Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's Been....

It's been one week since baby girl was born.  A lot can happen in a week.  Ups and downs.  Ups and downs.  My new motto has become "it's been 1 day" or you know, however many days it's been.  It's gotten me through a lot over the past 7 days.  I presume it'll be the same for the weeks ahead.

It kind of began the opposite way around.  As a countdown.  Only 10 more days!  5 more days and we couldn't be happier!  ONE.

And then came the day.  I was inwardly a nervous wreck.  I didn't hardly sleep at all.  We went to bed at 12:45 that morning and I slept from 1:00 - 2:15.  After laying in bed, restless, anxious, fearful, and excited, I got up at 3:40 and began getting ready for the hospital.

Only a few more hours and she'll be here.  Hang in there.

The anxiety grew as the time approached to leave for the hospital.  And as we got there, I thought I might throw up.

Only a few more steps, Phoebe.  One foot in front of the other.

And there we were, checked in and getting prepped for baby girl to make her arrival.  Satan is good at finding our weak spots and using them against us.  Even amidst all the excitement (and there was a lot), I was fearful.

What if something happens?  Why can't they find her heartbeat?  What if something is wrong with her.  Why am I sitting in this holding room answering the same questions 6 different times to 6 different people?  Father, I'm so scared.

And there it came.  His still small voice, saying:

I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.  II Tim. 1:7

And thus I began saying this to myself over, and over, and over.  And then there we were.  In the operating room, prepped and ready, and Mark walked in.  I always love that moment because Im always waiting and looking for him.  And he's always so handsome as he walks in in his scrubs with a big smile on his face.  He sat beside me and asked "How are you doing?"  I said "Ok" and he said "You look like you're doing a lot better than before."

And my heart smiled a little at how powerful Scripture is in the lives of those willing to use it.

It's an odd feeling going through surgery being awake and knowing that within a few minutes you're about to go from a mom of 4 (2 living, 2 in Heaven) to a mom of 5.  It's exciting.  It's scary.  It's a blessing.

And as they tugged and pulled to get her out and she cried her first cry, tears streamed down my face because of His faithfulness.  I could hear Mark talking to her, cutting her umbilical cord, and all the staff talking about her thick head of hair and guessing at how much she would weigh in.  But her cry.  Her precious, glorious cry.  It was powerful.  It was loud.  It was healthy.  And as Mark helped get her cleaned up and walked her over to me, my heart rejoiced at seeing her sweet face, at knowing her crying stopped as Mark talked to her and brought her to me, and all I wanted to do was touch my sweet girl.  And what do you know?  For the first time in 3 c-sections, they unstrapped my arms and let me touch her.

He's faithful.

And so it began.

It's only been minutes and I'm so in love with her.

I want to see her.  When can I leave recovery?

It's only been 30 minutes, Phoebe.

Ok.  I'll be more patient.

And as the time went by, that's how life has become for me.

The pain doesn't seem that bad.

It's only been 3 hours and you're on morphine.  Don't get too excited.

Oh my goodness.  The pain is horrible.

It's only been 6 hours.  It'll get better.  Give it time.

She seems to sleep a lot more than she should.

She was just born and she has a touch of jaundice.  She'll be more alert soon.

Anna and Eli seem to be doing really well adjusting.

They're going to have their moments.  Don't assume it's all going to be cheer-i-o.

My sister is going back home after being with us for 4 days, helping out with Anna and Eli, with stuff around the house.  How are we ever going to make it?  I just want to cry.

It's okay, Phoebe.  It's been 4 days.  You'll get the hang of it.

Anna thinks I love Emilee more and don't have time for her anymore.  Eli refuses to talk to me after returning from staying the night with friends and announces he doesn't want to hold the "dumb mean baby anymore".  And my heart breaks at all the failures and trials that lay ahead, at the task of being a mom to 3 and not just the 2 that were basically raised as twins with all of my attention.

It's been 4 days.  Everyone is adjusting.  Give them time.

