I was rocking our 10 month old (WHAT?!) before bed a few days ago. He had been sick with bronchiolitis and needed extra snuggles.
As we sat in his dark room, quietly rocking back and forth, he held my finger with his sweet little hand like he does quite often, and I started getting teary eyed.
The gift of his life is not lost on me, and, I hope, never will be. Losing his brother, holding my son that I never got to see smile or sit or crawl or anything else that Finley will eventually do, has given me an appreciation for everything we do have with Finley. And I will often close my eyes in moments like that night and just be. Just soak it in. Commit it to the depths of my memory, where I will have it forever.
That night, I closed my eyes and let that moment sink deep into me, and I was overwhelmed. I replayed the many other moments that I had already tucked away, and it was all too much.
We wanted another baby, but, after waiting so long, had accepted that it may never happen. We would be okay no matter what.
Raising a baby is exhausting and emotionally taxing and wonderful.
I didn’t think I would ever get to be woken up by a baby 4 times in the night. I didn’t think I would ever get to hear my own baby cry. I didn’t think I would get to reach a level of exhaustion that I didn’t even know existed. I didn’t think I would get to feel my baby’s cheek against mine. I didn’t think I would get to hear my baby make those sweet newborn sounds or let out a belly laugh or let out a deafening cry. I didn’t think I would get to stare into my baby’s eyes and forget everything else around us. I didn’t think I would get to be peed on and pooped on by my own baby. I didn’t think I would get feel my baby’s soft, smooth skin. I didn’t think that I would get to know what it’s like to get nothing done because someone else needed me so much. I didn’t think I would get to kiss my baby’s slobbery lips. I didn’t think I would get to take thousands of pictures of my baby. I didn’t think I would get see my baby light up when I walked in a room. I didn’t think I would get to nurse my baby. I didn’t think I would get to rock my sick baby to sleep while he squeezed my finger.
But there I was. Here I am. I get to do every one of those things and more.
And as I listed everything I could think of while he held my finger, I cried tears of gratitude. What a gift it is to be this tired. What a gift it is to be this needed – even when it feels like more than I can give. What a gift it is to be his mom.
Thank you, Jesus.