Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Ever-Elusive Route to Family…

We really did have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. And, I think I had a decent excuse for not posting for the last 2 weeks - I finally really went into labor on the 18th.

Clearly, this is between contractions... lol
But, really - an exciting moment!

It is now December 1st, meaning that I had a baby last month.  Okay, our blessing was born on November 19, and she is now 12 days old.  Almost exactly, at the time of this post.  She was born at 12:53 pm.  And in a way that I had honestly come to think would never happen – from me. 

She's perfect... Aw.

She is the perfect combination of my husband and I.  Taylor (the hubs) says that she got the best parts of each of us.  I don’t know if that’s true, but our features mixed together on her little body do seem quite perfect.  And she can do things that I never imagined a newborn can do.  She can smile and coo (okay, so I knew they could do that; although I thought it was always just gas – she does it in response to our voices), she can copy our expressions (including sticking her tongue out – so funny!), and she can make me want to laugh and cry and sing all at the same time.

And then there were 3... :)

I’ve come to the conclusion that many people take their children for granted.  For some, it was as easy as granted, and still others - easier! - little accidents turned surprises.  (You know the difference between an accident and a surprise?  An accident is something that you would change if you had it to do over again.  Therefore, all "accidents" should be viewed as amazing surprises!)  I know that there are many people who say that once you have your child, you can’t imagine your life without them.  For me, I just feel like she’s been here for a lot longer than she has (at the same time as hardly being able to believe that she is already almost 2 weeks old!).  For me though, it’s not about imagining my life without her.  I did that.  I went through a time where I had to imagine a life without her – a life in which my husband and I could not ever have the joy that comes from having a beautiful child to call our own.  So for me, it’s not so much that feeling of not being able to imagine life without them as it is that I could never have imagined how much bigger my heart feels, how much fuller my life is – just because she is in it.

Sprinkled with rose petals from one of the
roses her daddy gave me.

People who have never had to experience the torture of infertility may not understand where I am coming from.  I’ve kind of thought about it as an analogy:  you hear about all these people going to Australia.  You hear it’s an awesome place to go and visit.  You listen in awe at the stories people share of their trials and triumphs once they get to Australia.  You hear people talk about how easy it is to get there.  Some people simply say they plan to visit and bam!  They’re there.  Like there’s some secret back door from where we are that magically opens for some people to get there.  They don’t have to spend any time or money getting there (of course, once you’re there, no matter how you got there – there are expenses, but I’m talking about getting there).   These people have no idea how difficult the journey can be for others.  I don’t begrudge them the happiness they get, but I won’t lie and say it doesn’t encourage a twinge of jealousy and sometimes even, heartbreak for those who can't find that easy passage.

Anyway, next there are those who have to work a little harder – those that have to plan and schedule and buy plane tickets and arrange and re-arrange flights and connectors.  For these, it is a bit more frustrating.  It takes a little more time.  It takes a little more expense.  But, they get there.  And because it is a different trek, these are the people who experience the trip quite differently than the previous crowd.  (For example, these people may go through a round of infertility or may choose adoption.)  But still, they get to Australia and get there without too many interruptions or heartaches. 

Then, there’s a third group of people - people like us, I think.  And maybe I’m being a tad melodramatic, but it’s my blog, and therefore my prerogative.  But, the final group (that actually make it to Australia) are those that travel by boat.  This is a long, hard journey.  It has dips, twists, and turns.  Sometimes, you even have to go back and start over at the beginning.  (Adoptions fall through, foster children go back to birth parents, infertility treatments that appear to succeed result in miscarriages, etc.)  Those that have experienced these things – they are the ones who know my journey.  But alas, as I look into the eyes of my newborn baby girl… who already has the most awesome unconditional love, both from me and for me… I know – I have made it to Australia.

I'm sure that I am still an over-emotional wreck from my recent delivery (and my lack of sleep, of course), but I know that my husband and I are lucky, and we couldn’t love her more if this love bursting from us were on purpose.  But, you can’t control it.  It’s almost as if you didn’t even know that the place they fill in your heart existed.  I think I got a glimpse of it during pregnancy.  Well, looking back, I know I did – I loved her before I met her.  But I didn’t know how deep that place in my heart ran… not until the first moment that they held her up over the sheet, and I got to lay my unworthy eyes on her.

She... is our miracle.

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