Friday, January 25, 2013

When Satan Tempts Me To Despair

The morning of January third dawned early. I breakfasted and prepared to go welcome Ruby into the world.

It was a little overwhelming. With a push, life was going to change. Dramatically.

I found myself weepy, and despairing. My very unreliable, pregnancy-hormone-driven feelings were ruling my head and my heart. No matter what truth I told myself, I worried and feared and grieved.

Sometimes grieving the old is necessary in order to welcome the new. But it's not healthy to wallow in that place. Especially not on your kid's birthday.

As I was leaving all choked up, I told my friend, who was watching Brynne and Hadley for us, that I was struggling, and to pray for me. She told me she would pray, and would love to give me a hug, but she hadn't brushed her teeth yet. Ha! That's one of the many reasons I love her. So thankful for the levity she offered in that moment.  

This is one of her favorite verses:
The Lord will fight for you; you need only be silent. ~Exodus 14:14
 Easier to listen to God when you're silent.
Silence requires the discipline to recognize the urge to get up and go again as a temptation to look elsewhere for what is close at hand. It offers the freedom to stroll in your own inner yard, and to rake up the leaves there and clear the paths so you can easily find the way to your heart. Perhaps there will be much fear and uncertainty when you first come upon the "unfamiliar terrain", but slowly and surely you will discover an order and familiarity which deepens your longing to stay home...whenever you come upon this silence, it seems as though you have received a gift, one which is "promising" in the true sense of the word. It promises new life. It is the silence of peace and prayer, because it brings you back to the One who is leading you. ~Henri Nouwen
It was a gift, this silence. As I welcomed endured those blasted pitocin-induced contractions, my head and my heart were full of truth. Fear and worry melted away. I was thankful---especially once I had an epidural.

(And can I just say---if you labored and delivered naturally with pitocin, you are my hero. I just couldn't hang.)

In that place of quiet. I was able to see the gift of welcoming Ruby into the world. 

If you've had twins, you know how crazy the birth can be. If you haven't, here's a glipse at our experience: we delivered in the sterile, very cold operating room. There were at least 10 people (nurses, my doctor, pediatricians, respiratory therapists, and others) waiting to welcome our 35 weekers. The girls got whisked away right after they were born to regulate their temperatures and to help them breathe better. Then, EVERYONE wanted to meet our girls---it was a circus in my hospital room non-stop from morning till evening, and we had no time get to know our girls. They discovered that Brynne had a heart defect, and her beautiful lips kept turning a scary shade of blue. Then, Brynne was transferred to the NICU at another hospital. Brad went with her, and I stayed with Hadley. 

I don't know what I expected, but that was hard and overwhelming.

Ruby's birth was different. Peaceful. Beautiful.
  • We delivered in a normal delivery room. 
  • There were only three medical people in the room. 
  • They put Ruby on my chest the second she was born. (I had no idea they even did that!)
  • And, more. They didn't whisk her away anywhere. They let her stay and hang out for awhile before they cleaned her up. 
  • I got to breastfeed her right away. 
  • The heart defect she had in my belly was gone. I asked every.single.time a nurse or doctor checked out Ruby, just to make sure the last person hadn't missed anything. Her heart is perfect.  
  • Hardly anyone knew we were in labor, so there were no texts or facebook distractions. We were fully present to the miracle of Ruby's entrance into the world. 
  • We had no visitors (other than Brynne and Hadley). So we enjoyed lots of newborn snuggles.
The whole experience was so redeeming for me. Silence allowed the full weight of that to soak in.  To revel in joy and thanksgiving. To rest. To bond with sweet Ruby.

A slow stillness of the new. And a joy of this most precious gift. 

A friend from church, quite unexpectedly, took this picture of me and Ruby. Ruby was just a little over a week old, I'm quite sure I was sleep-deprived. I love this moment he captured! It's real. It's beautiful. I don't have on makeup, my hair isn't done, I forgot to put on earrings. But I got in the picture, and I'm really glad I did. There's a joy, a glow that he captured that is sacred and lovely. 


cat said...

