Saturday, April 25, 2015

He Was Worth the Wait

On April 13th, 2015 at 10:53am, after an intense 70,128 hours of (infertility) labor preceding conception, and a mere 56 hours of physical labor, with a lovely, redeeming 23 minutes of pushing, our son Robert (Robbie) Joseph entered the outside world.

I think it goes without saying that any child, any precious gift of human life, is worth the time, pain, and suffering that may have preceded its joyous arrival on the outside.  But, there is so much more worth in the wait when the focus is on the Truth.

My son, and the blessing of his life, was of course worth every moment of agony and joyful, and not-so-joyful suffering we encountered during our 8 years of infertility and inadoption.

But THE Son... He was the true desire of our hearts.  And no matter how our story may have played out, no matter what the future still may or may not hold for our family, HE was, and always will be, worth the wait.

At the culmination of this National Infertility Awareness Week, I want to remind my former self of that crucial fact that kept me going even on the darkest days.  HE was worth the wait.

He is worth the wait.

Friday, April 10, 2015

My View

Somehow... some way... this became my view, today, as I finished hanging some things on the walls of the nursery, and listened to one of my baby soundtracks on the iPod.

This room.  This room directly across from the master bedroom, which was so obviously the perfect choice for a nursery, became known to us, jokingly, as the Non-Nursery - a place to store old furniture, out-of-season clothes, and general mess we'd quickly get rid of as guests came to visit.

Now, it's a non- Non-Nursery.  It's a nursery. 

I've had 8 months to get used to the idea.  But somehow, some way, it still takes my breath away.

As I look around in awe and wonder, I hear the lyrics to one of the songs on my playlist resonating in the deepest confines of my heart:

"If you knew how much this moment means to me,
and how long I've waited for your touch -
and if you knew how happy you were making me,
I never knew that I'd love anyone so much."

And suddenly, it feels like home to me.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A New Easter

I awoke today to the sound of words echoing in my head - words I had heard before.  I suddenly remembered an old blog post, and went in search of it...

When I found it, I shouldn't have been surprised to note the timestamp:

Five years ago.  To the day.

Five years ago, almost four years into our childlessness and infertility, I posted this post at the end of Lenten Prayer Buddies:

And today?  Today I post this picture:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  There are no coincidences in my life.  Only God-incidences.
He is Risen!  Happy Easter to all.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blogger Baby Shower (with pics)

On Valentine's Day, I was COMPLETELY surprised to show up to my own baby shower put together by bloggers I've known for 7 years. 

Weeks ahead of time, my hubby (who knew about the whole thing from the get-go) told me not to make plans for Valentine's Day.  Financially, things were really not looking so hot come February, so I told him not to bother with our "secret getaway" and that I'd be happy to just watch a movie at home over a nice, home-cooked meal (that hopefully he would cook, haha... just kidding... no I'm not).  But he was adamant.  No, we were going to do this, it was a little far away, but it was "already paid for." 

Ugh.  Far away?  How far away?  3 hours???!!  What??  My pregnant butt and bladder were definitely not gung-ho about the idea, but I kept telling myself my husband went to all this trouble to plan a surprise BabyMoon for me, and so I am going to look forward to it!!  So, I did :)

As we were driving, I was still frankly amazed that I hadn't figured out where we were going, yet.  I'm not easy to surprise.  For some crazy reason, I became convinced we were going to an indoor water park (um, yes, I'm crazy) and kept asking if I had to put on a bathing suit.  (Uhhhhhh, have you noticed I'm 7 months pregnant, dear sweet husband???  What part of 3rd Trimester in a bathing suit in a public watering hole sounded appealing to you when you booked this thing?  But... I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!)  He kept assuring me I did not have to put on a bathing suit, nor wear my long johns (skiing was my other crazy idea - I'm not a great skier NOT pregnant, let alone now when I fall over putting on my shoes, ok, clogs.)

So we kept on driving as I kept on stewing silently trying to figure out where we were going and what we'd be doing.  The more I guessed, the happier he seemed to get that I truly had no idea.

As we got closer, I thought I recognized some landmarks - "Hey, wait... I've seen that before..." and I even asked if we were near Sew's mom's house in MD (where we had been for my goddaughter, Hannah Grace's baptism).  "No, we're in PA," was the answer.  He had evidently crossed the state border while keeping me preoccupied, so I believed him!

But then we got to the driveway.  Immediately I recognized the house, and with blue balloons all over the mailbox, it could only mean one thing.  I broke down into an uncontrollable sob as we pulled in the driveway, just SO TOUCHED that this was actually happening, for me... for ME??  The one who stood convinced there would never be a baby TO shower???  It was crazy.  And it got crazier.

Entering the home, I was greeted by the beautiful hostess, none other than Sew Infertile/Sew Hormonal/Sew What (lol) along with Jeremiah 29:11, Mrs. Mike (first time actually meeting this amazing woman, by the way!), and Finding Joy in Every Journey.  Apparently the Bubonic Plague was going around and so some other attendees could not make it, and all the kiddos had to stay home and vomit on their daddies :(  (Happy Valentine's Day!)  It was just such an honor to see all of these beautiful faces, putting their families and lives on hold for a day, to celebrate my precious son.  Overwhelming doesn't even begin to describe it.

But if I thought I was overwhelmed already, I was in for it.  As I walked around the corner, I saw a spread of delicious, homemade food, and beyond it, a sea of blue tablecloths, blue cupcakes, blue wrapped gifts, blue monkey confetti (I may have discovered a monkey fetish during this pregnancy), blue bootie favors,... the list just went on and on, and my eyes couldn't even take it all in!  (And, can I just say, Sew's Mom?  She's Sew on crack.  Every detail, and I do mean EVERY detail was accounted for, and everything was hand-made.  Unbelievable.)

While still recuperating from the initial shock of the day, I began to open what seemed like an endless cascade of gifts, with the theme of "baby library."  Not one repeat, and baby TCIE is going to be one well-read baby, not to mention well-dressed in monkey bowties, safari animal sweat suits, baseball clothes, and adorable onesies, and hopefully also well-bathed with washcloths, towels, and bath toys :)  Mama TCIE (uh, what did I just write??) is also going to be well-read with breastfeeding and parenting books, and, of course, what Yankee fan Mama of a baby conceived during Jeter's last season would be set without...
(who else but JellyBelly?)

There were a number of group gifts, as well:

Along with an adorable "bassinet" made of baby blankets, towels, washcloths (with monkeys on them!!) and diapers, made by Sew's Mom and sisters. 
And then the very last gift to be opened... also from Sew's Mom.  A sewing book with images of all different kinds of baptism gowns, with this page earmarked:

along with a note stating that she will be MAKING MY BABY'S BAPTISM GOWN from this pattern, and embroidering the Pater Noster along the bottom hem.  Um, EXCUSEMEWHAT?!?!?!?!  Am I dreaming???
It's probably a good thing that I opened a particular gift first, and not last.  Because I was just so emotionally and spiritually FULL by the end of the day.  And yet, while the entire day, and everyone who was there physically and in spirit, will forever remain in my heart as part of one of the very best memories of my life, the first gift I opened I believe captures exactly what that day, and all of you, means to me.
Bam.  The significance of this framed original artwork (by Sew's Mom) hit me immediately, and I couldn't hold back the tears... because it hit me, right then and there... This Cross I Embrace was never barren:
My heart is so full.
Thank you, all of you, for being a part of my journey.