scattered thoughts on motherhood {and a gift from shutterfly!}

{disclaimer: i am starting to believe that “pregnancy brain” is a real, real thing. my mind feels so foggy so often, and i have had a really hard time collecting and writing my thoughts lately (as has probably been apparent in my blog posts?!). my best effort today for writing and sharing what i want to write and share is below. i included some gorgeous images that i hope help better evoke the feelings i am trying to express (artwork by my dear friend caitlin connolly). and some other, less-pregnancy-brain-impacted thoughts i’ve had in the past about motherhood are here and here.}


last sunday, i celebrated my first mother’s day.

well, kind of.

there’s a living, wiggling baby inside of me, but i haven’t yet been truly initiated into the mom club through labor and delivery. also, “mothering sunday” was observed here in england back in march, so even if an unborn child qualified me as a mother, perhaps last sunday would technically be my second mother’s day? but actually, all that aside, the real truth is that motherhood extends so far beyond biological (or lawful) boundaries anyway. my spirit has always been a mother, and throughout my life i have been mothered by women who did not give birth to me in marvelous ways.

nevertheless, mother’s day this year was distinctly different. because on this second sunday in may, there was another human heart inside of me beating with my mother’s heart, and my soul was preparing for the biggest transition i’ll ever experience during my life on earth. so i celebrated, heartily.

i know there are tremendous storms ahead: yet unimaginable physical pain, extreme soreness in the tenderest parts of my body and spirit, surges of blood and hormones and newness, sleepless nights and defeated afternoons, screaming and crying and hurting and lots and lots of sacrifice. but i’m ready and willing and so grateful. because i know this is right and good, and that the splendor will ultimately and greatly overshadow the storms.

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i also know that the coming months and years will profoundly deepen the already immense adoration, appreciation and admiration i feel for my angel mother (and for the other women, especially my sisters and now my mother-in-law, that have mothered me). as i thought about my mom over the past weekend, i just felt overflowing with gratitude like never before. there certainly are no words to express how i feel about my mom (or how pretty much anyone feels about their mom, right?!). saying i love, treasure and respect her is ridiculously trite, and any gift i could give her is truly like one tiny drop in a million oceans of unable-to-express thanks and affection. {check out my sister saydi’s mother’s day post that includes awesome pictures and sentiments about our mom, as well as a poem that articulates the inadequacy i’m trying to describe here.}

yet, tiny drops are still worth dropping in, and this year on mother’s day, which felt really special to first-time pregnant me, i offered some minuscule tokens of adoration, appreciation and admiration to my mom.


one gift i gave my mom this year was a book that i created full of pictures of our most recent “mothers and future mothers of eyrealm” gathering last september {our most epic mfme ever – a trip through switzerland, germany and austria!}.

i made the book using my absolutely favourite tool for creating meaningful gifts – shutterfly. i’ve written several times here on the blog in the past about how much i love using shutterfly, and definitely every time i do, the experience gets better because more cool features are added and usability and ease is continually improved (and it was already great to start with!). the creation process is simple and fun, and the final product is always fantastic quality and looks even better than expected. i have genuinely loved working with shutterfly as a partner of this blog.


<<<--- my darling mama with her photo book on mother’s day!

shutterfly is having a sale right now that ends on 15 may! up to 50% off! so now’s the perfect time to use shutterfly to create something special for someone you love. you’ll agree with me that the process is easy and the products are beautiful! 

indeed, there’s so many scattered thoughts about motherhood swimming through me these days – thoughts i feel are difficult to articulate but are such a significant part of my life right now. there is great, great adventure, stretching and joy ahead.


  1. Sorry, but the part where you describe the future pains and sacrifices you believe to experience during child birth an the times ahead, sound really depressing.

    As a mother who has given birth to a perfect little baby boy just 7 weeks ago, I have to say: Relax. Delivery is much less painful as everyone says (I seriously don't know why so many women cause so much fear with their stories. It's okay. I can imagine a better Saturday evening plan than being in labour and giving birth, but after all it's not that painful.)

    And about the sleepless nights and the anxiety... You will love it. Being awake half of the night sucks, yes. But the reason that keeps you awake will make up for it, I promise.

    Having a baby and caring for it is so much fun!

    1. thanks for your comment. i have to say, it made me chuckle. because it reminded me that sometimes - when it comes to perceptions of what i write on my blog - i just can't win :)

      i, like you, strongly believe that childbirth should not be feared and that we should all reeeeelax about a lot of things connected with it. and i am throughly convinced that i will love even the really hard bits of motherhood (although probably not in the moment at times!). i put in the bit in this post about knowing it will be difficult/painful because i anticipated readers/commenters criticizing my optimism and warning me that my expectations are too rosey. i guess i was a bit too dramatic (sometimes a problem for me :) ) in acknowledging that i know challenges are ahead, and i wish it came across more clearly that i was trying to say that not only despite but *because* of those challenges, i am excited.

  2. No splendour for those storms? guess they won’t be British enough...

  3. I love the artwork you've posted here - such touching interpretations of motherhood. And shutterfly - I've been meaning to put together a project for my mom and siblings, just need to GET ON IT, so thank you for a reminder to move that back to the top of my list. I've never used shutterfly, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

  4. Labor is honestly not unimaginable pain. I had two babies naturally and yes it was painful but it was pain with a purpose and so manageable to get through. Plus you get a cute baby at the end and that makes it all worth it. Motherhood is exhausting and draining but is also joyful and fun! So many focus on the pain of childbirth but forget to talk about the incredible spirit present during the birth, that veil is so incredibly thin and I knew Angels were there. If my body would let me I would give birth 5 more times (I already have 5) to experience that holy experience.

    1. hi!

      it is unimaginable to me: because i have never actually experienced it, it's impossible for me to imagine! i am also talking about my lifetime ahead of motherhood: i anticipate there will be a significant amount of (emotional, spiritual, etc) pain that as of yet i cannot imagine perfectly. but i feel, very strongly, that the pain of childbirth is *not* unmanageable, and have become really passionate about the very concept you are describing - that childbirth is holy and so so beautiful and an experience to be cherished and relished rather than feared. i am sad this has not come across for you on my blog!

      thanks for your comment!

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