Recently I got to midwife my second grandbaby into the world and watch with joy as my daughter mothered her newborn and his two year old brother. Each time a child is born, a mother is born. What a privilege to be a part of this as a midwife!  We get to watch this precious relationship form time and time again.

As Mother’s Day approaches I ponder on the joys of being a parent, full of gratitude to my mom for her love and example.

This past week, my six-month-pregnant baby sister sent me a link to her recent blog post, which made me cry. I felt so proud of her and the beautiful mother that she is, and I share it with all of you.

Sisters, daughters, mothers….  Stand tall and know that you are loved. Marvel at each day and enjoy each moment with those dear to you. Happy Mother’s Day to every woman who loves, mentors, and mothers. Every one of you is amazing.

Love,
Jennifer Gallardo, CPM, LDM
Wife to Fernando, Mother to nine
Director Andaluz Waterbirth Center

~*~*~*~*~*~*
Friday, May 3, 2013
All of Me

DSC_4658_2A week ago, I had an old lady say I looked like I was about to have my baby any day.  I laughed and said, “Not hardly!  I still have 3 more months to go.”  Her eyes got big and she started talking about other pregnant ladies on island and how one in particular is much smaller than me.  Feeling a little irritated, I said more lighthearted than I felt, “Well, I was a lot smaller with my first, but this is my sixth.”

That weekend I had my husband, Peter, take pictures of my belly to prove to myself that I didn’t look like I was going to pop.  I still think the woman’s assessment was a bit harsh, but I have to say my stomach looks much smaller from the top-view that I usually get!

As the scale creeps up and my belly expands, I have to take deep breaths and remember the amazing work my body is doing.  In remembering, I thought of a conversation I had with Rachel in 2011.

——-
Journal Entry
Rachel climbed in bed with me one morning and asked sweetly, “What are those?” as she touched the stretch marks on my stomach.

I answered, “They are stretch marks.  Do you like them?”

She responded, “Oh yes,” and then lifted up her shirt and added disappointed, “but I don’t have any.”

She began tracing her finger along my stretch marks again and I said, “They are like silver rivers and I got them because I had you.”

She asked, “Can I have some?”

I laughed and told her, “Yes, when you have babies and are a mommy.”

She dreamily replied, “One day, I will have them and I will be like you,” then she added, “and I will have a big tummy, too.”  It is a nice reminder to me, who wears the badge of my love on my stomach, that it is indeed beautiful.
——-

Belly shot *with legs!*

Belly shot *with legs!*

Rachel was 3 years old when she yearned for stretch marks of her own.  At five, she still adores me and I’m blessed to hear almost everyday, “When I’m a mommy I will {insert whatever I am doing}.”

Recently, my young son innocently told me my “milks [breasts] are getting long” and asked why I have “so many wrinkles” on my face and I laughed.  I laugh because I feel joy knowing that my milks are long because I nourished all my babies with them and I have so many wrinkles from all the smiles and laughter.  I don’t think I’ll ever feel as my 2 year old does, who when she sees my belly exclaims, “Pretty!” or when she pats my bum tells me, “Fav’vite bum-bum.”  However, every day my body ages a little more, means I had a gift of one more day with those I love the most.

Several months ago, early in the morning, Eva (2) was lying in bed with Peter and I.  My eyes were closed, but I was awake and Eva sweetly whispered, “I love you, Mom,” as she gently stroked my face.  The love I felt was so intense it verged on pain.  Pain that time is slipping too quickly and I will not remember all the tender moments.  Still the pleasure is greater in knowing I am sharing my life with my precious family and that not only do I cherish them, but they also cherish me.

I had requests for pictures of my “baby bump”, although “baby hump” might be more accurate.  I tend to share only pictures where I can crop away lots of me.  You know, ones that don’t show too many wrinkles and bulges.  However, I’ve decided it is time to embrace all of me, because that is what my family loves–all of me.

[Florence’s blog is an inspiring, beautiful look at a homeschooling, homebirthing family with soon-to-be six children!]

Face shot with *wrinkles*

Face shot with *wrinkles*

..

..

Diving!

The triple-whammy: butt, legs, AND six months pregnant diving!

...