This week, I have but one small success for Danielle's round up. She used to be very, very small. When we brought her home from the hospital, she was 4 pounds-something-ounces. I drove. Mary Beth sat in the backseat to watch sweet Sarah Anne's every breath. She tells me she was terrified. Me too. What kind of crazy woman drives herself home from the hospital after a c-section that was preceded by a hemorrhage? What kind of crazy woman does that with a newly-released NICU baby? Me. I do. I wanted my baby home in my arms, with no wires or alarms or even very kind nurses between us. And when they said she could go, I didn't wait to take her home.
I held her close for weeks. She couldn't see us. I admit now that it made me sad. Her eyes didn't really look back when I gazed on her for hours and hours. I watched as people had babies right around her due date. I cried a bit when they started posting about smiles. She had reflux and she wheezed. We sat up and rocked and rocked. I waited for her gaze. I waited for her smile. I waited for her to be real. To be who I knew she was.
And I organized my life around her. This left much of the rest of my life looking more than a little disorganized. This left me grasping at times for measures of success. In my former life--before bedrest, before the miracle of Sarah Anne, before my husband taught me a huge lesson in love--I thought that success was measured in large part by the tangibles: things like well-ordered homes, sticking to the workout routine, finishing the planned lessons by June, and cooking and eating three nutritious meals a day.We struggled through the winter. My family was rocked in the last year like never before. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and we are stronger this spring. My former me often met the new me in the middle of the night and they had rousing arguments. The new me always won, at least in action. The baby always won.
I'd whine about the house. I'd whine about my weight. I'd whine about my lesson plans.I'd whine about the lack of time to answer all the mail in my inbox. But at the end of every day, Mike would look into my eyes and ask if I'd have it any other way. Would I relinquish the Kangaroo attachment lifestyle that I was so sure was what Sarah needed in order to do the million things that were calling for my attention in the housekeeping realm? Would I wean this baby so that my body would (hopefully) return to normal proportions? Would I hand her off time and time again so that all the externals of my life were in perfect order?
I'd rather die than hand her off.I could not, cannot bring myself to do that.This is how God gets me to cooperate with His grace.
Yesterday, I took Sarah Anne to the doctor for her monthly check up. He positively beamed through the whole visit. The baby who wasn't even on the chart when she was born six weeks early, is now in the 63rd percentile for weight and the 75th for height. Dr. C called her name and she turned to look at him. He moved around the room and her beautiful blue-green-gray eyes danced after him. He smiled at her and she smiled those dear dimples right back at him.
By the grace of God, she is a perfect, round, healthy baby. I played my small part in that big success.