Dear Mommy-to-Be

First of all, congratulations! And welcome to the tribe.

Regardless whether this is your first pregnancy, or your fourth, your life is about to change in ways you could have never imagined. Depending on your personality and circumstances, this change can be completely overwhelming, scary, and/or incredibly exciting.

I’m just over three months pregnant with my second baby. And after weeks of battling “morning” sickness and struggling to keep my eyes open after 8 pm, just know that I’m right there with you.  

I would like to invite you to be part of something that has been growing in my heart (and not only in my tummy) over the last couple of months. My first pregnancy was not only the most challenging, but also, the most rewarding experience of my life.

Living in Vietnam at the time, I had no community, no  other women to talk to, no support network in place, or even an English-speaking doctor or hospital. I felt like I was virtually alone.

We moved back to Thailand when I was about seven months pregnant. I found myself in a new town and environment all over again.

At least this time, I was more capable of communicating in the local language and had a better understanding of the culture. Still recovering from all the challenges we had to face in Vietnam, it was a very difficult time in my marriage and emotionally I was in a bad place. Being an optimist most of my life, I was completely blindsided by the ripple-effect of the hormones on my system and the feeling of being out of control.

I’m in the middle of processing my past experience through a writing project I will share with you later. I’m only sharing a bit of my story here because it might help you understand why I am so passionate about supporting and encouraging other pregnant women and young mothers.

I know first-hand how difficult it can be to find a safe “village” to help raise your children. As for the feelings of loneliness and isolation during pregnancy, I don’t believe any mommy or mommy-to-be deserves to go through all the motions and emotions that breed negative feelings of isolation and loneliness.  None of us needs to feel alone in our pregnancies because there are so many of us going through this at the same time together!

During my own pregnancies and my first 2 years of motherhood, I have been immersed in two entirely different cultures.  I have learned that we all have unique experiences and viewpoints. shaped by our own family histories, belief systems, cultures, education, and occupations.

When we do not have safe places where we can open up and share our real life stories or ask our burning questions (without feeling judged or being shamed), it’s easy to build destructive walls around our own hearts instead of building bridges.

I have also learned that our greatest trials can turn out to be the testimonies others need to give them hope.

Just like me, I trust that you are simply trying to do the best you can with what you have. I believe your story and experience matters and that God has a plan not only for the beautiful baby growing inside of you, but also for you to grow more and more into His likeness.  

Every experience is part of preparation for the future. In the same way your belly will grow bigger during pregnancy and your arms will later grow stronger as your newborn gains weight. There will be potential for growth in every other area of your life. And as we grow as mothers, I hope that we will grow as believers, as wives, as daughters, as sisters, and as friends.  

I believe we need to make room for each other to grow.

It doesn’t matter if we don’t share the exact same backgrounds, opinions, doctrines or personality types. We can always grow together, especially because of our differences, because we have so much to learn from each other.

I know I do not have all the answers, because if I did, I would not need you.

I’m growing tired of turning to Dr. Google to find answers to my endless questions. When all I really need to know is that it is normal. Normal to feel exhausted, to be emotional, to have to go to the bathroom at all times of the night. To have my body fail me in many different ways to make room for another.

I have learned that our deepest needs are often the keys to connecting with others. If I need a safe space to be honest without feeling like I’m over sharing. A community where it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them.  I’m pretty sure someone out there needs that, too.  

So, embracing the times, I’ve created a closed Facebook group called “Moms growing since 16/17”.   You are welcome to read more on the group description and join us here.

My greatest wish for every pregnant mommy-to-be is that you will KNOW that you are not alone. God has been there since the beginning, since you were created in your mother’s womb. And He will still be there long after our little ones are all grown up and leave the house.

I pray that you will always walk with Him as He is walking with you. And that He will always send people to walk alongside you on this beautiful journey of motherhood.

If you know of a mommy-to-be who might benefit from this community. Could I kindly ask you to share this post with them or invite them to join us.

Love

Dorette

Dorette is a South African expat living and working in South-East-Asia with her family. She loves discovering practical ways to live out her faith, spending time with people, going on adventures and capturing all the precious moments in pictures or words.

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