For the first half of my pregnancy I imagined bringing home our fourth child to our chaotic home in Oliver. I pictured myself laying on the couch holding our new babe while the other three kids played around us. I thought about going for walks in the campground with the baby while the other three rode their bikes around us. I thought about drinking my tea in the quiet kitchen while nursing the baby (kids still asleep). I thought about the newborn photos that I would take of our precious little one in our home. I thought about snuggling up to David at the end of the evening, starring into our baby’s eyes (while the other kids slept soundly in their rooms). I imagined life as anyone would have based on having several kids before.
Life the past couple of weeks has hardly looked at all like what I had first imagined. Some days I feel sad about this loss but then suddenly jerk myself back to the reality that life is looking a lot better than it could have. Sure, it’s challenging and some days both David and I feel so done with this living situation but after being here for more than a month we understand all too well that our reality is a good one. We can have all the plans in the world, but in the end they are just ideas and plans. God had another reality waiting for us. It has stretched us and changed us. This past year, with all the moving around and temporary living situations, I have constantly been reminded to not find my comfort and peace in a place but rather in Christ. Home is also wherever our family is, sometimes I wonder what our hearts are being prepared for (this also kind of scares me). That said, we are really looking forward to getting back to our home in Oliver! I am also reminded of the importance of people and relationships over tasks and jobs. We have met so many people here that have lost their jobs or had to quit because they had to stay at the house/ hospital for extended periods of time, we are thankful that this isn’t our reality. Everyday I see “family first” being modeled in this place. We have seen so many miracles here and yet so much sadness. Realizing that a family is no longer at the house because their wee babe didn’t make it breaks my heart. The sadness of loss is very much a reality here just as hope and miracles are. I cling onto sweet Maleena just a little tighter. Life is so precious and fragile. I never imagined standing in a communal kitchen discussing infant surgeries with other new moms in common language just as if we were discussing strollers or the best place to buy diapers. The other day in a brief 2 minute elevator ride, I listened to a mom talk about her son’s cancer treatment and the effects it was having on him, as well as her vulnerability during this time. Earlier in the day I listened as a grandpa told me that his infant grandson had passed away that morning. Later another mom shared her daughter’s birth story and what it’s been like living here for the past year as her daughter fights for her life with every breath she takes; hope is something that not everyone has anymore. My heart is broken daily through the conversations that I have. I cry for the babies I haven’t met and the families that are enduring what no family should have to go through. My heart aches for the people that I see and talk to each day. I pray and ask God why people have to go through this all, it’s just not fair. Yes, this time is just so different than what I had first imagined.
But the reality is that it’s ok, we’re doing ok. We’re thankful for our reality. We’re trying our best to embrace the time with our family and soak in all the newborn goodness of sweet Maleena. It’s been amazing to have David “home” so much, his support and help with the kids have been incredible. We are so grateful that we’ve been able to enjoy quality time spent with relatives and friends. The time, support and love that have been shown to us have been such gifts. This has truly been an unforgettable experience, the good and the bad.
Our next appointment date/ ultrasound date is the 27th, still waiting on a surgery date. These pics are of a typical morning in our room. Not pretty pics in the least, just real in the moment photos… kids everywhere, ipad enjoyment to keep kids entertained, Tree House on TV, sleeping mats everywhere, diapers, a bassinet, daddy still trying to sleep amongst the chaos ( I would be too if I wasn’t taking the photos). Well, you get the idea. This is life…it’s not what we imagined but we’re thankful for it anyways.