Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell 2012, Hello 2013

its amazing the difference a year can make

I had grand visions and plans of writing one of those deeply reflective and emotionally stirring posts that real bloggers always seem to write on/around New Years... instead, I am pecking this out on my iPhone, from a sick bed. Jared and I have been down and out for the past 48 hours... He still isn't convinced it isn't some life threatening disease. I have no such concerns, but am equally miserable.

Today I tweeted:
There should be a law of nature that both parents can never be sick at the same time... Unless you deserve a special level of hell.
To make matters worse, we got sick while out of town visiting my family and friends... and had to travel back home sick as dogs. So of course, I had to let the social media world know of my miseries:
Being sick is never fun... Traveling sick is miserable... Being sick as a mom, brings being sick to a whole new level!! #whydidileavemymom
So, no this post isn't going to be well thought out and pristinely written, with deep insights and spiritual inspirations... just a sick mom's musings.

2012 saw me become a mom, and my husband become a dad.


As odd as it may sound, it wasn't earth shattering, and I didn't feel the earth shift on its axis, like many people tell it, when speaking of becoming parents. For me, it was like Ellie Faith as always been a part of our life, and I couldn't remember what it was like without her. I would describe it as complete. Now I will say the experience of becoming a parent was slightly different for Jared.

Bear with me moms/parents who are wanting to throw something through their computer screen...

I believe this was the case for several reasons. Our experience with infertility, and my subsequent high risk pregnancy and bed rest left us just so incredibly grateful to not only have a baby, but a healthy baby.

She also happened to be one of the easiest babies ever! Put herself on an every three hour feeding schedule from birth, and was sleeping 8+ hours a night by week 7. Not your typical newborn experience.

I also think the fact that for years I had taken care of 2-3 babies at a time, status post open heart surgery or transplant made another difference. One healthy baby is (can be) a piece of cake.

Jared and I often looked at each other and say,"are we really parents? Is this precious kid really ours to keep?"

Well, that whole "holy crap we really are parents!" feeling has started to sink in for us in the past 6 weeks or so.

Why just now? Well, Ellie Faith, our sweet, precious, easy going girl has discovered her own (very strong) opinions and self will. So basically, for the first time we are really consistently/routinely pushed outside our comfort zone and tested by our daughter.

I am not surprised by this, and was in fact, expecting it.

I am a baby lover. I can hold even a strangers baby for hours. If I am anything like my mom, I will be loving babies just as much when my own grandbabies are being born.

I am also extremely independent, strong willed, and structured. Babies, are easy (or Ellie was for me) to fit into your life, and your schedule. Toddlers... not so much. We are starting to get our first taste of what it means for our lives to be way more influenced by Ellie Faith's emotions of the moment.

I have a feeling I will fall into the minority of moms who love the first 10 months with their baby, and endure (with lots of love) years 1-3!

And for all you "experienced" parents out there laughing that I think years 1-3 will be bad, and just wait for ages 10-22... I am as well aware as I can be from my point in my journey of parenthood of the challenges ahead. However, I am choosing/trying to keep in step with what my mom's wise words:
"Don't Future Trip"
2012, you have a great year  - one of the best to date. You saw us welcome our daughter with eager anticipation, open arms, and hearts bursting with love.

2012 saw us learn to became a family - a daddy, mommy, and baby girl. It also saw us release another baby back into the arms of Jesus.

2013, I think (hope and pray) you will see us become parents.
Here is a quick preview of our first Christmas as a family  of three!

And because my life isn't miserable enough right now... my blogger app erased this post just as I was publishing... so I ended up slamming out an even more choppy, short, and segmented post then planned  ... on the computer.

Happy New Year everyone! 

.... I need IV advil and tylenol stat!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas with Jesus

My precious little baby, I wanted you know that mommy is doing ok... better than ok... mommy is moving on with Jesus.

Your memory will be with me forever. Always a stamped impression on my heart and life story.

I got a little scared at first when memories of your short life started to not hurt as much. Was I forgetting you? Was I beginning to stop loving you?

Now that I have moved/am moving to the other side of the pain, I realize neither option will ever be true for me (us).

I felt a physical change in my heart and emotions when I read a quote on good ol' pinterest:
Because someone we love is in Heaven, we have a little bit of Heaven in our Heart/Home.
It may sound simple or even corny to some, but it resonated so deeply with me! My sweet baby, who I will never get to hold here on earth, you have brought a bit of heaven into our home. You have connected me, in a different way, to Jesus.

Thanksgiving was hard for me, for several reasons. I think it was, for now, a final major milestone of grieving. But somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a shift took place inside my heart.

I started to grieve your loss to us less, and rejoice more about you being in the presence of Jesus. Yes, there will always be a gap in my life left by you, but if I choose to, God's glory can be seen in that precious space. His light can shine through your gap. Your absence can be a testimony of God's love to a hurting world around us. If I choose Joy.

I still get sad thinking of you, and that is ok. I don't think Jesus minds that... in fact I think He completely understands. And He grieves with me. Recently, what brings me the most sadness is seeing how obsessed your big sister has become with B.A.B.I.E.S!!! She would have loved having a real life baby doll in our home this spring... but then again, she is very aggressive with her demonstrations of love and adoration, so you could have had a rough go of it at first.

Early on in December, I came across this poem:
My First Christmas in Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below 
With tiny lights like Heaven’s starts, reflecting on the snow.  
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear 
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.  
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear 
But the sounds of music can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here.  
I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring, 
For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.  
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart, 
But I am not far away, we really aren’t apart.  
So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you dear, 
And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above, 
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.  
After all love is a gift more precious than pure gold. 
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.  
Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do 
For I can’t count the blessing or love He has for each of you.  
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear. 
Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
Again, I felt a physical shift take place inside me. You are in Heaven with Jesus... yes, my human momma's heart grieves in the emptiness you left in my arms and heart, but in the deepest recesses of that momma's heart, I realized there was rejoicing for you - you are in Heaven with Jesus! That joy was, and had been, held deep down inside all along. It was time to bring it out and not keep it hidden.

I still tear up reading this poem, but now instead of tears of pain and loss, they are being taken over with tears of Joy... laced with a momma's jumbled emotions. I have a baby living with Jesus!

For Christmas, Daddy got me a new charm for my Pandora bracelet. It has dainty leaves and roselettes - two things that will forever remind me of you. The leaves outside were in full fall color the week we found out you were no longer with us. Daddy and I spent lots of time outside, just the two of us, that week. Some friends of ours gave us some lamented fall leaves in a care package during that time, and those leaves are in my little box containing your memories. Alongside the leaves, are some beautiful dried roses that came in a gorgeous arrangement from the CSF.

Roses and Fall Leaves... an analogy to me of changing times and new life... through loss.

And so my sweet baby, I release you, in a new way (in my heart) to go and enjoy being held in the arms of Jesus.

Your mommy rejoices for you!