Four weeks ago, a sweet baby girl entered the world and pretty much captured the hearts of everyone who met her (with, perhaps, the exception of a few unnamed individuals who don’t find babies as endearing as the rest of us do).
She did things her own way, having entangled herself firmly in her cord in the months leading up to her delivery (a nurse in the OR called it her jewelry, wrapped as it was around her neck, her waist, and her ankle), and so her coming resulted in a six-inch scar and a six-week recovery time for her mama.
She was worth it.
The past month has been a time of rest, which might not be the first thing to come to mind when one thinks of the early days of caring for a newborn. But I have been forced to slow down, to relax, to focus on caring for myself and for this new life entrusted to me, and so I have done little but hold a sweet girl since she was born. It seems a paradox, that though I am constantly tired, and though there have been moments of frustration (the time when Jonathan came home and I immediately burst into tears, for example, or the night I learned that projectile pooping is a thing), still I would describe my days as restful. It is the best word I have for the quiet peace of rocking my baby, and I am ever so grateful for the luxury of doing so. I know that not all moms have such freedom, that other worries and concerns and responsibilities press in even in those first days. And I know, too, that the early days can be so very hard for some, that not all find peace or rest, and so I am all the more grateful to be given this grace.
I am all too aware that this time is short, that the newborn stage only lasts so long, and so I whisper to her as I rock her to sleep that she need not hurry, that she need not grow up too fast, though I know she won’t listen. Already, she is changing and growing and the sweet weight of her on my chest has a different feel to it than it did at first. Though I am excited to see who she will become, though I know each stage has its own joy and wonder, I want to hold her here for a while, to make these days (or the good parts of them, anyway) stretch longer.
There is joy here, in this house, joy and peace and love, and I am overwhelmed by the good things, the good life I have been given. Though sorrow has come, and will come again, though pain and heartache are a part of our time on earth and there are days when choosing to be present in each moment seems near impossible, today, right now, is a time of laughter and rest, and I am cherishing these precious memories.