Sunday, November 9, 2014

Rejoicing Again

Today I held a precious new gift. It had thick, black hair. It made squeaks and it wiggled in my hands, beneath the depths of its warm swaddle.

My sweet, dear friend was blessed to introduce her new baby girl into the world in the early morning hours, during the full moon. I was beyond excited for them and was able to go visit them in the hospital and meet this stunning new creation.

I held her in my arms. I realized that I asked her daddy to put her in my left arm, simply out of habit. You see, when I hold Chloe, this makes my right hand free to help suction, to adjust the vent tubing, to move cords more easily. I didn't think about the fact, as he gently passed his new bundle of soft pink to me, that it didn't matter how I was holding her because this time there weren't tubes in the way.

I've only held two babies since having Chloe. I've guarded myself. I've put up walls that haven't been ready to come down.

But slowly, the Lord is removing the bricks I've so intricately built up around my heart when it comes to this topic...

...of babies...
...of new life...
...of friends being pregnant...
...of hearing about due dates and births and genders...

I've struggled, and I confess, I've sinned. I've been jealous. I've felt envy. I've been sad knowing they're having these incredible pregnancies, happy sonograms, and holding perfect 8lb babies. We've known so, so many friends to be pregnant with us when we were pregnant with Chloe. Friends who found out about their pregnancy while I was carrying Chloe and preparing to deliver her. Friends who've had their babies since Chloe was born. I've watched ultrasound pictures get posted online. Watched gender reveal parties. Read birth announcements. Seen first images of newborns, fresh from the womb.

And sometimes I cried. And sometimes I rejoiced.

It's been hard walking this road. This road of the bittersweet. My friends have done nothing wrong, and nothing to wrong me. They've been amazing. They've loved on us, prayed for us, baked for us, they've blessed us beyond our comprehension. And yet I've struggled with why it's bothered me so much when I hear of the latest prenancy...  I think it's because, although I get really sick with pregnancies, I've enjoyed being pregnant and soaked up each moment of it, even while cursing the last meal that just came back up. But with Chloe...I lived every single day wondering if it would be her last? How would I know? What if I didn't feel her? We missed out on the happy sonograms, getting a sneak peek at our growing child. It took a lot of the joy out of carrying her, and that's my own fault for not trusting the Lord to grow her fearfully and wonderfully.

But each day, and each new baby, and I say this because they're everywhere, all around us right now, each day has gotten somehow better. Not necessarily easier,...just...sweeter. I must be honest and say that walking into that hospital, where I delivered my two older children, and where I should have had an amazing delivery with Chloe, that I could feel my heart race a bit being back there, knowing that I didn't have that amazing 'normal' birth experience. But I'm learning that I have amazing friends, who have been so patient with me, and I know love our family so, so much. And I'm learning from them that they'll be there for us. In so many ways. And one of them said at one point that they're so excited that Chloe is joining our circle of friends and kiddos and playmates because their children will get to experience the precious gift that Chloe is, and that Chloe will teach them so, so much. While I've been sitting here pouting that I can't have 'normal' playdates or that Chloe won't be anywhere near the 'normal' milestones, my friends have been reminding me that they love her no less. That if anything, they love her more than I could ever imagine a friend to love another's child.

And I am blessed.

There are days that are hard. Days seeing other babies who were born around Chloe's age because I see what a healthy five or six month babies look like, sounds like, moves like. But I also find myself rejoicing that their babies are healthy and thriving. I'm learning, one day at a time, how to take down one brick at a time of that wall that I've built up, and allow myself to love others more and to be thankful they're in our lives and that these will be the friends our littles, including Chloe, grow up with.

One layer at a time am I allowing God to remove the bitter, and replace it with more of the sweet.

So today, I got a text from my friend saying that her daughter was here, and that, "She can't wait to meet you and her new baby buddy Chloe :)." 

And we sat there, me in the rocking chair, and my friend delicately in her hospital bed, as I held her amazing new gift from the Lord, and we talked of childbirth and exchanged stories. Of how our hearts are to love more than one little being, and if we're loving one more than another and how that's not even possible, and yet as mommies of more than one child, we actually spend some sleepless nights wondering if we're doing a good enough job loving them each the same. We talked of homeschooling and public schooling. We talked of nursery decor and cricut cutters and making homemade ornaments for our Christmas trees this year. And I held her sweet, dark haired daughter the entire time. And it felt so, so good. And it was such an amazing moment for me, to know and truly feel that my heart is growing in love for each child because every. single. life. is. precious. And it was peaceful, knowing that Jesus is tearing down that wall I've built...and allowing such love back in.

I love that Chloe will be surrounded by so many amazing and godly women who care for me, and for her. I love that Chloe will have so many friends who will love her, and who she will teach about life and love and beauty and the Lord. I love that although society sometimes excludes such amazing children like Chloe, that our friends will love her as their own. I'm excited about playdates again. I'm excited to teach my friends' kids about Chloe. I'm excited for this next new chapter, now that we're home. I'm thankful to my friends, who have been so incredibly patient with me and forgiving towards me for not knowing what to say or how to act simply because they were holding their newborns while mine was still in the NICU. Seriously, thank you to each of you who have been so patient in loving me through this hard time. Please forgive me for the silences when my heart just wasn't ready to rejoice, for the tears, for the awkward moments when I knew you had new news to share, and instead you watched me fight back tears instead of sharing in your joy. Thank you for your patience and love towards me. 

I'm thankful that He's changed and molded my heart in a far different way than I would have done on my own. He's taken the bitter within me, and He's made it sweet. He's taken the sad, and made it joyful. He's taken the hard, and He's softened me. He's taken the jealousy and envy, and replaced it with overflowing love.


Post a Comment