I am sitting in the twilight, listening to my husband bounce her and pat her back. Our DD is singing her Christmas carols while watching “Charlie Brown Christmas” and frantically working through her math flashcards. The kitchen sink is piled high, and I know there are two more loads of laundry to fold between nursing sessions and the attempt at our bedtime routine. As I stare through bleary eyes at this computer screen, it still feels surreal that life has changed so much, so quickly.
Lucy Mae arrived on October 29, at 1:40 in the morning, just a minute in time before my own birth. After what felt like a third trimester that went on forever, it was only fitting that my labor and delivery would feel much the same. Pacing the halls of our local hospital…the same place where I was born, gave much time for thinking. In between the contractions of labor, I laughed and cried about the change that was coming. And, once hard labor commenced and the doctor bit her lip while telling me we had a tough posterior delivery coming, there were a few times where I considered reversing course and wishing things back to “the way they used to be.”
And just like that, she was here…and a month has now passed. The sleepless nights and frantic days evaporate like the puddles left from a late July Thundershower. The nights are long, yet when the morning sun rises and lights little Lucy’s room, I can’t help but be transported back to my youth when I greeted the morning in that same room. It helps me hit the refresh button, as we dive head long into another day.
The outpouring of love for Lucy has truly warmed our hearts. Just as the love for our Maggie who has had her own struggles with adjusting to sharing her parents for the first time in 7.5 years. And, the warmth and support given to me as I have often felt like I was starting over with the mom gig, has left me with feelings of gratitude not adequately described in words. As it were, Lucy arrived in the thick of fall harvest season, and DH working hard to balance his work and supporting me on the home front. While the challenges have been great, never have I felt more close to him in the 15 years we have been together.
I labored and delivered with nurses at my side who I have known for years, and am even related to. It may feel odd to some, that I could be so comfortable with such familiarity, but I felt nothing but peace and thankfulness. Many of them know how hard this journey to motherhood has been for me, and I appreciated the extra care I received. When they generously took Lucy to the nursery for a few hours so that I could rest, I later learned how they lined up to rock the three precious babies who had come on that same day. It was a picture of love that can’t be found in just any setting.
After we had been home, my very talented sister stepped forward to document Lucy’s birth and capture images that would forever commemorate the newness of life, and the love between her, Maggie and myself. I was extremely self-conscious about participating, but I put full faith in my sister and trusted that I would be grateful for the portraits I knew she would create. And, I am forever indebted to her. I will shamelessly plug Katrina Gotschall’s work at KatrinaLeePhotography, until the end of time.
And now, Christmas is just a few short weeks away, and the year 2015 will end. Back in January, I pledged to stride to the finish line of my weight loss and health challenge. Then, God moved my finish line. As the PP recovery and my new reality are taking shape, I don’t know when I will reach that finish line. Even so, the prize I received along the way will hold me over until the time to get back on track comes along.
I still shake my head in wonder of the year that I have had. Before Lucy was safely in my arms, I even questioned whether it was all real or would come to pass. At the end of the day, as I look down at her in wonder, I can’t help but weep and give thanks to God for seeing me through this miraculous journey that only He can explain. And one day, I will ask Him to do just that. For now, I will just thank Him in my prayers, give the credit to Him, and offer hope to those who have struggled as I have. After all, it is the season of miracles, and I believe in them. I hope you do too.