Last night, on Avery and Sienna’s 8th week birthday, I received the gift of holding Avery against my skin for the very first time. In the very moment that her bare skin touched mine, I felt overcome by the feeling that God himself was swearing me into a very sacred and revered union. The oldest and most elite club of all time….motherhood.
FINALLY, after 8 long torturous weeks, I felt permission to truly be her mom through her squirms and her touch. No longer feeling pangs of envy, guilt, and being robbed of my pregnancy, my children, my hopes, and of the crushing weight of wanting to touch my baby (and ashamed all at once for feeling those things at all when she’s the one fighting), I literally felt like my broken heart was being stitched back together again in the timeless moments that followed. I felt connected to all that is, all that was, and all that can be. Perhaps that seems dramatic. Perhaps it’s just how powerful love can be.
I felt Sienna’s heart and soul wrapped around my heart and around our family. I felt love more deeply than I knew possible as I sat with my husband by my side, and my daughter now breathing miraculously on her own in my arms. I felt connected to the mothers of all time who have lost a “twin,” lost a child, had a child, and desired a child. I felt the part of me dissipate that had long questioned my capability or worthiness of being a mom. No longer will I ever ask myself those questions.
The edges of my heart’s stitching are, no doubt, still frayed, and the threads will probably come loose a few times. But frankly, I know with ever fiber of my being that I’ll never be the same.
The smell of my child lingered on my skin and soul as I awoke this morning at 4am with an inner peace and compelling need to write down the words that were pouring out of me. The words were coming so fast that I couldn’t make sense of them or put them into a coherent sentences, for fear that they would lose their meaning. I literally jumped out of bed, came down the stairs, asked God to give me the words in my heart, and then began to type without conscious thought. I allowed myself to breathe deeply and surrendered to my fingers moving freely across the keyboard. I’m not sure how they will be interpreted as I cut and paste them below, yet I sense that I may have saved myself from dozens of potential therapy sessions just by having allowed them to surface and escape. Maybe there will be some magic in some of the outpouring for those who are kindly sharing our journey. Here’s the words that flowed:
Our Nurse, Michelle, was an angelic messenger – She was beaming as proud as if she were truly what she feels like she is… our family.
Family doesn’t have to share our blood type, skin color, or even DNA. Sometimes the bonds are stronger when they do not.
I am so grateful for my family.
I want to call my mom.
I want to hug my sister.
I am grateful for my grandmothers, their mothers, and the mothers before them.
I have a beautiful husband who loves me, Maddie, and Avery very deeply.
In the moments, I could actually feel the threads of my heart being re-sewn into feelings of forgiveness, surrender, rebuilding, strength, perseverance, advocacy, and passion.
Balancing out the pain with the knowing.
But for the darkness, you cannot see the stars.
Glory, glory, hallelujah. Welcome to the future.
Meaning of life revealed.
I’m a mom.
By the grace of God
Passed down from all generations and all mothers from all time
Unexplained and understood.
Listen only to your inner wisdom. Your instinct. Your doctors and nurses may be an expert at medicine, but YOU are the expert of your child.
Peaceful and powerful.
Squawks and yawns. My daughter is trying to cry but can’t make the sound yet.
Celebration of the generations.
Connection to all that is.
Struggling with the words and the overwhelmingly humbling feeling that I’m connected to all women of all time who have ever held their child for the first time, lost a child, loved a child, and known in their soul that they are a mom.
Almost too sacred to articulate, yet compelled to try as a way to connect to those very same women who “know what I now know.”
The smell of my child lingers on my skin. Inhale. Exhale. Thank you God.
I’ll never be the same, nor would I ever want to.
Trusting mother earth and all that is.
Women know something that men do not know.
Men know something that women do not know.
I am so grateful to be a woman.
I am so grateful to have a step-daughter and a daughter.
I am so grateful to have two precious nieces.
Some men are destined to spend their life surrounded by good women. My dad, Rance, Quin…they are all dad’s to girls.
The power of touch.
Baby skin and hair so soft that you almost can’t feel it under your fingers.
Spent my lifetime seeking my most authentic self….found it…. THIS is what my heart desired most to be.
Something else for my future (hmmmm?) was set in motion. It will reveal itself in time.
Turning it all over to God in a way I had never fully done before.
The meaning of life.
My energy transfers to all other living beings.
I receive energy from all other living things.
Positive energy and positive thoughts make a difference.
God is good.
God…the Universe…Mother Earth. All one.
We don’t have to understand.
The cycle of life.
Sienna will always be with my family in a very real, meaningful, and beautiful way. I will smile when I think of her.
Avery will feel protected and strengthened by her twin throughout all time.
I will heal.
Maddie is going to be an amazing big sister.
2 hours felt like 2 minutes. Time had no meaning.
Something more genuine than space and time.
Transference of power from generations of my great-grandparents and grandparents.
Something is “in the works” from God.
I don’t have to know the answers. I just have to be open to receiving them.
God speaks through me and all his creations.
I will find the words.
The message will come when the time is right.
Life is all about perspective.
Get it out.
Don’t worry about the interpretation. The right people will know who they are and “receive” it.
Telling your story is a gift.
Letting others tell their story is a gift.
Listen more than you talk.
Listen to your body.
What is your body saying right now?
Get a massage.
Release the tension and let it go.
Embrace the unknown.
Be a vessel.
Be a beacon.
Be a human being AND a human doing.
Don’t spend so much time as a “human doing” that you forget you are a “human being.”
Let it flow.
Be kind to yourself.
Read it later and you will know if you’re supposed to share it.
Stop worrying about the unknown.
I am a blip on the radar of the universe’s plan and this is only temporary.
Sienna may not physically be here, but she is here. She is powerfully here.
Our souls are all connected.
We create our own reality by the “spin” we put on things. Perspective.
Ask for what you need.
The journey has only begun.
We have at least 8 more weeks to go in this place before she comes home.
I’m so tired.
I can do it.
She can do it.
I actually breathed for 2 hours. I breathed every ounce of her in.
The smell of my child still lingers on my skin and I continue to be on a natural high. Thus, I have refused to shower today. (At least this gives me a temporary illusion of controlling something…)