This past year has shown me how strong I am. And how weak. How flexible I am. And how unyielding. How carefree I am. And how anxious. Continue reading
I’m one of five kids. And I love all of my siblings, but I’ve got too many sisters. My relationship with my brother is special. It’s different. Because he’s the only boy. Continue reading
As we counted down the days until we became a family of four, I sat reflecting on this pregnancy and everything that had gone in to it.
This entire year seems like a whirlwind; Brett left a job to run his own agency full-time; five minutes later we discovered I was pregnant! Throw in a major house renovation and a toddler and it all adds up to a chaotic, messy nine months.
It’s been a (mostly) beautiful mess. During the last nine months I’ve watched my husband grow and support a business; something he’s wanted to do for a long time. I’ve watched my son grow and thrive in ways that catch me off guard and take my breath away. I’ve watched the relationship between him and his dad evolve, strengthen and deepen. It’s such a beautiful thing and I’m eternally grateful to witness it.
I’m forever grateful for the opportunity, because there were times when I thought I’d never get to see it.
We have been pretty open about our journey toward starting a family and the struggle we endured. Henry is our miracle; fearfully and wonderfully made. It took a long time and a lot of tears to get him here. What most people don’t know is that the journey to get his brother here has been equally as difficult.
After Henry was born, we knew pretty quickly we wanted to grow our family. And since we didn’t know if we would experience the same challenges, we started trying as soon as we could. And we gave it time, and no expectations. And were met with the same challenges. Month after month. It was hard to walk through the battle of infertility a second time.
But then, last July, after nearly a year of struggle, I had a positive pregnancy test! We were elated. We did the calculations and discovered that we’d be having a St. Patrick’s Day baby – how fun!
But, the pregnancy didn’t stick. I was home by myself with Henry. I called Brett at work, sobbing. I could barely get out a sentence. “I need you to come home.” I choked out. And he did. And we sat together and cried at our loss. Wondered if our house would be full of kids like we had imagined. I felt guilty for my sadness since we have Henry and he’s perfect.
It took nearly another half of a year, but eventually I received another positive test! I was ecstatic. And terrified. And anxious. I told Brett and we cried happy tears and worried together; every day. Until we heard his heart beat. It was beautiful and perfect. We cried more happy tears. We worried some more. Until the fetal scan that showed us how strong our son was growing. We cried more happy tears.
When March arrived, I told Brett “I think the timing of this pregnancy is not an accident. I think the universe knew that March was going to be a hard month for us, so while we fight through the grief of not holding a baby like we expected back in July, we have a new joy in this pregnancy to help us through that.”
And now, nearly two and a half years after Henry made us parents, we are finally a family of four!
I am so looking forward to watching Brett and Henry grow closer, and I’m equally excited to watch him bond with our new son. I can’t wait to see Henry as a big brother; I think he’s going to be amazing.
I sit in awe at the absolute miracle that life is. And while my path to creating it has been anything but smooth, I am so grateful for the opportunity and blessing. I hope I teach and show my sons that they are precious and loved. And I hope they understand that if I seem like I over-worry about them it’s because I made them from scratch and they are the best things I’ve ever created.
You’ll never remember the two and a half years you spent as an only child.
You’ll never remember life before your little brother; before you were promoted and given the title Big Brother.
You’ll never remember a time you didn’t have an upstairs bedroom and that your brother’s room was once yours.
You’ll never remember that two days before your brother was born I made us take this picture.
That this is the last picture we have of you as an only child; our last picture as a family of three.
You’ll never remember that I hugged you extra hard as you left for school the Friday before you became a big brother. That I sobbed as you walked out our front door saying “bye, Mommy.” for the last time as an only child.
You’ll never remember that you went to bed on a Saturday night as our only baby and that when you woke up on Sunday we weren’t there because your brother was being born.
But I will.
I’ll remember all of those things. I’ll remember the two and a half years where my time and energy weren’t divided; where my sole focus was you and your every need.
But, I’ll also remember the look on your face when you came to visit us at the hospital to meet your baby brother. How you beamed the best, most proud smile I’ve ever seen. How you immediately knew to be soft and gentle with your brother.
I’ll remember your sweet voice saying “hello” and “I love you.” And how you gave soft kisses on his head.
I’ll remember that you were very concerned about all the people looking at your brother and you instructed the nurse “don’t hurt my baby brudder.”
I’ll remember how excited you were when we came home with your brother and how you just wanted to sit next to him and hold his hand.
You’ll never remember any of that. But I will.
And I’ll get to witness every single day of you as a big brother.
Sometimes all it takes is a gentle nudge from the universe and your entire perspective about a situation changes.
I’ve been experiencing a really trying challenge lately and it has been incredibly frustrating on every front; emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I’m not going to elaborate on the challenge, because this isn’t about that. It’s about my mindset and focus shift.
But last week while I was driving home from work and dwelling on this challenge I turned the radio on in the car and received the gentlest of nudges. The host of the radio show told a story about a woman who was also experiencing a challenge and instead of praying and asking God to help her through her challenge, she woke up everyday and thanked God for what she wanted the outcome to be. And eventually, it came true! In her case, she needed some extensive dental work. So every morning she would wake up and say “Thank you Lord for my new teeth.”
Her attitude in the story made my ears perk up and made me sit taller and *listen.*
Then a couple days later, while still dwelling on my challenge and how I was going to get through it, a song came on the radio and I felt as if the song was being sung directly AT me. And then a second song. And then a third. All in a row; without commercials or interruptions.
There was a scripture passage that said “give thanks to God in all things.” Our minister made a huge clarification though, he made sure we understood the difference between FOR all things and IN all things.
He said he knows it’s hard to be thankful FOR the hard times, but we should still be thankful IN them.
Which really made me think about my challenge. Am I thankful FOR the challenge, no. Not at all. But, I am shifting my thinking about it. I am thankful IN the struggle. Because I know that once I’m through it, the outcome will be much more meaningful and blessed because I really had to struggle to achieve it.
So, thank you God for the outcome I desire but haven’t yet achieved. Thank you for guiding me through the challenge and reminding me that patience is needed in all things. And thank you for your unending love and wisdom, and for the ability to recognize Your presence in my day to day.