Tonight my daughter is one month old, and I’m still in shock.
I have a daughter! (I love saying that.)
I have a baby! (I can’t believe it.)
I’m 39 years old, and I’m a new mom again! (Freaky.)
I could write exclamatory sentences all night because it was a year ago this week that I wrote one of my last blogs about the overwhelming grief I felt over the fact that I could not give my kindergarten son a sibling. And here I now sit on my bed, with a laptop in front of me and a newborn daughter in a deep sleep huddled into a ball on my shoulder.
But the journey to this day has been an arduous one. I found out I was pregnant the day before Thanksgiving, and I’ve been dealing with the struggles of pregnancy and morning sickness in some way, shape or form ever since. (I even threw up on the operating table the day my baby was born.) In the worst of the sickness, however, when I felt like the day, after day, after day of nausea would never end – I would lie in bed and cry and look across the room at a little baby outfit I had hanging in my closet to remind me of why I was doing this. To remind me of the little person I was making. To remind me that all this sickness was not in vain.
But really, the road to this evening started six years ago when we began trying to get pregnant for a second time. It took a few years to get pregnant the first time, but little did I know it would take twice as long the second time. In the midst of it all, I somehow believed we would have another child until last summer. It was this week last year that I officially decided that I would probably never have another baby, much less the daughter I had always wanted.
But that’s when my mom’s faith stepped in.
After I blogged about my son’s lack of a brother or sister the first week of school last year, my mom posted the comment: “Don’t give up on your dream for a baby, Randa! God wants to give you the desires of your heart.”
“Yeah, right,” I thought. Like having another baby was something I could just set my mind to accomplishing. “Getting pregnant is not like getting a college degree, mom. It’s not something I can just work hard to make happen,” I thought to myself as I read her comment. Besides, why would God want to give me the desires of my heart … I haven’t done anything to deserve that … and sometimes life is hard and bad/sad/hard things happen to God’s people, I muttered in my mind.
But apparently she knew something about faith that I didn’t.
It was at this same time that my husband was on the eve of his 40th birthday, and there’s just something about turning 40 (or having one’s best friend turn 40) that makes a person realize so very clearly how fast life is fleeting. That’s what the end of summer did to me last year. I began to face my mortality, which included a dreaded trip to the shed in the backyard, where I proceeded to clean out almost all of my baby stuff. It was then that I basically gave myself a deadline. If I wasn’t pregnant by age 40, I would get rid of all the remaining baby stuff and send Mark off to the doctor to make sure we didn’t have an accident at age 48 because having a baby after 40 just didn’t seem, well … fill in the blank: Safe. Fair to the child. Realistic.
And so I began to officially let go of my dream for another baby last August.
But apparently my mom did not.
A week or two after that mom told me she had sent a copy of that blog to my Aunt Jan and my grandma and asked them to join her in praying for me to have another baby.
Three months later, I was pregnant. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
These godly women not only stood in the gap for me by praying, but my mom walked in the faith I no longer had. She believed when I could not. And so God answered their prayers and then some.
He not only gave me a baby, but a baby girl! A healthy, baby girl! A perfect, healthy, BEAUTIFUL baby girl! She’s a complete miracle!
(I told you I was full of exclamation marks tonight.)
There were days, soooooo many days, when I was sick with this baby and doubts would creep in. “Will I have another miscarriage? What if this baby has Down’s Syndrome? How will I care for a baby at my age? How can I go through another excrutiating labor like I did with my son? Will I ever stop throwing up?”
The doubts were there. Every night. And then I would hear that gentle, sweet voice.
“She will be perfect. The labor will be fine. Your daughter will be just like your mom. This baby will be a blessing to you.”
Ah, sweet music to my ears. Thank you, Holy Spirit. The world needs more women like my mom. Not me. My mom. My faithful, precious, kind-hearted, compassionate, loving, and faithful mother.
And so, a month ago, the Lord showed me great love and favor. He wrote me a love letter in the form of a baby girl.
And he gave me Faith.
Six pounds, 15 ounces. Born at 7:25 a.m. on 7/25/13. And I couldn’t be happier! (Exclamation point x 1000)