By Maura Preszler | Founder of Made in His Image
I recently found this photo on my husband’s computer and my eyes welled with tears of joy and gratitude upon seeing it. And not for vain reasons, because let’s be clear, at this point I’ve been in labor for about seventeen hours without medication. I know right, what was I thinking? I have thirty pounds strapped to my stomach, haven’t eaten all day and they wouldn’t even let me have my trusty cranberry juice (at least I’ll have my cranberry juice, I thought to myself when I knew I couldn’t eat) and have been to the bathroom all over myself and the nurses (bringing a tiny human into the world makes one lose more than just sleep).
During my pregnancy women would say to me, Oh you’re pregnant, don’t you just love it? Or, I loved everything about being pregnant. Then I felt like a bad mom because no, I didn’t like being pregnant. To be honest, I thought I was literally going to explode at times.
So yeah I wasn’t feeling so hot in this picture. But I love this photo for the beauty of the journey this has been for me and for the healing our Father has blessed me with. Being pregnant was extremely difficult for me, my depression returned, I gained 30 pounds which was extremely hard for me with my past eating disorder struggles had insomnia for 9 months, heart burn and acid reflux (yeah I never got “the glow”). I waited for it, trust me I did, but it didn’t come. But what I did receive was the greatest gift and blessing, our precious son to raise as a saint for the Kingdom of God and a deeper understanding of our Heavenly Father’s love for us.
When I was in therapy for my recovery I decided that I was going to offer up each session and homework activity for my future children. So when therapy, seemed unbearable, or I had to draw or describe events and bodies that I thought I would never be able to do, I would close my eyes and picture what my future children might look like. I imagined their tiny hands and toes and how I would desire to surround them with love and tenderness. I thought about all that I would want to teach them about God the Father, Jesus, Mary and the Saints. Then I thought about how strong I would need to be for them and how much I needed to grow and heal before I could get married and have children. Then I closed my eyes gently, as I opened my doctor’s office door and proceed to another therapy session.
That day during labor, I knew what I had tried to do for Pio and I couldn’t wait to meet the precious boy who had inspired my healing. So yes, I love this picture and as odd as it may sound I loved that day of labor because it reminded me of where I’ve been and how much God in His goodness has blessed and healed me. Since Pio’s birth I haven’t struggled a day with depression. I’m so thankful that I imperfectly surrendered my recovery and vocation to Him. He indeed took and continues to take my brokenness and has turned it and continues to turn it into His beauty.
P.S. You are enough.