I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over and over again.
Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child. I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore, and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.
I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold, and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.
I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child.
Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.
I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend, and sister because I have known pain.
I know disillusionment, as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell that many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.
I have prevailed. I have succeeded. I have won.
So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs. I listen. And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.
I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth when life is beyond hard.
I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes. I have learned to appreciate life.
Made these tonight.... thought they turned out pretty cute. I am starting a shoe gallery....shoes starting at $15. I call these "Butterfly Kisses". They are $18 and will fit a baby about 8-12 months. You can win a pair custom made for your baby if you comment at my other blog!
While halfway to Arkansas last week, I realized I forgot my camera. I had a seriously emotional fit! I called my mom and Daniel who were also halfway there to see if they brought theirs. She said no because Mom knew I would have mine! I was devastated. I used Heidi's camera to take one picture and then I fell off the wagon. So, much to my dismay, and all of yours as well, I do not have pictures from the weekend. I am just now getting over it.
But here are a few highlights:
Andrew's new game is ballyball, played with a beach ball. We all made up a new game with the beach ball that if it hit the floor near you that you had to start spelling out your name. Hannah, Daniel, and Andrew all have six letters so it made it easy. We also played with HeidiT and Scotty. Andrew did really well keeping track of his letters. He spells his name quite well.
Andrew also has fun new songs that he shared all weekend.
Joely is now 10 and a half months. She says, bye-bye and waves, dada, mama, bubba, hi, and aaa is Andrew. I worked with her for a while to say Hannah. Thank goodness Scott was there when she actually said it because no one else believed me. Of course it wasn't clear, more like a-nuh, but I know she said it and Scott was my witness!
There was a big storm that came through on Friday afternoon. I snuggled with Andrew for a while and pretended to be scared. When he walked away, I said "Andrew, save me" and his response was "save yourself." Thanks a lot!!!!
Joely smiles at everything. She wrinkles up her nose and does a sort of snorting noise. Poor little girl is so chubby, but oh so cute!
They are working with her on some sign language and she knows how to sign "milk", "all done", and "more". I am sure she knows more, but that is all she did while I was there.
After a 50+ hour work week last week, I crashed over the weekend. Two babies came last week at the center. One birth, in particular, got me really thinking. I guess I sort of had another "revelation" of some kind. Well, that is because I made the decision that I am not going to let my desire and longing to get pregnant get in the way of anything! I have decided to look at it this way....each day I have had since my baby would have been born in April is a day that wouldn't have gone the same had I actually had a baby. It wouldn't have been easy for me to be there for a client, or meet for a chat with friends, or work, or touch the people's lives that I have. Each day I will embrace that I was meant to have this day and be with these people and do these things. It is a blessing in a way...obviously.
Scott and I got acupuncture about two weeks ago. When we arrived back home, he had a revelation as well. He has decided (after many, many people have encouraged him over the last few years) to become an elementary school teacher. He is in the process of testing and getting certified so he can teach in the fall. He wants to teach elementary students, which he will be so great at since he loves little children. I guess in Texas you don't just have one teacher for every subject in elementary. So, he is getting certified to teach math, science, and history to K-8 but hoping to just teach in the K-4 area. I am so happy for him and this is going to be a great thing on our lives if it pans out. A huge weight will be off my shoulders. And.....no more 50+ hour work weeks for me!!! He takes a test on June 27th and if he passes, he can look for a job for this fall. We would definitely appreciate your prayers in this.
This weekend we are headed to Arkansas. I have a baby shower and we get to see the kiddos...oh and my sister too. :) We miss them so much! I just saved this picture as the screen saver on my computer which makes it even harder every time I look at it. They are sitting in Joely's bathtub, but Andrew says it is their boat, so a boat it is! I told Heidi that Joely looks so calm in this picture. She is going to be taking things in life as they come to her. Heidi says she such a happy baby. It has been three months since we have seen them....that is too long. I am sure I will take many pictures while I am there and have some fun ones to post when we return.
Yesterday on a drive, I was having a little chat with God. Saturday night, I didn't sleep much because I had all these ideas in my head. BIG IDEAS! Back to that in a moment. So as I driving down the road, the infamous question..."why?" came up. hahahaha!
The conversation went something like this: Hannah: "Why are you using lil' ol' me to do these great big things?" God: "Why not you?"
That was my "aha" moment! Although I wanted to list all of the reasons why not me, I didn't.
If you are keeping up with my professional blog in the the past couple of days, you will see that a Birth Network for Tarrant Co. is in the works. I have been thinking about it for several months, but who am I? I am a brand new doula (BTW, doula is not a word according to blogger!!), no childbirth experience of my own, and no real childbirth experience in general besides the 13 births I have attended. I threw the idea out there to Donna back in December, but it has remained just an idea until now. With all the fantastic ideas in my head, I called her yesterday...apologizing for adding another thing to her plate. (She is a Bradley Instructor and mother of 4 and is busy!) But, she is the one to go to for this. So, I have been working to get the word out for a meeting of professionals to get together and form a network. It is a lot of work. Part of me thinks that no one with kids really has the time to get such a gigantic thing rolling in this big metroplex we live in.
I think it is exciting and scary all at the same time. I have had a lot of interest so far. I talked to another doula, chiropractor, and midwife yesterday. Northwest AR has a Birth Network and I am waiting on a call from the co-leader of that chapter to kick around some ideas as well.
So, I am going to try and get some sleep these day. Chamomile tea may become a good friend of mine from now on.
Love my husband. Love my baby boy. Love my job. Love my family. Love eating organic food. Love date night. Love snuggling. Love green. Love my friends. Love going on walks. Love baby wearing. Love holding hands. Love chick flicks. Love sunflowers. Love sushi. Love burning incense. Love cooking. Love the water. Love girl talk. Love sewing. Love coffee. Love the smell my baby. Love cloth diapering. Love a good book. Love snow. Love life.
I am a Certified Birth Doula and a Licensed Massage Therapist. Visit Bellies In Bloom, my blog dedicated to mothers and their families as they enter the journey of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.