My Annunciation came in August and it was not a joyous one. My Hubby and I were just married and we had planned, as I have said several times here, to not start a family right away. I had been in raised in an alcoholic family with a very needy mom to whom I was the mother and a father, when drunk, verbally cruel – no fun that! From that experience I was not too keen on becoming a mom! Motherhood looked like a trap and marriage looked like a prison, so when I met my hubby some of those thoughts changed. He is a very wonderful, stable man and I love him. So I thought: “Yay! Let’s get married!” Our wedding so exciting; neither of us were at all nervous! It was Fun! And it was my thought that it would stay like that! Then we got pregnant on our Honeymoon. To this day I hate the word pregnant.
I was so embarrassed – I don’t know why, that is something I am still discerning. I hated going to his family function where every one assumed I was thrilled to be pregnant. I hated their happy chatter about how they thought I was, and I hated being touched. To this day I am still filled with dread when a friend will say she is pregnant and I try, not always successfully, to hide my shock and replace it with support – again I will have to discern why.
My first pregnancy was not the happiest. I cried all the time, but it did solidify my own pro-life stance. If it had not I don’t know what I would have done; thinking back if I had done the unthinkable it would have been one of the most selfish things I could have done. What about what my hubby would have wanted? Now dare I decide that this little person did deserve to live because I didn’t want to be pregnant! When the Gospel of the Annunciation was read I cried like a baby, I truly thought God was laughing at me. He had given the talent and calling to work with moms but he is taking it away by making me pregnant and I will have to be trapped at home. It took me months to learn that my hubby didn’t want me barefoot and pregnant! Together we were going to figure out how all this was going to work. We knew that full time day care wasn’t quite our speed, we wanted to be hands on as parents. Fulfilling my calling would come by way of part-time work as a social worker than schooling for spiritual direction. Balance was being found and set.
When our second son was conceived that Annunciation was very different. We really wanted to have a second baby and it was fun trying, so different than the first and it made me wonder if I had been ready for motherhood would the first conception had been as fun? I understood a little better what Mary must have felt.
In reality Mary could have felt both ways.
Our last pregnancy was the twins. We were trying for just one more, but both girls wanted to come into the world! All my pregnancies have had their medical fun. I have heart problems so each pregnancy was a careful balancing act of how much can my heart take and now much can the babies. With the boys no real worries. Not so much for the girls. So this last Annunciation was the most stressful. I was more resigned to this pregnancy, knowing it would be work, but also knowing it was going to be very exciting to have twins. This time around I resonated more with the I’m what? I don’t know nothing about birtin’ no babies aspect of Mary’s reaction to the Angel!
Funny how the Bible is the living word!
This from my Facebook group: Spiritual Lives Of Women Ignatius spirituality for Moms:
Monday First Week Of Advent, December 3, 2012: Yesterday our pastor Father Lugger asked all the moms to remember back to a time they heard the reading of the Annunciation, before they were ever pregnant, and then to think about the same story but now they are waiting for their child to be born…what was their experience like before and after.
I know for myself that the experience was very different. an understanding of that particular gospel becomes so clear, you get it!
I have been a spiritual director since 1998 and worked with many moms who are struggling to put their spirituality and mothering together. If you are here you understand that struggle. The Annunciation is powerful trigger for many of the moms; it brings up varying ranges of emotions some good, some not so good.
Upon deeper reflection all these reactions speak to their relationship with God at the time. For moms who suffered from infertility their Annunciation was one of great joy! It was a miracle longed prayed for and finally answered. For those moms whose lives were filled with suffering their Annunciation was not as joyous: they feel God is laughing at them.
May those moms whose path to motherhood was delayed by some obstacles, but is now joyous; lets us pray that as they journey with Mary their joy increases.
May the moms whose Annunciations leads to tears and concern, may their journey be one of peace and hope.
This First Week of Advent I will be praying for all moms, moms-to-be and moms-who-are that this Advent’s Journey with Mary be one filled with Hope, Love and Faith