Here I am, child.
Here I am.
Here I am, child.
Here I am.
And the moment I’d been dreading for 39 weeks.
I sat on the side of my bed, sobbing. Begging my husband to get the baby to move, knowing I had waited one day too long to induce.
See, the day before had been my daughter’s spring concert and I figured delaying a day wouldn’t make much difference.
But in this moment, I regretted it all.
In a panic, I called our doula and midwife first and next, our neighbor.
She arrived within seconds. I folded into her arms, scared of what we would find when we arrived. She steadied me, reassuring that our three daughters at home were safe and off we went to find that baby Elizabeth was indeed alive and well.
Fast forward 18 months.
Same kitchen, same neighbor.
Our friends left and she stayed to ask the simple direct question: “Are you OK?”
No, I wasn’t and all it took was for someone to ask.
I unfolded right in front of her, releasing the floodgates and once again, she took it. She held it. She steadied, reassured and stood me upright.
She looked me in the eye and said, “You are going to be OK.” And then she followed through.
She called to check on me. She invited me to run with her.
She held my hand.
And because of her, I made it.
There she is.
My superwoman. My angel. My friend.
Here it is:
That moment where she connects a face to a voice
and he a dream to reality.
It’s a little window of time.
Filled with excitement, mixed with worry, mixed with wonder.
Waiting at the airport.
Waiting for the call.
Waiting for the kiss.
Waiting for the letter.
Waiting for the pass.
Waiting for the decision.
Waiting for the ring.
Waiting for Santa.
Waiting for the next contraction.
Waiting for the fish.
Waiting to begin the journey.
And then . . .
and then. . . .
Until the waiting begins again.
Hey, little girl.
Soak it up.
All that love shining right towards you because
I’m your momma and I love you through and through.
There may be other babies but to me,
You are you.
And I love you just the way you are.
I’m your momma.
And I’ll never stop loving you.
I feel the same, little girl.
You can touch him.
He’s not just the man of your dreams.
He’s your daddy.
And I chose him just for you.
He will show up.
He will know your favorite color.
He will teach you how to fish and how to garden and pass a ball.
He will tell you he loves you and even better,
He’ll show it.
He’s a good, hard-working man.
And he’s your daddy.
No, I cannot understand where you are coming from.
And yes, I realize you feel the same.
So, instead, let’s agree to disagree.
30 miles from the nearest stoplight, I breathed a sigh of relief and the scent of fresh manure.
It was Thanksgiving and we were in the country.
No Wi-Fi and spotty cell-service, I celebrated the disconnect.
Forced to focus on the immediate needs of our immediate family, I found myself face-to-face with an uncomfortable reality:
How often am I looking for distraction?
On top of a baby with special needs, our just-turned four-year-old has been increasingly demanding of our attention this past year, pushing us past our breaking point.
And yet every time I look for a solution, I find her need to connect more with us- her parents.
Third-born, she craves it. Her behavior refuses to be forgotten.
And yet, exhausted, how much more do we have left to give?
We have more.
Because when everything else fades away, aside from the manure, nothing else matters.
I felt the familiar pull. The downward spiral. The fall. The loss of control. The pieces of my life that remained in the wake of my breakdown.
Too much, too soon.
I wanted it all and I was tired of waiting so I forged ahead at a breakneck pace, shattering ceilings along the way.
I gave up my career as a teacher to stay home with our first daughter but picked up a part-time sales consulting job when she was just 6 months. I was successful and I felt driven, until it was more than our family could handle. I gave it up when my third daughter was 6 months.
Three years passed and I felt restless, eager to grab an opportunity to work as a consultant for a publisher of children’s books that I adored. I reassured myself and my husband that I could manage it all, but I failed to consider my innate drive to share my passion, gaining business and momentum along the way until it became more than we could manage.
That’s when I plummeted.
Feeling trapped. Unable to explore my professional potential. And guilty for feeling that my children were getting in the way.
Until I remembered that moment in our kitchen when we chose to try for our fourth baby.
I realized that in that choice, I was choosing her. I was choosing my family. That I’ve had control all along.
I just needed to see the big picture.
These days feel long but the years are short.
I didn’t give up my profession. I chose one: Mothering.
And how lucky I am to be able to make that choice.