My life is so full of beautiful things.
Recovery has been hard and it has been slow but we move forward a little further every day.
I’ve told the story, at least what I can remember, time and time again and I feel healing in every retelling. I’ve heard others’ pieces of the story and I feel healing in every tear shed and in every hug and in every prayer. Healing when I hear my husband say how he is grateful. Healing when I spend time with my sister, when we laugh because of little annoyances that mean NOTHING now. Healing when I see my kids, when they laugh and run wild and when the chaos swirls around me. Healing in fellowship with family and friends and Jesus. Healing when I get so tired that all I can do is open up iTunes and close my eyes.
Physical healing goes a little slower, but that’s okay. We are ten days out and tomorrow, I would have been thirty one weeks pregnant. Instead, I have a ten day old daughter who amazes me with her strength.
I am so grateful and my list is long, long, long. But I want to share one thing today.
I have prayed, as you know for this pregnancy and this small daughter since day one. I have prayed for her to be healthy and whole, I have prayed for her to have a sound mind and body, I have prayed for her to be born safely. I have even prayed that she would be a Daddy’s Girl!
But in my deepest heart…I have prayed one more thing. Of my first five children, only one had what could be called a “headful” of hair. It was Aubrey and she is almost eighteen now…so it’s been a long time. I have loved my bald and baldish babies passionately…but it was fun having a baby with lots of hair.
So, I prayed that silly prayer and I asked the Giver of All Good Gifts if this one last baby could have lots of hair.
Now, after everything that happened, obviously I did not care one bit if she had hair or not. It didn’t matter. When my eyes finally opened and the sedation haze began to clear on Monday afternoon…I wanted to know about Nora. Was she alive? Was she doing okay? What did the doctors say? I couldn’t speak, I had a tube down my throat and I was on a lot of medication…but with my eyes and by mouthing the word “baby”, John began to understand that I needed to know how our baby was.
He showed me this picture and he told me that she was quite well and doing even better than anyone could have expected.
Tiny, 2lb. 14oz. But she was okay. And as I tried to hold my eyes open and swim up to the surface, pull myself up through the swampy, sleepy sedation…I held that picture in my heart and I asked to see it again and again.
Pictures were all I had those first few days. I wasn’t well enough to go and see her, so pictures are what I relied on.
Finally, on day three, I was taken in to meet my sweet, sweet daughter for the very first time. So strange…she’d been in the world for three days and in my womb for 29 weeks, 3 days. But I had never seen her face in person.
The first few times I went to see her, I was overcome with love and even tears because she and I had lived through so much together. My heart swelled huge and there was healing in looking down on that sweet face, on kissing her tiny forehead, on stroking her soft hair with one finger…Healing in being together.
One visit, she was having her feed and I sat there beside her isolette in my wheelchair, battle worn, bruised and weary. During feeds, preemie babies have to remain still. So, I couldn’t hold her, only gaze at her and that was enough. It’s just what I did. I sat and I just stared at her, at the back of her head that faced my side of the isolette. I thought about God and His Good Gifts and I really saw my tiny little daughter.
Her hair. Just like Aubrey’s…we’d said it one hundred times since she’d been born. A headful…even at just 29 weeks. I stared at the back of that tiny head and I thanked God for her again…thanksgiving that keeps on coming because her presence in our lives is so significant…so indescribable. I swear I heard Him say, “Her hair, just like Aubrey’s…for you.”
So, here’s that little head and just know that all that hair is just a little gift to me from God. He brought me through surgery, he saved me when His people cried out on my behalf, He rescued me and He rescued Nora.
And then He just gave me this little gift…that only He and I knew I wanted and it might seem silly but it moves my heart. God hears.
He knew it would be hard. He knew there would be pain and tears and hard work. He knew that Nora and I were going to be fighting a big fight. He has come through in so many big ways since November 19. He has continued to come through every day since and He can be trusted to stand with us in the weeks to come. And He gave me this little gift to remind me that He treasures my heart. That He knows my innermost self and loves me bigger than I love Nora.
Just a little gift to remind me that He is in the details and His Hands are all in this.
My soul sings…because I am beloved of God. And He is good. And those things would’ve been true even if I hadn’t made it through…even if Nora hadn’t made it through. But we did. We are here and God is good. We are here and we are Loved. We are here because Creator God rescued us when His people came together and prayed.