People have always told me that I'm very blunt, honest and open. Sometimes this has been said as an encouragement and other times as a rebuke. I have sat over the last couple of months and often wondered how much is appropriate to share or not to share in our journey. I haven't come up with an answer, just a desire to be honest, to make Hope's life a testimony for the Lord and to vent my feelings so I can move forward each day. Today as I was reading I came across this quote by Elie Wiesel, "Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be, must tell the story. That is his duty." This reminded me once again that God uses each struggle we have, in others' lives. With that in mind I share my latest battle, the battle of the baby girl...
I want everyone to first understand that I never look at another child and wish they would take a defective heart and give their healthy heart to Hope. I am at peace with the fact that God chose Hope's heart for her, I battle instead with his choice to make me her mother! Lately a lot of people have gotten pregnant, had babies, written books or made movies that involve baby girls.
A few of our friends have had beautiful, healthy baby girls in the last month. When I see these little girls I naturally think of Hope. When I look at how small and delicate they are, my heart breaks at the thought of someone so fragile being taken into surgery. When I see how small they are I mourn the fact that Hope won't be home until she's much older. When you have a preemie they are in the hospital for a long time, but when they come home they are still the size of a regular newborn or smaller. I sometimes picture myself bringing home a toddler to meet our friends for the first time. I know this is hopefully a stretch of the imagination but I'm sure you understand what I'm saying.
Last night I went to see the new Twilight movie. Feel free to mock me in your head, a good love story is beautiful, even if it involves vampires. In the movie the main character gives birth to a baby, a baby girl. I can't seem to watch, hear or read about the birth of a baby girl without getting sad, overwhelmed and contemplative about the future.
This flood of baby girls has pushed me back into reality and constantly reminds me of what is shortly ahead. I notice a great change in my personality as a result, I'm not as free spirited or funny as I used to be. Life is all more serious to me and I have to force myself to have fun sometimes. I need to work at seeing baby girls as a reminder of God's wonderful creation and not as a reminder of what I won't have, another healthy baby girl like Sadie. Each day I ask the Lord to show me true joy, maybe I've lost the fake things that used to make me laugh and I'm finally seeing true joy?
Yesterday Shawn was sick with a cold and Sadie was a bit fussy from the impending eye teeth. I'm overtired from her being sick last week and not having Shawn's help this weekend to allow me to recover. As I drove Sadie to Wal-mart, so Shawn could have a nap in a quiet house, she screamed the entire way because I had put water instead of milk in her cup. At the 1/2 way point in the journey, I started to scream back at her. I told her to get over it, stop crying, give me a break, be patient and anything else I could think of. When I lay in bed last night all I could think was, I'm not patient enough to be the parent of a child with special needs of any kind. I can't handle a regular breakdown of a healthy child, how can I be an amazing Mom to Hope and show her patience and loving kindness?
Shawn refuses to tell me lies about my own weaknesses, he knows that I am extremely impatient and probably fears for us all as well. As I cried myself to sleep, he simply held me and reminded me that he loves me the way I am, impatience and all. Then this morning in church I sang out from my soul, "you're all I need, you're all I've ever wanted" and I realized again, I can't do this. For that very reason God chose me to be Hope's mom, because I'm not able. Every step of parenting her will require the strength that only God can give. Every moment left in this pregnancy and every precious time her heart beats will all be through the Lord. So I'm publicly over sharing, that I am not capable of this, I'm not strong enough and I'm scared to death. My God is big enough, strong enough and loving enough to get me through each day from here on.