I let out a joyful yelp when the pregnancy test showed two pink lines. Its positive! 

Here. We. Go. Again.

I was ecstatic and terrified, understanding so much more this time around what motherhood entails.

This includes surviving another labor and delivery, countless midnight feedings, breastfeeding and all of the ups and downs that come with it, and being sleep deprived. And so, so much more.

But I will have a much different perspective being pregnant this time around.

As I begin my second pregnancy, I have the normal symptoms that most women have. Nausea, food aversions, acid reflux, hormones raging, exhaustion, the list goes on . . . and on . . . and on. 

I reflect on the Holy Family and Mary being pregnant. I am sure she never complained about riding a donkey to Bethlehem or giving birth in a manger, or anything else for that matter.

I long for that kind of humility and selflessness.

Even though I am no saint, I vow to cherish and savor each moment of the life that grows inside of me, this time around.

I will try to complain less about sacrificing that glass of red wine after a long day of work, or going to bed early at night when I want to enjoy a movie with my husband instead, or feeling the need to swap my favorite fashion magazine for What to Expect When You’re Expecting, or having crackers and Ginger Ale for breakfast instead of my favorite latte.

Because I know, this time around, how fast time will go. I also know I get to partake in one of life’s greatest miracles.

For these nine months, this baby is all mine. I will try to hold on to these fleeting, precious moments because I don’t have to share him, yet. (Let’s assume it is a boy for the sake of my husband’s wishes.)  As for right now, he is not being passed around to our massive family, being kissed, and jostled by my aunts I barely know.

This time around, I also vow to be grateful for the baby whose heart beats with my own, who shares my blood, and breath and everything else, despite the fact that it makes me terribly uncomfortable.

This time around I will try to be mindful of every moment of the labor and delivery, no matter how daunting it may be, or painful, or exhausting. I will be mindful despite the havoc hormones will cause to my mind and body.

I will embrace every moment before I have to let go, before the umbilical cord separates him from me, before the baby will leave my body and I will have to share him with this big world.

Before I have to share him with his future girlfriends, going off to college, and his future wife. Before he journeys on his path of life, on his own.

Love is sacrifice; in fact, there is no great love without great sacrifice. Mary and Jesus are perfect examples of this truth. Mary had to sacrifice her only son on the cross and Jesus died on the cross for us even though He was sinless. So I vow every day, to choose love over selfishness or fear.

Love is recursive; I will be giving my baby life, and he, in return, will be giving me life. Because where there is love, there is life.

I sit in my son’s nursery and I try to cradle him, as he encroaches on his one-year birthday. He pushes me away, crawling away from me to explore this new and big world. I let him go.

I rub my belly and sit quietly.

For now this baby is all mine. If only for nine months. If only for a moment.

Monica Braun

Monica Braun has a bachelor's degree in English from Michigan State University and a master's in education from Aquinas College. She teaches High School English in Racine, Wisconsin, and is an aspiring writer. She has one son (for right now) and is a follower of Jesus Christ.