Have I mentioned what an incredible daughter I have been given? I wish I had the capacity to explain my love for her, but the words can’t be unlocked from my heart and only the Lord Jesus knows how to pronounce them.
I can try and at least give you a tiny glimpse, though.
I carry around with me what I can only describe as “firsts mourning”. Because I was under anesthesia when she was born, and because it was so sudden and she was in the NICU for a month, I literally missed nearly all of her firsts.
first time she opened her eyes
first time she was dressed in clothing
her umbilical cord falling off
There are more, but I think you get the idea.
To this day, even 16 months later, I still can’t listen to a woman talk about her birth without feeling an incredible sadness and twinge of jealousy. In my head I am truly happy for her, but my heart burns with the pain of never fully understanding what water breaking or contractions feel like. When people ask me why Nola came early, most people don’t understand that I did not go into labor. I went to sleep and woke up unpregnant with no baby in sight. Fortunately, thanks to modern medicine we both made it. And eventually, I did get to meet her. 30 hours after she was born.
I wanted an intervention free birth. So badly. I spent 32 weeks being pregnant lying in bed at night imagining how when I went into labor I would push through the pains the way my body was supposed to and in a rush feel myself let out a warrior’s cry I squeezed my baby out the way God, my God intended.
I wanted to hold my wet and freshly wrinkled baby on my naked chest, sob uncontrollably and count her fingers and toes with my husband while we marveled at our tiny miracle through overwhelmed tears.
But you don’t always get what your heart desires.
Sometimes you just have to take what God gives you. That’s the part of faith and God’s grace no one likes to talk about.
Tonight, nursing Nola to sleep, I started sobbing at all the firsts I didn’t have with her. I apologized to her that she had to come early and just hugged her tight.
She raised herself onto her knees in my lap, smiled at me through the dark, took my face in her hands face and kissed me on the lips.
I may have missed some firsts, but we have many more to make.