We welcomed a new little girl into our world on December 8th, 2015.
I suppose I have been somewhat quiet on the blog in the last 6 months or so. I just have not felt like forcing things that don't have to be said, I guess. I have had many attempts because I have had moments where I just needed to write, but as I would write, I realized it was all a jumbled mess and no one would understand it but me.
None the less, we've had a crazy month, to say the least. We started out with having Ana Rejoice on December 8th at 10:37am. She weighed 8lbs 10oz and was 20.5" long. She had a small emergency start because she inhaled a ton of fluid and had to be suctioned out immediately causing her the need to be in the nicu for almost 2 days. We got her out of there really quick and were able to have a "normal" time with her from there. We dealt with some jaundice (and she still turns carrot like occasionally) and had a 2 day stay in the hospital the week after we go home with her. There were some moments that first night with her under the bilirubin light that I felt so emotional and raw about the entire hospital life we led with Noah. Jaundice is just a simple newborn thing that happened with Ana and our pediatrician was VERY sure to assure me that it was simple and nothing life threatening with her knowing that I just could not handle it very well. ha. I got through those 2 days fine and we got home and got to a normal pace at home.
Everyone that sees Ana generally says that she looks so much like her brother. I love that. Ana does have a lot of her sister's faces and stretches at this point, but overall I agree that she resembles her brother in many ways. I cannot help but smile every time I hear someone say that because that means they remember his face.
As a mom of a child who died, I appreciate deeper than people know that they remember his face enough to say our daughter looks like him. What joy it brings me to have our son talked about, remembered and honored in this way. So, if you think she looks like Noah, thank you. My heart smiles every time I hear it.
I get funny looks sometimes when people ask me her name. Ana Rejoice. "....." It is not a common middle name. I know. It comes from Habakuk, from a verse I held dear while on the journey in Ft. Worth with Noah. Habakuk 3:18
If you read all of Habakuk 3 you will understand that the whole chapter is full of frustration, despair, famine, drought, etc and then it wraps up with that verse. It reminds me that in ALL things we can rejoice and find the joy. In ALL things, and God showed me that even in DEATH, we can find joy and we can rejoice in the GOODNESS of our God. It took a long time after Noah died to really mean that. Yet, God is faithful and I can tell you in full honesty now, that He IS GOOD. He HEALS, He REDEEMS, He MAKES RIGHT, He even makes it OK.
Ana Rejoice has shown us, in tangible form, that he is redeeming our loss. She doesn't replace Noah in any form or fashion, but she is filling a void left by him by simply being her. She is our sweet and precious baby girl and she will always bear part of her Bubby's testimony in her name. She wore his first Christmas jammies and will forever have part of his legacy as her identity handed down as well.
She completes our little family in ways we never imagined and she could never replace our boy. She makes his testimony in our lives so much richer because she is a sweet prize for the dark days. She is worth all the mourning and long nights of crying. She eases the sting of loss. Ava has been many healing things for me over the course of the last 3 years in her own way and now Ana is the same.
I can say that I am a mother to THREE precious children. I am a girl momma and a boy mom. I am proud to be a heart mom and a mother who has experienced loss. These things shape me and make me the wife, mother and person I am today. They shape my worship leading, my walk with Christ, the way I look at and do my job, the way I interact with others, etc. I am thankful for the scar I bear from my 3 babies and I am thankful for how EACH of my children have taught me different life lessons, brought me more sleepless and joyful years of my life and have extended God's grace to me without even knowing it.
Motherhood is hard. Loss is hard. I've realized that in the middle of the night when I'm zombie like and its hard to get up to feed Ana, I just remember the long, dark, lonely nights I didn't get to pick up that sweet boy, feed him, hold him, or play with him. I did not get to have anything that even resembled normal with that baby boy and so anything I get to experience with Ana is healing for me. I've been able to breastfeed her, which is a healing thing from both of my previous baby experiences. I pumped for both, but this time around I am getting this extra special time with Ana. We were able to bring Ana home in a normal amount of time from the hospital. We have been able to just be home and soak up these first few weeks of life with her and it has been so sweet.
Sleepless nights are NOT fun, but they shouldn't be taken for granted.
A fussy and restless baby at 3:30am isn't my first choice, but I've held my child as he entered heaven and I would stay up every night with my fussy girl to get that boy back.
The messy house, crazy hours, tired eyes, soreness from surgery, the huge scar I have.. I would not trade it. I will not take any of it for granted.
If you are aching and hurting from recent loss. Don't give up. Your joy is not lost. Your redemption is coming. He will make it all right. It might not ever make sense, I'm certain it won't, but it won't always cause such long nights, confusion or anger. The healer heals. He is working in your grief. He is making you better, if you let him. He will show you Himself if you watch closely.
Thankful tonight for our Ava Renee', Noah James and Ana Rejoice.