We all have different paths to motherhood. Whether we like our path or not, we are set on a course designed for us. Sometimes our path is easy, and others are more difficult. We are often taught lessons we don’t want to learn and experience setbacks that break our hearts. Often, we find ourselves wishing we had someone else’s story, forgetting that ours was designed for us to teach us what we need. And sometimes during the struggles, we forget to find the parts of our lives that are joyful.
Jamie Sumner shares her struggles with infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy complications, a newborn diagnosis of Beckwith-Wiedmann Syndrome, NICU, and her hopes and triumphs in motherhood in her book Unbound: Finding Freedom from Unrealistic Expectations of Motherhood. I have followed Jamie on her blog and Facebook page for several months and have always identified with what she writes. I was excited to hear she had a new book coming out and jumped at the chance to read it. I didn’t get past page two before I needed a highlighter to remember her wise words.
Jamie takes us through her journey of infertility, the use of hormones, and IVF, along with her heartbreaking miscarriage, difficult pregnancy, a newborn with special needs who spent the first few months of his life in the NICU, to the joys of motherhood. For those dealing with infertility, her story gives hope and solidarity in knowing you are not alone. For those who conceived without needing help, Jamie’s story gives eyes into the journey so many parents have to take. For all of us, her story gives us a reminder of how precious the gift of children is.
While reading through Jamie’s story, I found myself rooting for her as I would a character in a novel. She is a beautiful writer who mixes humor and hope into a difficult story. Additionally, she mixes her personal narrative with Biblical women, making them more relatable to today’s mom. Her reliance on faith during her times of struggle is admirable and honorable. So often when we struggle, we turn from God. But Jamie and her husband stuck with Him, knowing that He was sticking with them.
I highly recommend the book to any mother, even those who never experienced infertility struggles or children who have spent time in the hospital. Jamie provides great lessons for everyone, especially those questioning their own personal journey of motherhood. Why can’t I have it as easy as her? Why is this so hard? If only things were easier. We have all been there.
Just remember that your path is the one you need to be on. Even if your lessons seem harder than those around you, or you feel you are having to learn lessons you don’t want to learn. God knows what He is doing by putting you on your path.
“God makes us mothers to bring us to our knees, to get down in the dirt and see the nature of things. This is the greatest lesson we can learn in life. There is a plan and it is not ours. It is better.” (page 204)
By: Emily Scott, PhD
*The opinions of this blog are my own. I received a free copy of Unbound, but that had no impact on my personal opinions of the book. I receive no compensation if you purchase Unbound through these links.