Motherhood is not for wimps. My friend wrote this on a card she sent to me days after my first son was born. At the time, I was in the middle of the first few haggard days of very little sleep, trying desperately to get the hang of breastfeeding, and choking down my panic at what I had gotten myself into by having a child. So that quote definitely resonated with me then, and it still makes me smile and feel proud to be called a "mother"...to be a part of this gritty group who have had their lives forever changed by having children.
But I certainly don't think I deserve a gold medal just because I gave birth, or for the sacrifices I have made as a mother. It's just a part of life. I chose this life for myself the moment DH and I decided to try for a baby. And while I never could have imagined back then the way our lives would change, and the tough times ahead of us, I also never could have imagined the amount of joy motherhood has brought me.