Beauty is not so much what you see, but what you dream.
~Old Proverb~

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Joy in the Morning

Waiting :)

"Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy I cherished each moment of it, realizing that that this was the only chance in life to assist God with a miracle."
    ~Emma Bombeck~
I felt like I had been pregnant FOREVER… I suppose maybe it felt like that because from the time we found out I was pregnant until the time the baby was born, it felt like I lived an entire lifetime. Does that make sense?

Andy with my sisters daughters Emmaline.... Emmy adored uncle Andy
  Anyway… It doesn’t seem like it would be all that fair to tell the story of Aimee-Jane’s birth without giving you a little history about the excitement she brought to our lives before she ever even made it into this world. For those of you who don’t already know, Andy and I found out about Aimee- Jane only one day after finding out about his cancer. Which was actually on this date a year ago, so this post seems very appropriate. J As you can imagine, this was a greatly needed boost of encouragement when it felt very much like our world was ending. In my journal I had written:

    “Found out I was pregnant today. I’m amazed by God’s timing. He is so good ALL THE TIME. There is joy in the morning.”

We went ice skating together... four months pregnant here
And there was. Andy was so incredibly happy. When I went to tell him about the baby he couldn’t stop smiling. I, of course, sobbed in true Trin-like fashion. J It was a wonderful day--- so different from the day before. Isn’t it amazing what HOPE can do!

   Andy was awesome, even despite being so sick! He was my hero! We often spent the morning puking over the toilet bowl together… now if that isn’t bonding, I don’t know what is. I suppose it probably sounds really gross and unpleasant, and it was, no joke, but more than once I caught Andy’s grin when we looked up at each other and I have to admit that it was just a little funny. J It turned out that I had terrible morning sickness. I lost weight and got dehydrated. I ended up on medicine to help with the nausea until it finally passed when I was five months along. When I did have a craving, which wasn’t all that often, Andy, dear man, would always cheerfully oblige me.  I don’t remember ever asking him to go to the store in the middle of the night, but I may or may not have begged him to go get me doughnuts at five am one morning. He gave me a rather odd look, maybe thinking that doughnuts were a request madly out of character for me. J (and yes, thank you, I did enjoy a maple bar… and an apple fritter, oh and one of those little frosted ones with the sprinkles on top… ok, and perhaps one of those delicious plump ones filled with cream.) But moving on!
"I sit here and wonder if you know just how much of me belongs to you?"

It wasn’t too far into things that we picked out names. N0t too far at all actually… only about two days. J Andy picked out a boy name and girl name… We chose a boy name after his very much adored Grampa Starr and girl name that meant something important. It meant Beloved Gift of God… both names seemed perfect and we settled down to wait and see who this little person would be.

I truly believe that Andy knew he was going to die before baby came.  I also truly believe that he did everything that he could to stay alive as long as he possibly could. I’m not sure why the Lord didn’t allow him to stay until the birth of his child, but perhaps the birth wasn’t as crucial as we think and really it was just the knowing that this little person would carry on his legacy, that was so special to my husband.

  I ended up being two weeks overdue with baby… I do remember being a tad bit impatient at one point, but also just very tired and uncomfortable. I was oh so eager to hold the baby, but also felt very scared and uncertain. All of my birth plans had included Andy! We had talked it over many times… lots of details… lots of hopes…

Our plan had been to have the baby at the hospital, but when Andy died and I moved back home with my parents,  I decided I wanted to have a home birth with the aid of my sisters’ midwife. So really, all of my plans went out the window and I was starting from scratch. I was overwhelmed, to say the least. The due date drew nearer and nearer and I still didn’t have a plan. One of the midwives visited to check the house and make sure I had what I would need and she asked me what my birth plan was. I sorta just gave her a blank stare and then mumbled something about “hmmm,  I’m not sure as long as I don’t have the baby in the bathtub!” hahaha

  As the due date came and went I began to feel discouraged. It was so strange! I felt like something must be wrong with me if I couldn’t even have my baby on time! Such a weird notion! I went to Andy’s grave and cried and cried feeling just so helpless and alone in the world. Isn’t it an interesting fact that you can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely!

