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Celebrating Our Unexpected Gift
Friends, we are 5 weeks into postpartum, and while my brain is fried from sleep deprivation, my heart is so very full.
Holding sweet Judah in my arms has changed so many things for me.
Before he was born, I was nervous I wouldn’t feel bonded to him. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to love him as much as I love our girls. I feared the unknown.
But once he was in my arms and I was able to take in all his tiny features and kiss his squishy cheeks, the love in my heart exploded and all those fears were obliterated. My motherly instinct kicked in and all I wanted to do was to pull him close and love on him for all eternity.
And so I find myself naturally saying, “Thank you. Thank you for this gift. Thank you so, so much” – a prayer/mantra I was not expecting prior to his arrival. I can’t believe how full my heart is and how grateful I am for this tiny little human. He is more beautiful than I imagined.
I forgot how much I love newborns. When I’m out of the newborn phase, I tend to only focus on the negatives – the lack of sleep and the inability to get anything done as a result. But being in the newborn stage once again, I find myself telling John that we have to have more babies. That this can’t be our last newborn. (Say wha??)
Now, biologically, I am done having babies. I’ve been blessed to be able to conceive, carry, and birth our three babies at home, and I am forever grateful for that. But I am ready to close that chapter in our lives. Each of my births have gotten substantially more difficult, and I truly can’t imagine enduring a birth equal to or worse than Judah’s. But that thankfully doesn’t mean we can’t have babies anymore.
I had always wondered how we would know when our family is ‘complete’. And I find it similar to all those years I wondered how I would know a guy was ‘the one’. And in both of those situations, it was just this feeling. It sounds somewhat shallow written out, but it’s true. When I met John and had dated him for all of one month, I knew I wanted to marry this man STAT (and if you knew my prior dating history, you would know how a miracle basically had to take place for me to reach that conclusion). Our wedding day couldn’t come soon enough.
It’s the same with knowing Judah isn’t our last baby. Every time I hold him, I love him more than I thought possible. And at the same time, I realize my heart has room for even more child(ren) to love and raise. Now, writing this out and confessing this to the unknown reaches of this blogosphere makes me a little nervous because what if I change my mind? What if having three kids completely fries me and I call it quits on the whole growing-my-family quest? Well, I don’t know if I’ll change my mind. I don’t think I will, but goodness, we all know life doesn’t always go the way we expect it to, so I’m okay with not having complete certainty about our future. But for where we are right now, we hope to have more children and we hope to do that through adoption.
But until then, I want to thank you all for your prayers and support over the past year and especially through the early months of my pregnancy with Judah. I am so, so grateful that giving birth to him and holding him in my arms was all that was needed for my heart to be completely submerged in an ocean of love for him.
And for all the women who took the time to write me and share their own stories of struggle and pain with unexpected pregnancies, thank you. It was completely humbling and honoring to learn part of your story and to know that I wasn’t alone. And while I am extremely grateful and lucky to have had my heart change so suddenly and so completely, I know from some of your emails that not all of you were able to experience that upon the birth of your surprise baby. And yet you continue to love that child and give of yourself until you’re beyond exhausted, and for that, I want to hug you and bless you and honor you for your incredibly sacrificial ways.
You are an incredible mom. Your giving of yourself is not in vain. Your child may never completely know the depth of your struggles and pain and journey, but s/he will always know of your love for him/her. You are not alone on this journey; we are on it together and we will make it through. Hang in there, mama. You’re gonna make it through.