Monday, July 6, 2009
Reflections on Julia's First Year
Where do I start? Happy Birthday Julia! You've been such a sweet, mild-mannered baby and I've loved watching you grow and learn how to roll, crawl, and attempt the first maneuvers for walking. You can crawl faster than any baby I've ever had! And you love to eat! When I put you on my lap to nurse you I notice you smack your lips and say "Na na na." You latch on eagerly and patiently keep sucking for several minutes (yes, I've got a very slow let down) till you start enjoying all the good stuff. You are delightful and I love your full, sweet, kissable lips. So precious. You also take great comfort in grabbing and sometimes pulling my hair - hard! Ouch! It seems to comfort you the most, until I'm wincing in pain and have to pry your fat little fingers from hair strands you've pulled out. Anyway, you are very sweet, easygoing, and happy with anybody. We haven't had any issues with separation anxiety, although your sisters report so much crying when I'm gone but you never cry with me. Maybe they're making up stories!
Anyway, as with all of my babies, there is some interesting facet about their birth I share with them. With Julia's birth I've thought what that might be. Perhaps "You got stuck on the way out and your Dad almost had to pull you out. The nurse managed to get you out before your Dad ran for the pliers!" That sounds fairly humorous and I think maybe in the next few years I can say it with laughter. I'm getting closer to that day - but I'm not there yet. I don't cry as easily about the whole situation as I did before. It has been a whole year. I've sought God for healing and I've sought answers. I even got a copy of my chart from the hospital to look over what was actually charted. It looked fairly accurate to my memory. Some questions still remain, however. I contacted the patient advocate at the hospital where Julia was born and explained what happened on the day of her birth. He had a hard time believing parts of it. I tried to be fair to all parties involved. I was surprised, however, at how close to tears I was at recounting certain aspects of it and realized I still have a ways to go. It's been a whole year, but I realized, oh so discouragingly, that it will just take more time than I had hoped.
I don't know when or if the patient advocate will get back to me. I don't think he will have the answers I'm really looking for. Anything will be helpful, though. Even the fact that he is, in theory at least, advocating on my behalf was tremendously comforting. And he was such a compassionate, patient listener. That meant so much to me.
Being affected the way I was by her birth and everything and everyone surrounding it has been very humbling. I appreciate the hours my patient family and close friends have spent listening to me go through all the details - again and again, as I was searching for answers and trying to make sense of it all. Oddly enough, I felt God showed me how my pride caused some of my pain. I realized how the hidden, circuitous route that prideful, self-sufficient doubt in God's goodness led me on the path I took. I have learned much about my own vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Please help me not to forget, God. I really don't want to learn these things again. All this awareness, however, does not let others involved in the whole thing off the hook. But they are not on my hook, they are on God's. Have mercy, Lord, in the midst of your justice.
My flowers, strawberries, and bird bath need watering now. So, off I go to water and tend to my garden. In the cool of the morning in my garden I'm always drawn to Jesus. And so I will talk with my Friend once more about this whole situation and put it in his hands. And I will thank him, again and again for my beautiful, precious, delightful daughter - my Jewel-ia. And if I start to cry - again - I know that I will not hear, "Again? You're crying again?! When are you going to get past all this?" No, in fact, the Bible says that he records every one of our tears and that they are all kept in a bottle. In time I will forget most of those tears, but He won't.