(For the curious, Alia is pronounced "uh-LEE-uh" -- like you are counting one Leah..."Once, I met a Leah who was a very sweet girl." Make sense?)
My baby girl was born last Monday, just before Tuesday, at 11:53pm. What an absolute whirlwind the last week has been!
I know you're anxious to hear the birth story, but today I want to write about motherhood and what this last week has meant to me. I promise I'll get into all the gory details later. ;)
To get us started, look at this sweet, sweet face.
|Oct. 8, 2014 - 2 Days Old|
I'm a mother. Call me Mom, Mommy, Mama -- I am now a mother.
I'm still wrapping my head around it.
This first week has birthed many emotions, many experiences, many feelings. Full of pain, healing, sweetness, surprise, exhaustion, joy, sadness...it has been an overwhelming week to be sure! The most prominent feeling?
An inexplicable sense of wonder floods me when I see her perfectly beautiful little face. Her tiny fingers wraps around mine and my heart nearly stops. She stretches out her long legs and flexes the toes I gave her and nothing could take the smile from my face.
She sleeps in my arms and I gaze at closed eyelids covering blue eyes like her father's, and my heartbeat sings a praise song to my Father.
I've never really thought much about my breathing. There have been a few days of focused gratitude where I force the consciousness of each breath and wonder at the amazing way my lungs just work. But with Alia...wow. Each breath is full of miracle. I watch her chest rise and fall, holding my own breath, in absolute awe that each time she inhales is a miraculous gift. Like every new mother, I tense myself in the night, straining to hear that faint puff that lets me know she's alive. I relax when she stirs, assuring me that the miracle has occurred yet again.
It's a momentary miracle, but it's a moment by moment miracle that somehow strengthens my faith in the Sovereign Creator who formed her lungs and breathed life into my child.
We created her...Landon and I...our love for each other and yet, not just that. I remain convinced that Alia is here specifically because God wants her here -- she certainly wasn't something we planned! I love my role as a joint-creator with the Creator. He formed her "inward parts and knitted [her] together in [her] mother's womb" (Ps. 139:13, ESV) and that womb was mine.
We've had a few people tell us that we "did good," commenting on her beautiful little face, and it's funny to think about because really what did I/we do except contribute DNA? I did very much hope that she would have Landon's nose and eyes and my lips (and so far, she does!), but beyond hoping, what could I actually do?
Someone far greater than I had His hand in forming her, His fingers molding her into her tiny little self. While anxiously awaiting her arrival (and lamenting her lateness), a dear friend told me she imagined that He was putting the final touches on His masterpiece. I like that image a lot. I imagine Him smiling as He gave her lips that pucker and decorated her head with soft, brown hair.
And I like that I'm thinking about these things with such warmth filling my heart....but that's a post for another day.
I didn't have a "flooded with love" moment when they handed her to me -- I was definitely flooded with awe and wonder. "She's a little human!" is what I'm pretty sure I said. I adored her from the start and I'm learning to love her. I love her dearly, but like in any relationship, I'm learning who she is and how to love her.
The love grows.
I feel no shame in not having that "moment" right off. Two days ago, I was holding her, looking at her perfect face, and my heart was full...flooded...overflowing.
I say all this currently covered in spit up and smelling of milk and loving it. I have been surprised by motherhood and surprised at how much I don't feel like it has robbed my life --- which is how I felt during the entirety of my pregnancy. I can't imagine her not being here...hardly remember what it was like without her...and I look forward to how being a mother shapes me, shapes my art, and shapes my heart.
My little Alia Grace -- one who bears lights to the unmerited favor of God. Already she lives up to that in the softening of my own heart, in the grace that has swept over me in my new role, in the light that has brightened my days this week.
I'm so glad she's here. I delight in being her mother. I can't believe this is all happening...but I'm very glad it is.
Too many thoughts for just one post. More to come later!
|Oct. 6, 2014 - 41 weeks, 1 day - Last Baby Bump|
|Oct. 12, 2014 - 42 weeks...|
|...but no more baby!|
|Oct. 12, 2014 - 6 Days Old --There's the baby!|