Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


A Letter to My Laboring Sister

Photograph by Twenty20

Oh, sister. Right now, you are laboring. Right now, you are experiencing a miracle.

Is that too “woo-woo”? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Birth is a miracle. It’s miraculous to grow a baby inside of you. It is practically magic too, with the very force of your soul and the power of your determination to bring a little one into the light. There is nothing — absolutely nothing — like birthing a child. Your child.

You thought you loved your baby when they were in your womb. When you felt kicks and hiccups, rolls and pressure. Oh, the pressure! But now, I promise you this, your heart is about to grow larger than it has ever been before. A new love is entering your life and that person will complete you in ways nothing else can.

Babies give purpose. They bring joy. And heartache. Worry, pride, peace and happiness too. Sister, you’re going to feel it all. Feel it deeply. It will make you a better mother — a more vulnerable one, a more connected one.

Right now, as you endure the pains of labor, breathe. This is the beginning. Your first opportunity to say, “Here I am. Watch in awe. I am becoming something new.” Breathe and know that something beautiful is coming from your pain.

Sister, it’s OK to be scared. I always am. I fear the unknown and question everything. “Why, why, why?” I’ve chanted during labor. And always, in the back of my mind, I hear, “Because of a great love. Because the best is on their way.” Fall into that overwhelming fear: Face it, own it, move through it and find that love.

I hope you always remember experiencing a miracle.

Don’t count the minutes. In fact, if you can see a clock — demand that it disappear. Don’t compare yourself or worry that what you’re doing or saying or feeling is wrong. Trust the process. Trust that your body is doing its greatest work — something only you can do.

As the hours pass and you ask, “How much longer?” — as you sense or speak, “I can’t do this anymore” — know that you’re close. Perfection is almost in your arms. It’s hard to believe that something so small can so quickly fill your world, but it’s coming, and it’s absolutely worth it. Promise.

Tomorrow, when everyone calls you "Mom” and you feel the weight of heaven, the small but dense bundle of baby on your chest, you’ll look back on your birth story and feel a hundred emotions.

Most likely, things did not go exactly as you planned. Ah, our first lesson in motherhood: letting go of the perception of how things should be. It’s OK. Feel it.

Mourn for what you lost or didn’t expect. Write it. Tell someone. Tell everyone. Your story is a powerful one and one that deserves to be known. Then, choose to see the good. Because IT IS GOOD. In fact, it is great. You are great. Your labor and your journey into motherhood is a celebration unlike any other.

I am proud of you. Today and always.

Sister, I hope you feel more whole after being broken apart. This is the essence of motherhood. I hope you always remember experiencing a miracle. To witness this, to be a player in life, is monumental.

I hope you know that you are beautiful in your raw state. Yes, your no makeup, messiest messy bun of all time and six months pregnant (but definitely not pregnant) belly.

And, I hope you know that you alone are the best mom for your child. You were meant for them and they were meant for you. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t your baby amazing? Count those toes, smell their hair, hum the songs they grew to love in utero. YOU DID IT!

Now, rest … because your biggest cheerleader and your baby’s obsessed aunt is on the way.

More from pregnancy