There are times during this fight for the life of my fourth that I realize what I have learned over the last 5 years. Yes 5. Perhaps it is even more clear as the birthday of my first born quickly approaches. I look at this beautiful, blue eyed, little girl and I remember when she was born. I remember the first few months of her life and how hard they seemed and I smile. Not to discount the difficulty of first time parenting, because I am well aware of that difficulty. Sleepless nights, breast infections, endless crying. Not realizing then in the moments of utter frustration, what an absolute miracle a healthy, crying, pooping, burping, spitting up, fussy, no napping baby is!! Oh my goodness have I learned, just as I learn everything, the hard way.
I must say I think of the things that I complained about and I shake my head. Not that I knew any better then. Not that I was complaining just for the sake of hearing myself. But still, it was complaining. And now that I am on this side of parenting that I never imagined myself on, honestly I am a little embarrassed. So many parents like we are now, that were tired beyond my wildest dreams, fighting for the life of one of theirs or even worse, begging Jesus for one to fight for and I was complaining about sleepless nights and runny noses. The Lord sure knows how to teach me tough lessons. But this one I am grateful for. You see my friends I never knew. I honestly took for granted my first two babies. Are they a miracle? Yes. Did I have a clue what a miracle really was? Nope.
But now I see them completely different. The way they talk, the way they sleep, the way they walk and move and dance. I think about that little boy that I buried and imagine what he would have been like and it makes me smile and then I cry and then I see Josie. It's like the Lord brought Josie early as a gift. No it isn't LIKE that, it IS that. He gave her to us so that we would have a glimpse of exactly what He can do in His time, His way. And we have watched her, day after day, hour after hour, sometimes minute after minute as He has held her in His hand and given her breath, health, life. I have seen His ways in full force like I never imagined I would get to. I have witnessed His presence in a way that I only thought was possible when I stand before Him one day. And now what that will be like is beyond more than I can comprehend. Because what this is like was beyond more than I could imagine, until it was here, until she was here.
And so I run myself ragged from here to there. Driving, pumping, caring for my girls that reside at Golden Meadow Lane while anticipating the next time I am with the one that lives at Centennial Medical Center. I run myself ragged and I smile and I pray and I praise because I know. I know that there are parents that don't have what I have. I know there are parents that have lost the fight in the NICU on the 7th floor of the Women's Center. I know that the parents of Daniel would give anything to be as tired as I am. That his mama would love to be worrying about IF she would have enough milk WHEN he comes home. I know that Gavin's daddy wishes he was as tired as Josie's daddy. He wishes that he was still sleeping with his phone by the bed just in case Gavin needed him in the middle of the night. I know that Gavin's mama wishes that her baby weight was worth every pound she was trying desperately to hold onto because Gavin was growing and healthy like Josie and maybe just maybe one day would be able to nurse.
I realize now, more than ever, that all of the things that are frustrating about being a mommy to healthy kids and to one that you are fighting for are gifts. Nothing but grace and mercy at it's finest my friends. And so I will be tired and I will smile. I will be sore and I will pump. I will drive everyday and I will sing and rejoice at what He has done for me and the gifts He has graced me with knowing that they are precious and realizing that they are not necessarily forever.
We are nine weeks deep in the fight of our lives, in the fight for hers. And we know, we know we are not through. We know that is it still not a guarantee that she will live with us on Golden Meadow Lane. We are grateful for every single moment of the last nine weeks. We have both soaked up the time with her. We have held her and sang to her and read to her and prayed over her and told her what we know: Jesus loves her, mama and daddy love her and she is amazing. And for the next seven or eight or ten weeks we will tell her that, everyday. We will love her as much as you can possibly love a person, with everything we have and every moment that we can give her will be hers. And maybe, just maybe He will let us keep her. Maybe she will grow up with these two beautiful miracles He has already let us have. But either way, she will be the single most amazing person we have ever touched. She will be the greatest miracle we have ever seen. She will be the one who showed us who Jesus really is, almost as if she introduced us to Him herself.
Thank you for continuing to pray for our miracle.