Yesterday afternoon while looking at the calendar on the fridge I said to the kids, "I can not WAIT to change this to OCTOBER! You know what comes in October?!?" Paisley said, "FALL!" and Ryder said, "BABY!" And I said, "YES!" Then we went on to all do a 'baby dance' and I went on to say something about how we get to bring the baby home in a few weeks. Ryder immediately interrupted and said, "Well, maybe... unless..." At which point I stopped him. I knew what he was going to say and his innocent heart only knows what it knows, but my hopeful, emotional (basket case of a very pregnant heart) couldn't handle hearing it. Sometimes it's just plain hard to believe what you haven't seen (or can't remember in his case!)
Have you ever asked God for a do-over a re-do?
The months after Gibson was born (this same time of year 2 years ago) I would walk in and out of the hospital multiple times a day. Usually rushing after dropping kids somewhere or heading to pick them up, on the phone giving Daniel and family updates- tired, drained, heartbroken and insecure all bottled up into one. But one of the most excruciating things was that the entrance you have to go in as you head to the NICU is the same entrance that moms go home with their new (healthy!) babies. You know, the happy, tired, blissful, starry-eyed moms. It goes like this: the dad drives up in the mini-van or SUV of choice, he anxiously hops out surveying his crooked parking job in the circle drive. He then pops around the car and checks the carseat base for the 50th time just to make sure it hasn't magically come unlatched (you know because those things are SO easy to undo). The nurse wheels out the the mom & baby and all their gifts & junk from the past few days - flowers, balloons, boppys, blankets and more. The mom gets in the back with the baby, of course. They check the carseat... again (it might have come unlatched...), nurses give hugs and smiles and the mom and dad sit in the car for several minutes contemplating how they're going to possibly drive their precious new cargo home.
And I walk on by. I think about the day we left the hospital and him in the NICU. The anxiety of it. The panic attacks as I laid in bed at home without him near me. I think about the fact that I want a do-over.
We planned G would be our last. 3 was our number, he was it. I'd never have another do-over of the happy hospital experience and I'd never leave like those moms. I clung to the moment I'd finally leave the NICU with him and NEVER EVER come back. But it didn't happen that way... I went home months later on a dark December night, just Daniel and I, empty-armed, brokenhearted and hurting, walking to the car alone trying to figure out what to do next. And Gibson got to go home whole and healed, in a much grander way, to a much more glorious place.
I didn't ask God for a re-do for a very long time. I've mentioned in previous blogs it took my heart a while to get there. And once we learned of our new blessing I chose (and still do choose) not to see this baby as a replacement, but as an addition to our family. I quickly correct if someone calls this my "third." ;) Yet, I've thought many times about those days walking in and out of the hospital, those nights alone in our hospital room and our bedroom at home.
What I have asked God for was to RENEW. To renew my heart, mind, spirit, JOY & HOPE. Sometimes we want the easier solution and that seems like a Re-Do. If we could just not remember our pain or mistakes or tragedies life would be so much easier. Would it? I truly believe with all my heart God reaches down and pulls us through the muck and mire of life and he does not intend for us to forget what we've come through. He intends for it to grow us and change us and those around us no matter what the outcome. And yet He is so gracious to renew us and renew LIFE in us.
And it all somehow makes that renewing that much sweeter.
But those who HOPE in the LORD will RENEW their strength... Isaiah 40:31
I've obviously thought about my hospital stay this time, but hadn't convinced my heart it would happen yet. A couple weeks ago I passed the "Gibson mark" of 32 weeks. I thought about his size and his health and prayed this baby would keep growing and developing. I hadn't been into the specialist in 6 weeks (the longest I've gone this pregnancy) so I wasn't exactly sure where we were at this point growth-wise. As we looked at the sweet CHUBBY cheeks on the screen that day the sonographer told us the baby was weighing in at 5 pounds 8 ounces with (hopefully!) 5 weeks to go.
This week I bought diapers. Seems like a simple enough, normal step at this point. But actually setting that little bag of pampers newborn swaddlers in my cart took a lot of courage and a lot of faith. The last time I had diapers in my cart was a day I'd like to forget. They'd been stacked in my laundry room, I couldn't deal with them and didn't want my family to have to either, so the week after Gibson died my girlfriends loaded them all up - teary eyed & brave to target we went. There was a fiasco with the registry system and the poor workers were baffled with what to do and had to re-explain the situation every time a new worker came over (thus the puppy dog sad face looks to the grieving mom & her friends...) That day I probably would have said I'd like to never see a diaper package again. But I happily set them in my cart this week. And much to the urging of said girlfriends I started packing a hospital bag as well. Because... it's REALLY happening.
God is renewing.
This morning with 3 weeks to go the doctor said everything looks great. Baby should hopefully stay snug and happy in there till October 17th.
After the doctor Paisley and I went to Trader Joe's and bought up all the pumpkin stuff in sight. Because you know what's coming this month? FALL... & BABY!