  When I hit exactly 42 weeks my midwife sent me to the hospital for a routine ultra sound to just check and make sure that the amniotic fluid was sufficient and the placenta holding up okay. Everything checked out fine and the technician printed me off several pictures. I cried during the ultra sound, once again, remembering that last time I had watched my baby move had been with Andy holding my hand. This time my mama did.  My beautiful wonderful mama.

  Baby was so tiny and perfect in there! So happy fidgeting and turning around and I just thought, “WOW! God is SO amazing!!!”  of course I still didn’t know at this point that SHE was a SHE, but I did have my first inkling as the technician said something about her having pretty lips. I looked at the photographs again and sure enough, a tiny little rosebud mouth. J Wouldn’t that be something, I thought. A little girl. Especially since everyone, including me, was just certain it must be a boy!

 That evening mama and I went out for dinner and to the mall.  We walked the whole of Hobby Lobby talking and smelling candles and dreaming about decorating each room of the house.  On the way home I bought an entire crate of fresh strawberries from the farm stand. I went home and ate a third of them and then went to bed.  I lay there for a few minutes before turning out the light, gazing at those pictures of that tiny, precious person with the rosebud mouth and for the first time I felt relaxed and ready. I wasn’t sure what I was ready for or how it was all going to work out, but it really felt just like holding Jesus’ hand and I fell asleep.

  The next morning I woke suddenly. I got up and headed to the kitchen for a drink of water. My water broke on the way and I called my midwife. I was so completely excited and not nervous at all. I felt very calm as I literally waddled back to the living room to express to Dad how I felt that today seemed like a good day for the baby’s birthday.

  Labor progressed well, I suppose. I remember that my midwife came to check on me and said something about how she thought the baby would be here by noon. My sister came and gave me a shoulder massage and I sat there laughing and talking with both of Andy’s grandma’s and all of my family, as the contractions came and went. About noon the contractions did get harder and I went to my sister’s house, which is where I had decided in advance to have the baby. I had a large bedroom and bathroom all to myself here. I walked in and the bed looked like a refuge. I had made it up with mounds of soft quilts and a mountain of pillows. After I lay down there I really don’t remember getting back up until after the baby came. I laid there for somewhere close to ten hours. I labored on my side and I definitely had moments where I didn’t think I could possibly have this baby. All of my sisters were there and mama. They were AMAZING! I can’t even say that enough! They reminded me that I could do this and they helped me through each contraction. I don’t think I screamed once, although you might want to ask my family on that one. J I remember my dad coming and holding my hand and praying for me and I remember telling him that I absolutely just couldn’t handle another moment and he said “Sure you can! The Lord’s going to help you. Let him help you.” I was super encouraged and started pushing about twenty minutes later. I pushed for about an hour and  Im not gonna lie… having babies is hard work! Its exhausting and scary and it hurts like you might die. I suddenly knew, like so many other times this year, that there was simply NO doing it without HIM! He was all and everything. I gave and gave in my own strength, which was nothing and then when I gave in HIS strength, there was finally and at last… Aimee-Jane. J and she was perfect and splendid and I felt glorious! The pain diminished and I held her close and I noticed for the first time that night how many beautiful people surrounded me. They were everywhere and they were blessings and they were me and Aimee-Jane’s people. Oh how surprised we were that she was a girl! And yet oh how excited. My dear Andy was wrong! We were all wrong! And yet it seemed like he grinned in that moment, because thats okay. And that’s perfect. And that’s God’s plan. And that’s what is so right and amazing and AWEsome at the end of the day. Its seeing GOD’S plan and knowing HIS might and feeling HIS power. Its coming to the end of our meager strength and falling into his arms. And that, people is truly life at its best.

 So that’s our story… right up there with all the birth stories that are so dear and precious, because no matter where and no matter who, each little tiny person that enters this world, is a grand miracle and a beautiful testimony that indeed, God is not finished, and indeed HE is GOOD!!