From the Editor Column

column image This summer I wrote my “from the editor” column for Radiant magazine about my expectations of becoming a mother. Click here to download the PDF of the page, or read the plain text here:

A Change for the Better

By the time you read this, I’ll be counting down the days until the birth of my first daughter, Madilyn O’Hara Davis. The last nine months have been filled with anticipation as I’ve pored over books and articles about pregnancy and birth. But the anticipation began months before then, as my husband, Jeff, and I talked about expanding our family.

There are plenty of reasons not to have children if you’re looking for them—the volatile state of the world today, the uncertainty of the economy, the increasingly immoral culture we live in would give anyone pause. But call it primordial urge, biological nature or whatever you’d like, Jeff and I had a desire to bring a life into the world—acknowledging God as the giver of that life—so we jumped into what we’re certain is going to be the biggest adventure of our lives so far. We hear that life as we know it will never be the same, and we certainly hope that’s true. Two women Radiant has spoken to lately confirm the beautiful, sacrificial internal change that we’re anticipating. Singer/songwriter Nichole Nordeman, who is featured on p. 34, describes how becoming a mother has changed her and her art:

“When you have a child, it so quickly takes the focus off yourself. Not that I was a selfish person, but I think that certainly, musically and creatively, my first several records were really just about my experiences and were very introspective. It was sort of like a journaling songwriter about where I’ve been—the good, the bad and the ugly of the places I’ve been with the Lord; my failings, my doubts. It was a little bit—or maybe a lot—about me, me, me. But when you have a child, it’s so not about you anymore. I think that did affect my songwriting in that I began to write about what was happening around me. You begin to see the world through different eyes, and I think I maybe started painting in broader strokes.”

Sara Groves, our columnist on p. 48, experienced something similar. She powerfully describes this dramatic personal transformation on her DVD, Just Showed Up for My Own Life (Nomad):

“A couple of years ago I was in a season where I was just really scared. Everything seemed overwhelming to me with young kids—introducing these very innocent babies to a very sharp, menacing, chaotic world. I was just kind of hugging the wall, feeling like, ‘We’ll just make it through.’ I guess what’s happened in the last couple of years is that’s just not enough—it’s not enough for me. I just feel like when it’s all over, that’s not what I want to have shown my kids. I don’t want my kids to watch me hug the wall—I want my kids to see me running with my head thrown back. I want the wick to be gone, and I want the wax to be gone—I want to have burned down to the ground when this whole story is over.”

Groves’ comments have empowered me. Having this baby will be the beginning of something greater. I’m about to begin a journey to greater significance and impact on the world because I’m no longer happy with just getting by in this life. I’ve got to show my little girl what it means to fully love God and others and, in the process, change the world.

What Jeff Will Miss and Won’t about Pregnancy

Jeff had some ideas about what he’ll miss about me being pregnant and what he won’t miss (as you can imagine). Here are a few:

What He’ll Miss:
The air conditioner turned down to 73 and my wife saying, “It’s hot.”
Eating most hours of the day that we are together
When not eating, sleeping the other hours we are together
The mystery boxes delivered by UPS everyday
The beautiful belly
Watching “the waddle”

What He Won’t Miss:
The 200 pillows on the bed
The blunt medical speak of birthing classes
Waiting
The crushing anticipation
“When is she due?”
The violent, vocal process of my wife rolling over in bed

36 Weeks

The baby should be around 20 inches now and weigh about six pounds now. At the end of this week I’ll be considered “full term.” There are 26 days until my due date on July 14, 2007. I am 254 days or 8.3 months pregnant. And I feel every bit of it!

What I’ll Miss and Won’t about Pregnancy

What I’ll miss about being pregnant

Sharing the news/ friends and family being excited for us
Feeling the baby move
Planning and decorating the nursery
Thinking of baby names
The initial excitement about shopping & registering for baby things
Strangers being extremely nice and outgoing toward me
Eating when I’m hungry
Finding out what the sex of the baby is
Jeff feeling the baby move
Reading/researching about pregnancy and delivery
Not being cold all the time
Getting to rest as much as possible
Great hair and nails from the prenatal vitamins
Dreaming about what life will be like with the baby
Ultrasounds and hearing the baby’s heartbeat
Smoothies and popsicles
Sleeping with every pillow in the house
Having bursts of energy to get stuff done
Not having to pick up anything heavy
Jeff doing all the cleaning (what a trooper!)
Regular visits to the Dunkin Donuts by the doctor’s office
Baby showers!
Cutting out extra activities
Getting to wear new/different clothes and not having to worry about looking “thin”!

What I won’t miss about being pregnant

Worrying that everything’s going okay
Nausea
Headaches
Sinus problems
Wondering if it’s a boy or girl
Excruciating ligament pain
Not being able to sleep on my stomach
Heartburn/digestion problems
Super sense of smell
Having my internal furniture rearranged
Being on a hormonal/emotional roller coaster
Hearing pregnancy/labor/delivery horror stories
Nighttime trips to the bathroom
Spending money on the nursery
Being hot all the time!
Trying to decide on a baby name
Back pain
Swollen feet and hands
Sore hands from pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel
Gaining weight
Exhaustion
Being forgetful or “foggy” in the brain
Weird dreams
Difficulty sleeping and breathing
Cramping
Having trouble finding stuff to wear!