blythe’s gift to me

Aug 17, 2010

My oldest child recently turned 14 years old. I am still bewildered that I have a child this age. How can that be even remotely possible?

I thought I had written about her gift to me before, but I can’t find what I thought I said, so I am going to write about it some more.

Pre-BMW (Blythe Moriah Ward), I had far different priorities than I did post-BMW. In fact, I was a different person. I did not want to be a mother. I wanted to spend my life doing important things – like traveling the world, studying the Torah, and teaching people God’s ancient words. I wanted to be known for doing important things. I wanted to fill my time with scholarly research and the subsequent presentations of my findings. I wanted to stretch my mind and challenge myself with doing really hard things.

I had absolutely no desire to have a child need me. I had no desire to ever change a diaper again. And if by some chance, I was given a child, he or she was not going to interfere with my life, my plans, my needs.

Throughout the first three years of our marriage, all of this started changing. I decided I wanted to have children. I started researching the role and value of motherhood. I started arguing with my feminist professors who advocated a position of “daycare is best for children.” I began to feel disgust for the mothers I saw dropping off their six-week old babies at a daycare at seven in the morning and picking them up at seven at night. I began to desire to be a mother who would be with her children…someday.

But, I was still ambivalent about actually being a mother. I had been told by two different doctors that I would die if I tried to have a baby and we believed them. We decided we would not have biological children and would look into adopting when I was done with my college education.

And then, in spite of doing everything we could to prevent pregnancy, I became pregnant. I was not happy. I was, in fact, pretty much terrified that I was going to die. Not only that, it felt like a huge interruption to my life. I was in the middle of my Speech Pathology program and I wanted to complete it. I couldn’t see how it would all work out. I worried about my education and my job and my life and a million other things that seem so trivial now.

We decided to let the pregnancy continue…to just see what would happen. Our OB sent for the reports from the previous two doctors and he disagreed with their findings. He felt like I was not in danger of death and could safely be a pregnant and birthing woman. We were comforted, but not convinced. As the months of pregnancy continued, all seemed to be well, and I began to believe that the first two doctors were completely wrong.

At 36 weeks pregnant, when my uterus had stretched as far as it was going to stretch, our OB pronounced that my abdominal wall was sound, that it was not going to rupture as had been declared by the prior physicians. He said, “See, I was right, everything is going to be just fine.” At that moment, I knew he was correct and I also knew I could not give birth with him. I informed him I would be birthing at home. He flipped out and quickly informed me how dangerous and insane that would be (he later called me at home and apologized for his outlandish behavior). I stood my ground because I knew in my heart that birthing at home was what I needed to do.

We found a midwife and started preparing for a home birth. It was so wonderful to finally be excited about our baby and not to be full of fear about dying. We gathered supplies and Tami came around 38 weeks for the birth that was sure to be right around the corner and we walked and walked and walked. And no baby came.

And then, in her 43rd week of gestation, Blythe was born. After ten months of throwing up every single day and hours of throwing up every 15 minutes throughout her labor, she was born! As I held her that first day, I fell completely in love with her, with motherhood, with homeschooling her, with devoting my life to her. All of a sudden, I knew what motherhood meant and it was not drudgery, it was not a waste of time. It was the most important work I could ever do. It was exactly the work God wanted me to do. It was exactly the work my soul needed to do to grow and learn and develop into the woman I was created to be.

It saddens me to think how backward my thinking used to be and I am filled with gratitude for my brave Blythe who came into my life before I even knew I wanted her, before I valued motherhood, before I knew how absolutely essential motherhood is to the foundation of each family, community, nation, and world.

She taught me that I am doing the most important work. I am spending my days teaching the next generation what it means to be good. I am teaching them about freedom, government, history, God, math, cooking, serving, patience, and family.

I am so grateful for this 14-year-old girl. Thankful for her courage to follow her own path. Thankful she chose me as her mother. Thankful she forgives me and gives me another chance. Thankful she was born at what I thought was an inconvenient time. Thankful for her deep, inner knowing and her absolute devotion to what is right. I am humbled to think of the love God has for me to have sent me a child I didn’t know I needed, but He knew I needed. He knew what motherhood would come to mean to me and how it would change my life forever.

Here are some pics of this beautiful girl:

Blessing Day

Blythe's Blessing Day

Blythe and Grandpa Ward

Blythe and Grandpa Ward

Blythe and Grandma Smith

Blythe and Grandma Smith

Blythe taking a bath


Blythe and her papa



Blythe and her mama


Blythe with Andie and Grandma Dorothy

Blythe w/ sunglasses and bandana

Blythe and Marcus at Bear Lake

Blythe and Marcus at Bear Lake

Blythe and Stephen at Bear Lake


Two years old at GRL


Third Birthday at GRL


Crazy dress-up with her first cat, Spike




5th Birthday


Another Birthday party…with Cousin Becca and Aunt Mikelle


Blythe and Andie’s birthday at Bear Lake


Somewhere around the age of six




Baptism…and me at 38 weeks pregnant with Fisher


Eight-years-old with Keziah and Great-Grandma


With Grandpa’s horses


Pioneer Days rodeo…almost nine-years-old


Christmas at nine-and-a-half




Twelve-years-old…beautiful, isn’t she!




Blythe and Andie Tug of War



Isn’t she adorable!

I am so blessed to have her in my life and to have the privilege of being her mother. She has taught me much about love, patience, sacrifice, acceptance, putting people first, doing hard things, and so much more.

Most importantly, she was willing to come as my first child. Willing to let me learn how to mother on her. Willing to teach me the power of motherhood before I knew I was ready to learn that lesson.

Happy Birthday, my girl.

I love you.

Related Posts


  1. Anne

    I adore every one of these pictures! It’s so fun to see them all together; it’s like watching her grow up all over again! Love you guys!

  2. Anne

    I forgot about the first Spike. Isn’t he the free cat that cost you around $500 in vet bills?