My sweet Rebekah turns two in eight weeks. I shake my head in amazement at just how fast these two years have gone.
In these last two years I have learned more about myself and my Savior than I had in the previous 33 years of my life.
With each passing day, new emotions and thoughts come into play. These are emotions that will knock you over if you aren’t paying attention. Some of these I haven’t seen in a while and others come to visit me every day.
Grief: Every parent dreams of their child. A mother feels her baby moving inside of her and her mind immediately goes to a place where she can see him moving and stretching just waiting to be held. Parents plan for baby’s first steps, banter over what the first word will be, and eagerly wait for that eye contact and smile that let you know that they understand who you are. For some parents, these dreams will never become reality. There is a grieving that goes on when you discover that your child is not 100% healthy. A grieving over the loss of the dream that you held close for months. I ABSOLUTELY and COMPLETELY love Rebekah and hate saying this out loud…but I hope that by being honest about emotions I can help someone else who is feeling the same way.
Guilt: I can’t help but wonder if there was something that I did during my pregnancy to make Rebekah the way she is. As a parent who tries to do everything possible to help her little girl, there is always that little nag in the back of my mind that wonders what caused this condition. I also feel guilty for grieving over something that wasn’t meant to be. Rebekah was God’s plan for our family and now we do our very best to plan and provide every thing she needs.
Exhaustion: I have never been so tired in all my life. My Mom always told me that when you have one child it is almost like playing house. Once you have a second child, the real work begins. My Mom had four girls and she must have been completely exhausted for most of her 30s and 40s! This makes me “on edge” with situations that wouldn’t normally bother me. I have apologized to Chris and Kayla many times for over-reacting. Many times this involves tears, a need to be alone, and even yelling. I am so thankful for the forgiving hearts of my family.
Fear: There is a very urgent fear that if we don’t do more, work harder, or provide better services for Rebekah that things won’t turn out as well as they could. There are a lot of decisions that have to be made (as with any child) and the fear of doing things the best way possible can wear you down.
Joy in the little things: When Kayla was growing up, I never realized what a monumental task it was to raise her hand up past her waist and grab for a toy. It was effortless for her to clap, roll over, crawl, walk, sit, prop herself with her hands, hold on while Mama was carrying her. All these tasks are huge, looming obstacles still in front of Rebekah. With each little baby step (she has yet to actually do this) forward there is such celebration and joy. Every advance is a victory. I am so much more aware of the beauty and intense detail in the creation of our heavenly Father. I admire the motivation and eagerness to learn that He has built into both my girls.
Perspective: My perspective has totally changed in the last two years. I am so thankful for the extreme privilege the Lord has given me to be the mother of these two beautiful baby girls. I see this now as my calling and the most fulfilling job I have ever had. Every day is a new adventure and a hill to climb. I am tired by the end of each day, and I know that by this, that I have worked hard for my family.
Strength: I have done things that I never knew I had the ability to do. Extreme love motivates you in a way that no other force can.
Dependence: I never knew how much I needed others. I am so proud of my husband and could not make it through one day without him. We have some amazing friends and some faithful prayer warriors that God has provided. Big sister Kayla helps me every day. For these simple gifts that I overlooked and neglected before, I am so thankful to God!