On this Christmas Day of 2018, I feel so much joy, so much excitement from watching the happiness erupt on our children’s sweet faces as we enjoyed love and play all day. Such deep happiness listening to our Evy saying “Merry Christmas” to us, and really being an active part of this holiday for the first time in his 3 years of life….
And I also feel something else, something entirely separate from this holiday–deep gratitude.
Gratitude for our healthy, vibrant 18 month old baby daughter, Lydia Lynn. And I feel compelled to share and memorialize this gratitude with this blog post. So please, read along, and join me in celebrating this beautiful day:
2 years ago today, the pain began.
2 years ago today, I was barely 15 weeks pregnant…but couldn’t eat more than 2 bites of the delicious supper my mother had prepared because my stomach felt as if it had a knife in it. I thought it was just another part of the treacherous first trimester I had with you sweetheart, that it was just horrible heartburn of some kind. Little did I know, it was something much more insidious. Something rearing it’s ugly head to threaten your life, and my own.
2 years ago today, I came home in extreme & frightening pain, praying for hours for sleep to come….only to wake up shortly after I fell asleep with my body in what I now know was shock. I thought it was a wicked flu bug…but no, it was not that at all.
2 years ago tomorrow, I would finally succumb to going to the emergency room when the pain wouldn’t subside. 2 years ago tomorrow, I found out that I needed an emergency appendectomy asap, or I could lose my own life and above all, YOURS.
2 years ago the day after tomorrow, I would go in to an operating room knowing that I had about a 75% chance of coming out still pregnant with you….I would be terrified beyond my wildest nightmares….but I would also know that this was the only wise choice I could make. I had to say yes, for your life and my own. 2 years ago day after tomorrow, I would be lying on my right side sobbing in a hospital bed, waiting for your dad to arrive, praying to be wheeled in to surgery so that my racing, panicking mind could quiet down.
2 years ago day after tomorrow, I would be put to sleep…not before taking the surgeon’s hand in my own and saying to him “I know that I am your number 1 priority, that it has to be that way…but HER (hand on my stomach, even when I didn’t know from any ultrasound what gender you were), she is priority 1.5. I need you to promise me I will wake up still pregnant with her. Will you promise me?”
And promise me, he did.
2 years ago day after tomorrow, I would awaken groggy as could be from general anesthetic, to frantically visually locate the nurse nearest me and ask her what the verdict was: I couldn’t speak yet, and the nurse appeared blurry still, but I pointed to my womb and my eyes met hers. She looked at me, took my hand, and said “Baby is fine. Do you hear that? That’s her heartbeat, good & strong”.
And here you are, my sweet, strong Lydia Lynn, safely snuggled up on my shoulder after we have enjoyed a full Christmas Day of family and of love. Here you are in your new sleeper from Santa, while mommy sings you your nightly lullaby. Here you are, breathing in to my neck, falling asleep on my shoulder…while happy, thankful tears stream down my face.
My sweet, strong girl, who was always meant to complete our family unit. Our sweet, strong girl who will lead Evrett as the years go by, and be his biggest cheerleader. Our sweet, strong girl…who will not only change our world, but will no doubt change the world around her in turn.
My sweet strong girl…named after your Great Grandma, whom I always miss most deeply on this day every year. Your Great Grandma, whom I hadn’t spent a Christmas without in so many years that I don’t even remember when the last time without her was….and whose presence I felt so strongly today that it was overwhelming in a beautiful, heartwarming way. Your Great Grandma, who on that ominous Christmas Day 2 years ago, looked at me laying in the recliner in all of my pain, and pointedly said (with her usual hint of humor & sarcasm): “that’s how you know it’s a GIRL“.”
Well, you were right Grandma, and she is your girl. Funny, witty and always quick as can be. When she gives me a run for it, I can feel you standing beside us, chuckling and saying “See, I KNEW she was on the way! She’s payback!”
~To my sweet baby daughter, and my dearest grandma who is never far in spirit and is still deeply missed. I love you both to the moon and back.