Today is a very special day. You see, it has a lot of meaning for our family. There are several important birthdays to celebrate. Birthdays of those still here with us and a couple that are with Jesus. Either way,…..it is a date that has tremendous meaning to a beautiful family that I love so dearly and am so thankful to be a part of. My heart breaks for them….but at the same time is so joyous that we are so faithful and rest easy tonight know exactly Who is rocking a sweet baby girl and playing golf and laughing with a cut-up competitor.
Truly bitter sweet.
For me, this date marks a very important day as well. A year ago today, on April 20th. I became a “parent“. No……this is not the girls birthday……that was exactly 44 days ago on March 7th.
Let me explain…. For me (and I would assume most other women), the moment that I found out that I was pregnant I became a MOTHER. Putting their needs, comfort, happiness and health before my own, sacrificing my body (a big sacrifice sometimes…especially when carrying two little bundles) and finding myself shopping for them much more often than myself. Becoming a “parent” on the other hand, usually happens when your child is born….you know…all of the sudden, you are 100% responsible for a child that solely depends on you for everything. Corey and I did not experience it quite this way. When we had the girls they were immediately swept away to the NICU…finally about 1 1/2 days later, I was finally able to even to see them, that was it. Look at them. Now,… I understand the reasons and know that this was exactly what our girls needed, but we were not parents. We were simply visitors.
Over the next 44 days we were able to visit during certain hours, eventually hold the girls once….then twice a day, only for about 30 minutes while they were tube feed. We changed a few diapers, took temperatures, helped with a few baths….all under a close-by nurses supervision. They didn’t really feel like they were our babies, let alone our responsibility. I know this all sounds DEBBIE DOWNER….I don’t mean it that way. It was completely necessary and we overall had a wonderful experience in the hospital. It is simply the facts.
I remember holding the girls while they were being tube fed, the nurse would leave for the 30 minutes or so it took, it was so relieving…being able to snuggle your baby without worrying if that would be “OK” to do. Corey and I would turn the timer off the second it started going off just so that the nurse wouldn’t hear it and come in to put the girls back in their incubators. We literally savored every second we could.
April 19th, we had to stay the night at the hospital in a room across from the NICU with the girls. We were told that this was just in order for us to make sure that we felt comfortable taking them home. I have taken care of a lot of children in my lifetime….babysitting was my main source of income from about age 13-20 or so. I am extremely comfortable and confident taking care of babies. But this was different. We felt like we were being tested….”Can they really do it? Are they ready to take on the responsibility?” It was crazy! And exciting….we knew that we were close to bringing the girls home. We must have passed the test because…..
The next day, April 20th, we drove away from the hospital with our babies in the back. We were going home…together. It was definitely a day…a moment to remember. I recall looking back at the hospital and for the first time not feeling the heartache of leaving them behind. As we pulled up to our home, I felt a little overcome with emotions….but the one that stood out the most was excitement. I was so excited to show them their room, let them meet little Paisley Pup, see their grandparents, who were all there to welcome them home(with the cutest sign and balloons outside,) hold them. Not having to scrub in and wear a hospital gown every time was exciting in itself! I couldn’t wait to show them off. At 44 days old, only 6 people other that Corey and I had ever seen them in person…I was delighted to have our precious friends stop by and see these still so tiny little babes.
That was the day that I became a parent.
They were our responsibility, our babies. We could hold them whenever we wanted, kiss their little faces. They were ours…to love, cherish, adore, spoil, discipline, feed, change, rock and admire….anytime we wanted. WOW….so this is what it feels like….a mother,…a parent. Pretty AWESOME!
Sometimes, I wish that it could have been different. That we could have had a “normal” if there even is such a thing, delivery. Got to see and hold the girls right away. Take them home a few days later to start our new life. That’s not how it worked out, those 44 days were LONG, TOUGH, HARD….but I’ll tell you this, It may not have been the way I planned it,…the way I had hoped it would be. But seeing those two sweet, healthy faces every morning….waiting for me, I realize that it was well worth the wait and far more precious to be a parent that I could have every expected.
Oh for us to see the finished work of art that our Lord is working on…it would all make sense. But we must wait….trust and have faith that it is sometimes very LONG, TOUGH, AND HARD,…..it is not always as we hope and plan, but it is always well worth the wait and far, far more than we could possible imagine.
I pray for hope and healing for my family and for us to always remember He never said it would be easy, He only says we’ll never go alone.