Today is December 18. One month ago today, I went into surgery and my beautiful little daughter Nora was born.
She is one month old.
I have changed exactly three diapers. I have dressed her twice. I have never bathed her or fed her a bottle or nursed her. My breast milk was slow to come in and quick to go away, my body too traumatized to produce what she needs. I sleep all night long, every night. Sometimes, a whole day goes by and I’m not well enough to go see her. Some days, the only parent she sees is Daddy. I don’t know that I would recognize her cry because I’ve only heard it once for a brief moment.
She’s been on earth for a month…and I didn’t touch her until she was three days old…and I didn’t see her for a week while I was sick in the hospital.
Being a mom who is recovering from medical trauma, being a mom of an eleven weeks premature baby is different.
But how much I love her is exactly the same.
I see her for an hour most days, but sometimes I’m not well enough and I stay home to rest and recover. An hour a day…so, about 20-25 hours of her whole first month…that’s how much time I’ve spent with my youngest daughter.
It is getting harder and harder to leave her behind when it’s time to go home after our visits. It’s getting harder and harder to not worry and ponder what she’s doing and how is her breathing and how is she feeling all day long when we’re not together.
She is one month old today, but she’s not supposed to be here for seven more weeks.
This has been a hard and beautiful season. Hard because it’s not fun to be unable to live your life like you’re used to. Hard because I need so much help and getting through every day is physically difficult and emotionally rough too. Hard because I have a newborn baby, but I don’t really because she’s in the nicu and I can’t be with her all the time. Hard because sometimes I think this would be easier for everyone if I could do it myself…but I can’t. The process of recovery is taking a long time and I don’t know when I’m going to be back to normal.
It’s beautiful because of the way people have blessed us. We’ve been loaded down with blessings from others. Strangers, friends and family have all banded together and cared for my family, my home, my yard. They’ve been the hands and feet of Jesus, ministering kindness after kindness to us. Nora is loved all over the world, she is covered in the prayers of the saints. People know her and are invested in her and she is cherished.
And this too shall pass.
In another month, we’ll be bringing our baby daughter home. In another month, I should be feeling fine again. In another month, we should be figuring out a new normal.
And until then and even after, I just give thanks. Thanks for my one month old daughter. Thanks for our loved ones. Thanks for the ones who are loving on us. Thanks for the Presence of God that is always with me. Thanks for Life. For my life and Nora’s. Thanks for every single day and every minute that passes by.