It’s our first real ‘winter’ day! It was in the 30’s when Jeff left for work this morning, and our old house is hanging on to the chill in the air, signaling me to put away my indoor flip-flops and pull out my sueded loafers for scuffing around on the hard floors. (I’ll keep my flip flops within reach, though, because this is southeast Texas. We’re due for at least a handful more days in the mid-seventies before January hits.) I’ve loved the few weeks we’ve had of Heavenly weather, and I even got a few projects done out in the beautiful sun (like finally doing something with our blank, white mailbox).
But I’m not made for cold. Today has me pulling out fuzzy sweaters and making plans to spend my birthday money on a stash of my favorite coffee. (Mountain Mama Roasters – go ahead and google; they are awesome and I’m so proud to be an in-real-life friend.)
Seven weeks have passed since I last held Rebecca and it seems like six months. It feels like it was a dream that didn’t really happen. The last three nights I have had different versions of the same dream I’ve been having for weeks: that I am trying to nurse or bottle-feed a newborn baby. Sometimes it’s a baby I’ve birthed, sometimes a baby that was just placed in my arms. Most times a boy, last night it was a girl. It’s always a good dream, one I miss when I am awake.
I am trying to joyfully accept this season, enjoying my two and a half year old as perhaps the last baby we will raise. I trust God’s sovereignty, and although I’ve prayed He will allow me to nurse and raise another baby, that might not be His plan. So getting to nurse babies in my dreams seems like a sweet little present from Him.
Last week was my 6-week appointment with my OBGYN. I was prepared for it to be an emotional afternoon, as I anticipated being around radiant pregnant mamas, full of promise… or mamas toting around their newborns. I brought a book to keep myself occupied while I waited. But I wasn’t prepared for the emotions I felt at realizing this may be the last time I sit in this waiting room for a visit related to pregnancy. I never opened my book. I decided to take it all in – if this was going to be the last time, I was going to experience it to it’s fullest, painful or not. I stared for a while at the artwork on the walls, and watched mamas shift uncomfortably in their chairs, their hands resting on full bellies. I took in the smell of the office, and the sounds of muffled conversations and feet shuffling and nurses calling patients to come to the back. I smiled at the nurse while she took my blood pressure (and rejoiced that it was back to normal). And after I’d received a full ‘bill of health’ from my doctor, I walked slowly to the checkout station and waited for the clerk to enter my information into the computer.
“Okay, do you need to come back, or all you all done?” she asked, ready to schedule a future appointment for me if I needed one.
I paused for a second before answering, “I’m all done.”
She smiled. ”Then have a nice day.”
And just like that, it was over. My final doctor’s appointment related to Rebecca was over. I walked out of the office but wasn’t quite ready to walk onto the elevator that would whisk me down to the first floor and dump me out into reality again.
I didn’t want this chapter to be closed just yet. I didn’t want Rebecca’s story to be done. I walked over and sat down on some chairs by the window, away from the elevator doors and just took in the moment a little longer, looking out over the rooftop of the building next to us, and at the adjacent parking garage.
Too bad this poetic moment doesn’t have a better view. I wiped a tear and took a deep breath. I let the elevator escort me on to normal life again.
Normal life is in full swing at our house. Our form of messy, chaotic normal. We celebrated Jeff’s birthday last night with homemade sloppy joes straight from Pioneer Woman’s cookbook. You know you’ve struck gold when you’re friend’s pre-teen boy is asking his mom to get the recipe from you. Score.
We stayed up a little too late letting the kids (all 13 with our two families combined) watch a movie while the grownups did grownup things… like hoot and holler while playing several rounds of Dutch Blitz.
In two days we’ll celebrate Lena’s birthday. And we’ll have our first nine-year-old in the house. Nine. That means in only a year and a half I’ll have three 10-year-olds in the house. Maybe this is a good season to embrace after all.
Thanksgiving is coming, and we have so much for which to be thankful. I just want these days to slow down enough for me to soak it in and scratch some of it on paper and spend the time properly thanking God for the blessings.
I’ve been asked to write out our story for a friend’s blog, and it’s one of my greatest desires to use Rebecca’s story, her life, to point to God and to open eyes to choose LIFE for their baby – no matter how specially and uniquely designed their baby may be.
So I think it’s time. Time to sit down and pour it all out and then put my feeble scroll into the Shepherd’s strong hand. He’ll know what to do.
So excuse me, please, while I pour another cup of “Costa Rica Tarrazu” from my thermos and crack my knuckles over the keyboard.