I am so glad you had such a wonderful birth experience. Congrats once again and what a stunning photo full of love

Alice H said...

Beautiful words, Julia! So glad you had a better experience this time and have had time to revel in those quiet moments. You're a beautiful mama!

Heather B said...

The beautiful photo says it all! After your birth experience with the twins, I am so glad you got to have this different experience and that you could embrace God in the silence.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I can only begin to imagine the emotion of leaving home that morning, but it is so incredibly wonderful to hear how things transpired from there. Beautiful.

And...I haven't had the courage to ask...but I am so very thankful to hear that Miss Ruby's heart is strong and healthy.

As always, hugs to you all!!!

yetunde said...

I prayed so hard when you posted about the heart defect, God is indeed faithful and able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ever ask or imagine.

Thank you for sharing your testimony and the beautiful photo of your first moments with Ms Ruby

PS: you're making me want another one ;)

Cuz I'm the mama! said...

I wrote a very similar post after delivering our third baby girl.

I, too, left our twin girls (2.5 at the time) on the morning of Ayla's birth with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I was also sad and grieving what I knew would be our lost normal.

But, like your 2nd birthing experience, it was so incredibly peaceful this time. I was in awe of how much I actually took in and was able to literally inhale the moment. Nursing immediately, holding her... REALLY looking into her eyes.

Our "new" baby is now almost 11 months old ... and I have written several posts on the miracle of getting a "2nd chance" at mothering a newborn. It's so much different than mothering newborn twins. I have thanked God over and over again for giving me this second time around, because, it has given me new life in motherhood with the twins and helped me to let go of some of the guilt I've carried since they were babies.

I am so glad Ruby's heart is perfect -- and I predict your heart is going to grow by leaps and bounds as you mother this new miracle... because you will get the chance to see your twin's through Ruby in ways you just weren't able to do when they were so new.

God bless your beautiful family!

Ordinary Girl said...

So happy for you and relieved to hear that little Ruby's heart is perfect. I can't imagine the relief you must have felt. What a wonderful birth story.

Holly Tumpkin said...

What a perfect delivery. So happy for you. I remember the night before the scheduled birth of my third, looking at my other two playing, and being a little sad that they had no idea how life was about to change...wanting to hang on to the past, while excited about the future. It all works out beautifully. So happy for you!

Emily said...

I'm so happy Ruby's birth was peaceful for you. And I'm even more overjoyed that her heart is perfect! Good job, Momma! Congratulations, again!

championm2000 said...

What a beautiful story and I feel blessed to have read it! Thank you for your testimony!

You are your family are beautiful.

Miss Megan said...

Congratulations!! And welcome to the world little Ruby! So happy for your family!

What a beautiful picture of the two of you at the end! It absolutely shows the love. Many hugs to you sweet momma. I am so happy that Ruby's heart issue has resolved, and you can now relax (HA - you have three small children now) and enjoy her!

The Guddats said...

I loved reading this! Congrats to you and the family on the arrival of your little Ruby. Your birth experience sounds amazing and I am glad that the Lord gave you your redeeming moment. Enjoy that new little one of yours.

Jenni said...

precious!! I felt the same way about my twins birth versus my other two- I mourned when my twins were born because it was so "sad" and different compared to the other two! I'm so glad that you got to have such a beautiful experience and that God allowed you some peace and a way to redeem the childbirth moment!!

MommieGirl! said...

What an amazing love story! I had my singleton first and then we had twins so hearing your story was refreshing. I'm so in awe of Jesus' love for us, in him we are complete or perfect just like Ruby's heart...perfect. Congratulations!

Kendra said...

Wow, what a beautiful post! My delivery with our twins was very stressful and traumatic. I've often wondered *if* we were ever to have a third, would there be redemption in that birth? I'm so pleased to read in your case it was! What a blessing!!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Crikey, the spam!

So glad you are all doing better than expected and that Ruby';s birth was such a good experience.

I know about the craziness and mine was at 3 am in the morning so everyone in that room doing their thing was super extra weird!

The girls look SO much bigger next to their little sister :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Julia on your family's new addition! May God bless you 5!
K Knudsen