The Beautiful Adventure of Motherhood

Every new mother, along with Winnie-the-Pooh, knows this to be true: “As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was about to happen.” We mothers know instinctively after the birth, or adoption, of a child, our lives will never be the same. Along with that sentiment can come doubt in our ability and overwhelm at taking this little being home. But, there is also the complete happiness and utter joy with bringing a child into our family. We recognize the adventure of motherhood that is about to begin.

Let’s look at some women and what they have experienced in their own adventures in motherhood.

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla

St. Gianna Beretta Molla

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the feast day of one of CCL’s beloved patron saints, St. Gianna Beretta Molla. She is honored for her respect and esteem for marriage and motherhood, and her ultimate sacrifice of choosing her baby’s life over her own.

St. Gianna’s story is quite an inspiring, yet heartbreaking one. A devout Catholic, she studied medicine and became a doctor specializing in pediatrics. After marrying Pietro Molla, they began to start a family and had Pierluigi, Maria Zita and Laura but also suffered two miscarriages. Gianna became pregnant again but developed a fibroma on her uterus. Doctors gave her three choices: 1) to abort the pregnancy—allowing her to have children in the future, 2) a hysterectomy which would kill her child and prevent further pregnancy, or 3) remove the fibroma, risking further complications to her and the baby.

Gianna opted for the only choice that brought a chance to save her baby’s life. Shetold the doctors to remove the fibroma. There were complications, but she had made her wishes known. “This time it will be a difficult delivery, and they may have to save one or the other. I want them to save my baby.” On April 21, 1962 the baby she fought so hard to save was born, Gianna Emmanuela. However ,St. Gianna lost her life a week later from septic peritonitis.

Adventures and Experiences of Motherhood

Beyond the example of St Gianna, we are blessed at CCL to be part of a strong community of NFP where many of our teachers, students and friends share their experiences with us about motherhood. Here area few from the past year that we thought would be insightful on this Mother’s Day weekend.

Emily

Popular Catholic writer Emily Stimpson Chapman is a new-ish mom of three. Emily graced the PeakDay podcast to share the couple’s adoption story. “When you have a desire to be a mother and that is not happening, it’s good to say, ‘I have this desire, Lord, is this from You? How do You want it to be fulfilled?’” Emily said. “Infertility is an invitation to say, ‘’Do I want to be pregnant, or do I want to be a parent, to love and welcome a child into my home?’ That was for Chris and me the defining question that led us to adoption.” 

Janet

“I always pictured myself as a mother, and Humanae Vitae’s vision of marriage as total self-giving love is what my husband and I signed up for (knowing it’s a lifelong mountain to climb). But motherhood was more of a shock to my system than I could have prepared for. There are days and nights when my little babe brings me to my knees. There are times when my own selfishness burns brighter than ever in my conscience. My daughter forces me to go outside of myself, to put her first. As I clumsily step into motherhood, she is refining my heart.”

Ileane

“Being a mother is very humbling, and it has certainly taught us patience in many ways! One of the most miraculous things about children is that they come out as their own people with their own, little personalities.  It shows us right from the beginning that we are all made in God’s image, but we are not made the same in God’s image, which is a beautiful reminder to us!”

Meaghan

Brett and Meghan discerned a call to become licensed foster parents through their state’s foster care program. “We need to step it up as a Church,” Meghan shared. “Children in foster care are born to drug addicts or into poverty or abuse – these are the children from situations others would argue justify abortion.” She continued, “NFP work, other pro-life work – it’s all a part of being open to life and seeing the unique beauty of every human life.”

A Prayer for Mothers

All adventures come with unknowns, struggles, revelations, moments of beauty, and discoveries. The experiences and sacrifices of these mothers also embody the respect for life we are all called to. St. Gianna saw her role as a wife and mother as her primary means to live out the life God called her to. As St. Gianna says, “Love and sacrifice are closely linked, like the sun and the light. We cannot love without suffering and we cannot suffer without love.”


Prayer of St. Gianna:

Jesus, I promise You to submit myself to all that You permit to befall me,
make me only know Your will.
My most sweet Jesus, infinitely merciful God, most tender Father of souls,
and in a particular way of the most weak, most miserable, most infirm
which You carry with special tenderness between Your divine arms,
I come to You to ask You, through the love and merits of Your Sacred Heart,
the grace to comprehend and to do always Your holy will,
the c
onfidence to confide in You,
the grace to rest securely through time and eternity in Your loving divine arms.


To learn more about St. Gianna’s life, sainthood, and reflections click here.