The next day I was a nervous wreck and a ball of excitement, all rolled into one. Allan came home around 11:30 so I could go up to the hospital to be with my student. Before I left he asked, "Is it too late to get those tickets to the banquet at Fatherheart?" I looked at the website and we saw that there was no deadline for the hour, just that day. I asked him why and he said that he was thinking we should go. Period. Damn the cost. So we purchased the tickets with the money he had just earned finishing up a project and hoped a sitter would come through for that next Friday night.
Then I left for the hospital. I have written a little about this in a previous post in October. The baby was born at 1:09am on Saturday and I was with the mommy nearly the whole time. What a joyous thing to be included in the bringing of new life!
It was also heart-wrenching in so many ways and I spent a lot of Saturday dealing with some interesting emotions. I was first, overtired and second, processing so many things...there is nothing on this earth closer to giving birth yourself than to be the support for someone else who is giving birth.
Of all those emotions, I need to clarify that it never once crossed my mind to be jealous. There was no room for jealousy in my love-filled heart. I wouldn't even see the need to write it here, except a friend asked me later how it went. I told her how amazing it was and how proud I was and how grateful I was to have been there. Then I told her how it also stretched me and sometimes it took every cell of patience I had to not smack a nurse or doctor. How I had to understand that this was not my experience and I was only there to blend into the background. That sometimes it was WEIRD to be so heavily relied on by so many people I did not know (oh, but how closely entangled we all are now!)
Then she asked, "Was it hard?" And I stopped to ponder the question. I was rather at a loss for words because I didn't even fully understand the question. I came back with "What what hard?" She said, "Was it hard to be there and know he wasn't your child and that you couldn't take him home?"
And all at once, all of those old memories came rushing back. It seems to me that when God tells me to move on from something, almost always I kinda forget about it. I *remember* the pain and the anguish and the anger and the jealousy of mourning Josiah, but it's no longer in the forefront of my thinking, so I am not so in touch with it as I once was. But it was like lightning to remember, "oh yes...I do desperately want another baby to wrap in my arms" and to again feel all those things.
And in the next moment, just like that, all of the emotions fell away and I was able to honestly, directly look her in the eyes with a sincere smile on my face and in my heart and say, "No. Not at all. I do not begrudge that family their joy one bit and really, I hadn't even thought about my own loss until right this minute."
I cannot explain to you how grateful I am to have been able to say that in honesty and with love in my heart. Things are changing. Babies *LIKE* me now. I used to terrify anyone's children but my own. I *LIKE* babies now. I used to think my heart could only love my own and sometimes not even them (I jest, but other parents know what I mean) God is changing my husband AND me. Refining us, calling us to open our hearts. He's truly and completely trading our ashes in for beauty.
Did I mention that was the theme for the banquet at the maternity home? Ashes for Beauty. Which is, as you may recall, what I've been saying since we lost Josiah. It's peppered into nearly every post I made then and it was my mantra for a year. I love seeing this full-circle. Many times in life we don't get to see the fullness of our experiences, but this time I do, and I'm glad of it.
I guess there are many miracles here, all wrapped up into one, but this series will have to end someday, right? (Just the writing, not the miracles. God works those daily. There will be no end to those.) What kind of miracles have you seen lately? I'd love to hear from you. Love and hugs to you all!