Wednesday, February 25, 2009

For Her

I lay in bed this morning thinking of a sweet little girl; who incidentally, was lying in the crook of my arm.  This sweet little girl is about to have the only world she's ever known rocked to the core.  She's also about to experience the greatest joy- and something that she's asked for since she learned to speak.

I remember very clearly the times that she was barely a few feet tall- yet begging for a little sister or brother.  I remember very clearly her asking why she couldn't have one.  I remember my overwhelming feelings of inadequacy when we were struggling through those couple of years of unexplained infertility.  When pregnancy had come so easily before, yet now just couldn't happen.  And I would spend many of hours crying, pouring my heart out to the Lord, like Hannah.  Praying that He would hear my prayers and answer them.  And that little intuitive spirit, in that tiny 3 year old little body... wise beyond her years.  One day as the tears stained my cheeks she looked up from the TV, came over and wiped my eyes and said, "Mommy, I know why your heart hurts today.  Because you want a baby and you can't have one."  I was awestruck as I was very careful not to ever say anything in front of her to indicate there was a problem.  

Still, she continued to ask.  And we had to come to terms with the fact that it might just be that for some unknown reason a sibling would be the one thing on this earth that we wouldn't be able to give to her.  

I never wanted to be the mother of an only child.  I never wanted her to grow up alone.  My heart would ache.  With every milestone, every new thing she learned to do; everything that should have been celebrated, was only celebrated superficially.  Deep down inside I grieved her growing up.  The only baby that I was able to bring to this earth was growing up before our very eyes and I just couldn't stand it.

I remember the months of unsuccessful fertility treatments.  The crazy hormones.  The times that my patience was way too thin for such a sweet little girl.  With each and every unsuccessful round of treatment- hopes dashed yet again.  My heart was filled with such grief, yet so much love for the one that I had been blessed with, the one that was so sweet and perfect, the one that kept asking for a sibling to love and to play with... for her.

Then, finally!  Success!  The positive pregnancy test!  We never hesitated to tell her the news!  That finally- we were going to be able to grant her greatest wish!  The sibling that she desired for so long was finally on it's way.  It never even dawned on us to guard her little heart, even though we had already had 2 miscarriages at this point.  Certainly after 15 months of trying this one would work!  We talked about baby things, and baby names... and she was over the moon with excitement for this little sibling that she had been desiring!  She was going to be the Big Sister!  

The strong lab results, the strong heartbeat, the beautiful ultrasound image.  Followed by pain.  A life too short, taken from us again.  But this time it was different.  It didn't just hurt me, and it didn't just hurt Jason, it hurt her.  We thought that since she had just turned 3 years old that she might just forget about the baby if we stopped talking about it.  Not this girl, not the one with the memory like an elephant.  She remembered, and remembered well.  Daily she spoke of the baby with such excitement, unknowingly pouring salt into my seeping wounds.  One day out of the blue, that all too smart little mind finally caught on to what was happening.  Out of the blue she said, "Mommy, do you have a baby in your belly or what?"  I was rendered speechless yet again.  Her beautiful blue eyes piercing mine, waiting patiently for a response.  We had already decided upon adoption, so we lovingly told her what we should have shared with her a few weeks ago.  That the baby we all had wanted for so long was gone.  It was in Heaven with Jesus.  

Yes, sweetheart, I know that you wanted it here.  So did we.  My grief was so strong I could hardly comfort her.

For her.  The one who, still to this day, has a helium balloon for a day or so, then decides to let it go to fly up to heaven for Jesus and for her sibling that she wanted so badly.  

For her.  The one who quietly sat in the backseat with tears streaming down her face and chin quivering as we left the hospital when visiting her new cousin 18 months ago.  She spoke up finally, with voice trembling, and said, "But... Mommy and Daddy...I wanted us to be the ones who were so excited!  I wanted us to be the ones to have the new baby to hold!"

My resolve had worn out years ago.  I was weary from this fight known as infertility and miscarriage.  My arms were tired from holding them up during the battle.  My heart was shattered one too many times.  I had decided that I was going to just love Jesus and trust Him.  And that regardless if He ever decided to bless my womb again, or if He ever decided to grace my arms with the warmth of a newborn little life that was my own... I was going to serve Him and love Him and praise Him.  Regardless of the outcome of it all.  After all, He had already done so much.

But, for her.  I just couldn't stop myself from trying again to give her the sibling that she wanted, the child that of course we wanted too.  

The sweet tender spirit who talks to my belly, then listens in my mouth waiting to hear the baby speak.  The sweet little girl who can't keep her hands off of my growing belly.  The one who tells me how beautiful I look every day.  The one who prays for me and for this little life without any prompting.

For her... my firstborn, my love, my heart.