Sunday, May 11, 2014

First Mother's Day

I used to dread Mother's Day. It was just one more day for me to feel left out of the motherhood club. Emotionally raw, I would see picturesque families stroll into church in their matching outfits, mothers staring longingly at their adorably chubby, smiling infants. On Mother's Day, children seem to multiply. They are everywhere. And they are all behaving. They smell great too. Rainbows and butterflies swarm mini-vans full of families driven by smiling, content parents. Pregnant bellies appear around every corner.... Needless to say, Mother's Day for an infertile woman is R.O.U.G.H.

So what about this year? On this, my very first Mother's Day as a momma, I felt myself torn between wanting to squeeze Gabe and soak up his sweetness every two seconds, and wanting to cry just thinking about how painful some past Mother's Days have been.

I think infertility is an experience that never really leaves you. It's like a death, kind of. It's a time period when you've been emotionally devastated month after month, year after year.... You can't just forget that. Even with a perfect baby, you don't forget it.

Tonight Gabe woke up after only twenty minutes of sleep, a rare occurrence. Usually, he goes to bed for the night, down for the count until morning.

I went upstairs, picked him up, and took a seat in the rocking chair, the same chair that I sat in last Mother's Day, with my pregnant belly. The same chair that I sat in in an empty nursery only a year ago, a room that I previously never entered because I was too emotionally unstable to do it.

As I began to hum quietly, he stopped crying and laid his head on my chest. His eyes were open and he just snuggled against me, rocking back and forth. Normally, he falls to sleep quickly. Tonight he just laid there, wanting to cuddle, humming back to me as I sang to him. It was almost like he wanted to give me a Mother's Day present, Gabe-style.

The feeling of your son, actually hugging you back, holding on to you is one that I can't quite describe, kind of like how I can't quite describe my feelings on this, my first Mother's Day.

For those couples still on the journey to parenthood, know you're not forgotten, not by me, but more importantly not by God. His plans are a mystery to us, but you know what? His plans are always better, always right.

Had we been given Gabe from the start, had we not gone through disappointment, pain and struggle, we would not fully appreciate the tremendous gift and opportunity given to us in Gabe.

So how was my Mother's Day? It was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions, but even more, it was a day when I more fully understood God's grace, and that friends, is a good day.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Things I don't want to forget

He's almost nine months old. I feel like I already forget what it was like to hold and nurse a newborn baby, and I just had one nine months ago. Seeing Gabe now (he is huge, as in, almost 28 pounds), I see some toddler on its way. Today, before the last of my baby's baby-ness leaves, I need to write down a few characteristics I never want to forget:

  • He smells like new diapers, sweet milk, and Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo. That combo could melt anyone's heart for life.  (His diapers however, sometimes smell bad. Like really bad. Sometimes I dry heave. Not kidding.)
  • When he wakes up from sleep, I savor opening his nursery door-- His smile when he sees me takes up his entire face. I could live on his big mouth smiles forever. Then, when I pick him up from the crib, he squeezes his chubby arms around me and cuddles into my neck. Absolute perfection.
  • When he nurses before bed, he rubs his little fingers up and down my arm/back. 
  • The amount of chub on his thighs and arms causes me to laugh and cry at the same time.
  • I love that he loves my voice, my songs. 
  • Dimples on baby hands should never become extinct. I find myself sucking on his chubby dimpled hands because I just can't help myself.

Theses are only a few things I never want to forget.... What a gift you are, sweet Gabe!