. We all need it.

I am grateful to have had an amazing mom, but also amazing women who have influenced me over the years. You don’t have to be a mother to change lives and leave a legacy for the future. I am grateful to every mom out there fighting the good fight and doing her very best. God knows none of us know what the hell we’re doing, so more power to you moms! And I am grateful to the mom’s still yet to be, who are trusting and praying and walking it all… this is not the end of your story.

Happy Mother’s day, to the unsung heroes of this world. Moms, you rock! Women, you rock! Dads… you’re okay. 🙂

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