Written by: Tonja Curtz
One of the happiest and craziest days of my life is when I became a mother. I remember when I found out I was pregnant and thought, “I can’t believe this is actually happening”, I had thoughts of joy and quite honestly was scared and nervous too. You know that feeling when everything hits you at once? I’m going to be the mother to a human being that will depend on me for the rest of his or her life in some form or another. Can I do this physically, mentally and emotionally? Then I reminded myself- you’ve wanted this your entire life. Oh right! Now I can breathe. Right, this is the day I’ve dreamed of for ages. This is how I found my strength.
I had a pretty normal pregnancy with nothing too serious or outrageous. Had the typical (first pregnancy) major weight gain, morning sickness till around 5 months and then it was over. My due date was approaching and I thought I was prepared for what was to come, but boy, I had no idea. This would be one of the most amazing and tramatizing experiences I’ve ever been through in my entire life!
I’ll quickly mention, and not to toot my own horn as they say, but when times get tough I always try my best to think – there’s no turning back, what’s happened has happened and it’s time to move forward. So in essence I’m a fairly positive person. When my my contractions started on September 8th 2012 I thought – here we go – I will meet my little boy in a few hours. Little did I know; due to certain physical complications, only dialating to 5cm and my baby’s heartbeat rapidly elevating then dropping, that I’d end up with a c-section after 4 days. He arrived, my Gabriel, on Sept.12th 2012, and I became a mother.
I tell you a bit about my birth story because this is where it all began. I learned that there are moments you have to completely rely on God, when you are utterly and completely exhausted and feel you just might die. That you have no idea how you will get through this and then have to take care of a newborn and heal from surgery at the same time. I had never had surgery before. Thankfully God has given me an amazing husband, who through this experience we relied on each other moment by moment. I don’t think I could have made it through those first few days without him. Within a 7 day period of labouring, staying in the hospital to recover from major surgery, and Gabriel being monitored because his heart rate was elevated as a result of the ordeal we had gone through; I only had 10 hours of sleep. Yes, 10 hours of sleep in 7 days. I think I was legitimately insane at moments because of the lack of sleep. But, finally we were released from the hospital!
Hallelujah, we were able to go home! I accepted that in these moments it is okay to rely on others, not only my husband, but also my sisters, parents, in-laws and friends to help us make it. That even though things don’t go as planned it doesn’t mean you’re a failure; in reality only a warrior could survive such an ordeal and live to tell the tale. (And then be brave enough to do it again, as we are expecting our second son June 5th 2015) Not only was my labour difficult but I also had difficulty breast-feeding because of lack of milk, which I found out 4 months after the fact was due to having hypothyroidism. My thyroid was so damaged that my doctor is still testing me and increasing my dosage to this day to try and balance my hormones to a normal level. One of these days I’ll be normal ;).
Through all these trials I’ve learned that a mother, a father, a guardian must do whatever’s best for them; even if other people do it differently. That everyone’s best is not always the same process. As long as the baby is healthy, happy and thriving then nothing else matters. My birth story was the beginning of finding my strength. Becoming a mother was when I found my voice to protect and love someone so much more than myself. I learned what true selflessness was and is by loving and caring for this innocent baby because no matter what I’m going through or what my day has been like I will be there for him. There have been situations where I’ve had to set boundaries and limitations to protect my child that I don’t think I would have been able to do before I were his mother. I would not have had the strength to say no – so for that I am truly thankful. The journey of him getting here was so difficult, but I would do it again, in a heartbeat, to have this amazing little boy that God has blessed us with.
Many things became easier as the weeks past from our first few days of parenthood and all of us getting used to each other. Thankfully Gabriel has been a wonderful baby and now little boy. He’s been growing, eating and sleeping like a champ since he was born and now talks up a storm. At 2 1/2 he can count to 20, knows his ABC’s and most of his colours. As you can tell we’re pretty proud of him. His little toddler jokes can brighten up anyone’s day. My husband and I are thankful to God everyday to be blessed with such an amazing gift and that we get to be his parents; and that we get to do it again soon.
We’ve learned in these last 2 1/2 years of being parents, and welcoming another little bundle, that there are moments that certainly aren’t easy, but with God’s strength and listening to the strength God has given us we can get through anything. There are times when people will let you down, disagree with you or distance themselves from you because of this life changing event. There are situations and relationships that come and go. But if you keep your eyes on God and heart in the right direction you’ll never be let down. You’ll find your strength. And even when you lose it, He’ll help you find it again.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
Tonja lives in Eastern Passage, NS with her husband, young son and soon-to-be new addition baby son, that they are excited and thrilled to complete their family. Her husband is the Associate Pastor at Evangel Cole Harbour, NS where they have been ministering together for the past 8 years. Tonja has her Bachelor of Education in secondary teaching, but due to lack of consistent employment is currently employed by night at Scotiabank while watching her toddler during the day. Tonja also have two big dogs Apollo and Hali who help keep her on our toes in their wonderfully chaotic lives. They love where they live, what they do, they love each other and God and are truly thankful for the many blessings and opportunities they have been given to impact their community. All in all, life is awesome when God is at the centre. The east coast is where it’s at for them!