My little man is almost one year old.
Today I read back over this post. I remembered my insanely scary pregnancy. I remembered sitting in five Making Things Happen intensives sharing fears that felt like they were on fire. And feeling this longing to just know he was okay. For those of you who don’t know our story, we were told that Brady could be born with a host of health issues – primarily dwarfism.
I’ll never forget sitting, at eighteen weeks pregnant, on this new high risk doctor’s table hearing 1) that my “girl” was a boy and that my boy had long bones that measured beneath the fifth percentile while the rest of his body measured on track.
It still makes my heart hurt to remember feeling so endlessly, hopelessly helpless in that moment. I looked at Bryan and saw sheer terror on his face. Every month until he was born we had a 4-D ultrasound to see if other signs presented themselves. Of course, they did and they didn’t. Towards the end of my pregnancy we were, at one time, worried over his long bones, extra amniotic fluid, the insertion point of the umbilical chord as well as a space in his brain. All this and this doctor called him “the fetus” every step of the way.
The experience was soul shaking. And until the moment I saw his tiny little screaming purple face, we didn’t know…
My mom told Bryan, as they were wheeling me back for the c-section (after an hour and a half of unsuccessful pushing) “I know you won’t have time to say much, but please just text me perfect if he is healthy.”
Looking back, I know Bryan would have texted perfect either way.
I remember the doctor prepping the room full of nurses before she began. “We’re concerned for his long bones….. velamentous chord insertion……. possible skeletal dysplasia……….. dilated cavum septum pellucidum…….polyhydramnios…..” I think that was when I turned everything in the room off and started praying. Bryan squeezed my hand and it was the most out of control I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I had no control… nothing I said, nothing I did, nothing I begged or directed or changed would alter the outcome of the next few moments. And I remember praying for God…. “please let him be born healthy… please give me strength to be the best mother I can be no matter what.”
Daddy, do you want to look over and meet your son. He stood and I desperately searched his face for some sort of revelation. He smiled and at that moment, my doctor leaned to my side of the curtain and said…
He’s beautiful. He’s healthy. He’s perfect.
Why did I ever doubt God would give me more than I could handle. Should Brady’s birthday have gone any other direction…. it still would not have been more than I can handle. I would have still been his mama. And I would have still loved him fiercely.
All of this brings me to today. Just ten days before his first birthday. He’s so precious. And he’s the light that warms my heart through thick and thin.
My best piece of advice for all mamas – love fiercely. How could I love in any other way after all of THAT…. Over the past year, I am most proud of holding myself to that promise, to love him fiercely when it came time to check my priorities. When work became to much or someone hurt my feelings or I found myself worried about something trivial… I chose that little boy.
And the funny thing is, as much as I love him, sometimes I have to check myself to make sure I’m loving fiercely. Lara puts it best… its the Mama-Bear in us. I know, at the end of the day, if I have made every decision because I am loving God, my family and my baby fiercely, I have done right even if I’m unsure of the logistics or the outcomes.
Being a Mama-Bear also requires a bit of a protector-gene. This little boy is a miracle. My little family is a miracle. And I will protect it fiercely when I have to. Without apology.
I feel like this blog post is all over the place. So is my heart, I suppose.
Over the past few weeks, there have been times that my feelings have been hurt. I’ve felt wronged. I’ve been straight up angry. And Lara reminded me of this verse today. And it hit me right in the gut. Why on earth, when my promise is to love fiercely would I allow my brain to be bogged down by the mental clutter of hurt and anger. How can I love purely from the same heart that is burdened by these things. I can’t.
I have to let them go, instead. I have to learn to act in love toward everyone even when I don’t want to. I have to learn to see past insignificant and worldly and be proactive rather than reactive. This doesn’t mean being “the bigger person” or anything like that. It’s quiet and anonymous and sincere.
It’s genuine. Digging up, focusing on and truly acting from genuine love and compassion thereby allowing your whole, pure heart to love fiercely.
We never know what tomorrow holds. And we have to protect what is most precious to us: time, babies, family, God, friendship…. “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable.”
And now… a video of Brady where he clucks like a chicken at the very end. And you get a peak of his blonde curls on the back of his head : )
Image of Brady and I in my office by Gina Zeidler. Love you, G.