Nothing fits.  I still look 5 months pregnant.  These pants show my belly rolls.  And so I'll have a meltdown and cry in the bathroom because of trying to find something to wear to Emilee's first doctor's visit.  And so it came.

It's been 5 days.  Give it time.  It took 9 months to gain it, you won't lose it in 5 days.  Give yourself a break.

I feel overwhelmed and inadequate to be the mom of these 3 kiddos.  And Satan creeps in reminding me of my 'failures' - of my inability to do for my family as I would like because of recovering from surgery.  And that present inability seems like it will be permanent even though I know it won't.  I've been down this road before.  I know better.  Yet the emotions come and I find myself crying on the couch, feeling overwhelmed at the task before me.

It's only been 5 days.  5 days.  5 days.

And as I ventured out to run a few errands with the family, I found myself frustrated at how tired and sore I still am.  Embarrassed at Eli loudly asking me in the middle of Kroger if "your boobs have milk yet".  And for the record, no they don't.  And yes, I feel like a failure for something out of my control.  At Emilee screaming at the top of her lungs in the van, at my inability to climb back there to help, at Anna trying to calm her down, and at Eli covering his ears, rocking and humming because it upset him.  At going to Open House for Anna and Eli and forgetting important papers for Eli's teacher.  At people asking how many weeks old Emilee is and me having to correct them with 6 days.  I'm hormonal and everything is out of whack.  And so the emotions came and I cried over dinner.

It's been 6 days.  Only 6 days.  It gets better and easier.  Hang in there.

I worry every time I put her to bed at night if and when she'll wake up.  I worry that the 2 am feeding might be the last.  That the kisses and snuggles I give her as I lay her back down may be my last with her.  And I cry out to God begging Him to take the fear away.  And He always responds:

I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. II Tim. 1:7

And He hasn't.  I know this is from Satan.  And perhaps it's hard for some of you to understand the level of fear for us moms who've lost babies before.  All I can say is that it's real and it's hard to relinquish because I've waited so long to have her in our arms, just as I anticipated with #3 and #4 and it never came.  I've watched my friends bury their babies, worked with others who grieve the loss of their babies, and have experienced a similar loss twice over.  It's real.

But it's also from Satan.

And so it's been 6 days and I still worry.  It's been 6 days and I'm fighting back and letting go.

I woke up this morning to realize that baby girl is already a week old and wondered where the time has gone.  And in that thought came the realization that I've spent a week worrying instead of living and loving to the fullest.

It's been7 days and piece by piece, I'm letting it go.

I'm laughing at Eli's crush on a young lady from church.  I'm laughing at how excited he got when her and her husband brought us dinner tonight.  I'm getting excited that I did the dishes today and cooked lunch (including shucking corn) and managed to do a load of laundry as well.

It's been 7 days and I'm feeling better.  I'm resting in His goodness and provision.

I'm holding our sweet Emilee more and worrying less about her being spoiled.  I'm soaking up her sweet baby smell and Jack Nicholson hair, her hiccups and whimpers and the longest baby toes ever.

It's been 7 days and God has been and always will be faithful.

It's getting a good report at the doctor and seeing the scale drop 20 lbs from this time last week.  Only 6 more to go to pre-pregnancy weight, although everything is shifted and not at all like before, but alas, it's progress.

It's been 7 days and there's light around the corner.

I'm soaking up sweet Anna snuggles and kisses.  Enjoying how she loves being a big sister and wants to do everything possible to help out.  I'm basking in how Eli loves giving Emilee kisses and has nicknamed her "Kitty".

It's been 7 days and things are kinda normal.

It's been 7 days.  7 days of His faithfulness and provision.  7 days of Him revealing His goodness.   7 days of Him carrying me through the many ups and downs.

It's been 7 days.  7 hard days.  7 gloriously wonderful days.  7 days as a family of 5.

7 days of faithfulness and healing.

It's been 7 days and I'm so in love.

I'm smitten with her.  Smitten with Anna and Eli.  Smitten at God's provision through losing #3 and #4.  Madly in love, smitten with my husband who has handled everything like a champ.

It's been 7 days.

But He's always been faithful.

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