Eleven days ago, my life got sweeter.
Babies change everything. Having babies changes us, our lives, our other kids, our hearts. Eleven days ago I was so tired and physically spent. I struggled for the last few weeks of pregnancy to be optimistic. All I wanted was to eat ice, crawl out of my own skin, and sleep. Pregnancy is hard enough; pregnancy the fourth time felt like a slow battle. Lots of waiting, discomfort, pain, and wondering if my 27 year old body was actually falling apart.
So the day came. One day before my due date. I had been walking around for nearly three weeks at four centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. I walked into my doctors appointment not optimistic and certain I would be pregnant for another five days. I also didn’t want to give birth. I was scared, and the vivid memories of giving birth in the past (all great, uncomplicated, unmedicated births) just plagued me. I spent a lot of time praying through the fear of the pain I remembered far too well.
Fast forward to twelve hours later, I was pacing back and forth in a hospital room, waiting for my midwife to arrive to break my water.
Roselyn Jayne was born at 1:12 AM on November 9, my only child born on their due date. I remember looking at the clock in between contractions trying to predict what time it would all be over. When she finally arrived and the weight of her rested on my chest, I couldn’t believe it. She was real. Not that I didn’t believe in the clear evidence that I was pregnant; it was that somehow I got this gift. We received a baby girl, and I didn’t believe it until that moment.
And now it’s eleven days later. I just said this morning how silly it is that time is cruel and slow when you’re pregnant but quickly speeds up once the baby arrives. She poops and sleeps and eats, and even when I’m so tired in the middle of the night, I still can’t get over her. I stare at her frequently and ask God, “This is still real?”
I don’t think that having a girl has been the best thing to ever happen to us. I think the best thing has been the awakening to God’s kindness to us, specifically me, on this day and in the last nine months. It is hard adding to our already big family. It is a learning curve for each of us. But His kindness in this has been how He so intricately designed even the tiny details of my life. The epitome of His kindness is in how faithful He is, has been, and continues to be in every way our life sways.
Six years ago I had my first baby boy, and I remember how new and unchartered the waters were. God has changed me, grown me, and shifted me. It is all difficult. The seasons of motherhood change and move like waves, but He has always been kind. In these eleven days, I see it even more in the faces of my children.
Slowly we continue on. We adapt to the newness of a baby girl, and we get the great honor of bringing her with us, calling her part of our tribe, and introducing her to all of the loud, funny, and faith-filled quirks in our family. She is so dearly loved that I’m certain she’ll be one sassy, confident girl like her mom, her grandmas, and the multitude of women who surround us.
Rosie, this world is ripe for you to walk in it. Praying for you was surreal for nine months, but praying for you now is straightforward: there’s people who will be changed by you. I have been changed by you. Soon enough, I know I will have taught you as much as I could, and you’ll be teaching me.