Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Eleventh Month

All around me was glass. Below was London at sunset. I looked across the small space at Adam as he looked at the Thames River a hundred feet or so below. I thought to myself, " I love this man. " I thanked God for giving us this opportunity to travel together and for the love between us.

I sat on the floor of the bathroom. I stared down at three positive pregnancy tests in joy, disbelief, fear, shock, happiness, and a mixture of all sorts of emotion poured out
and down my face. "Adam........."

I turned off the hairdryer and stopped getting ready for work to throw up for the third time. It didn't even phase me. I had to go to school. I didn't have any days to stay home and throw up. So I brushed my teeth again. Applied some lipstick. Slapped on a fake smile and headed out the door to change lives or babysit. Whatever it is I do at school.

I sat wrapped in a paper sheet on the table at Dr. Ingram's office. I kne
w it had to be bad. It's bad if the nurse doesn't even tell you. I was afraid I'd have to go back to St. Vincent's for monitoring. Or worse to deliver four weeks early. Am I ready to be a mother? Has God finished preparing me emotionally and mentally? I did it. He's here. Over there in that plastic bed. Adam looks nervous. He's not making any noise. Wait... there it is. A weak cry but a cry. Beautiful. I'm already in love.
The day is kind of warm. A young woman is walking her brand new baby in a stroller. I burst into tears. I'm riding in the car with my mom going to see Noah in the NICU during the after
noon visiting hours. I want to be walking my brand new baby in the stroller not holding him covered with wires.

I must have changed his outfit five times today. He's so sweet and soft. He sleeps and eats. I am so incredibly happy to have him at home. This is what I dreamed of as a little girl. An incredible husband, motherhood, and a golden retriever.

Noah is screaming. He will not go to sleep. Adam has a fever. I've been awake for 25 hours. I'm driving around Tuscaloosa at three am singing lullabies trying to lull him to sleep. Its not working. "Father, please help me. I'm at the end of my rope. I need your grace and mercy. I need your Hands to help me." Enter Mimi and Papa.

What time is it? Is he okay?? He slept all night. HE SLEPT ALL NIGHT.

I'm so embarrassed. I am crying. At school. In our secretary's office. It's Noah's firs
t day at daycare. Am I doing the right thing? Is he going to be okay? Will he think I abandoned him? I will never forget the kind words and encouragement and comfort she gave.

Noah's sweet head is resting on my shoulder. He is breathing deep in sweet little baby snores. Slow hot tears are streaming down my face as I pray to God in the darkness of the nursery . I ask for guidance, patience, love and hope that I He will overcome my inadequacies as a wife, mother, teacher, daughter, sister and friend. I find his answer in the smile on Noah's sleeping face.

Spring brought the Jumperoo, cereal, laughter and hope for a long summer off with a beautiful baby boy. Time to get back to the things I love Adam, friends, family, cooking, creating and of course the beach.

"In the great green room there is a telephone and a red balloon. And a picture of a cow jumping over the moon. And three bears sitting in chairs...."

My heart is full. I am satisfied and finished. I closed the door on a rough sch
ool year. I am done and I have done a good job. I am proud of what God was able to accomplish through me.

"Father, look at the joy on his face. Look at that innocent wonder. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of his life." No Noah. We don't eat sand.

Who knew a baby could move so fast. Crawling makes this a whole new ball game. God answered my prayer. Again. I got to see it first. He did it just a few days before going back to daycare.

7 missed calls. Doesn't he know I can't answer? I'm in meeting s all day. The kids come tomorrow. Voicemail. The carseat. I left the carseat in my car. Adam is walking Noah to daycare in the stroller. In the rain. And he isn't mad. Thank you God for Adam's patience with his crazy wife.

Noah fell on his tooth and knocked it loose. He has been bit twice. He only gets one nap. He's fussy all the time. I am fighting a losing battle at school. I failing at my mission. The kids are not receiving God's love through me. What am I doing? Is this truly God's plan for me? Father am I sacrificing his well being for extra income? Am I impacting anyone? Help me.

Sweet slobbery kisses. Deep belly laughter. Curiosity. These are the things I am thankful for.

Adam is holding Noah up to the glass. Pointing at the sealions. Tears form in my eyes as I think about the photograph of my father and I at this same sealion pool. I am so filled with joy at the oppurtunity to build memories with Noah like my parents built them in me.

As I sat down to reflect on Noah's eleventh month birthday I was filled with these snippets of the story God is writing in my life through Noah. Not only is He shaping and molding Noah but He is teaching and refining me. Not every memory is pleasant but each was designed by God to speak a particular message to my heart. My prayer is that I always hear his voice. I am so blessed and thankful for all he has done for my family from conception through these past eleven months. What a beautiful love song He sings to me. May I reflect His love to those I am created to bring it to.


Sally said...

Oh, what a sweet post! What wonderful memories, and a super cute baby boy!

Shea said...

Ummm..seriously, I know I've said this before, but you need to be a writer! You could quit school and stay home and write! =)

Mom said...

I can't comment because the tears are blocking my vision!
"Thank YOU Lord! I think she's got it!"

Lauren said...

I found your blog through a friend and I must admit I visit quite often to read about your family. I am always moved by your posts. I feel what you describe as though you are describing my own life. Motherhood is the sweetest gift we are given and I love how you capture its joys and also its heartaches. Thank you for sharing such profound messages. It is nice to see how much love exists out there.

Amanda said...

Carrie, that is so beautiful! The relationship you and your husband have with Noah is amazing. God knows what he's doing.

Sam McClure said...

i love, love, love this post!!

Kerri said...

I am ENTIRELY too emotional for this!!

Dad said...

Its your sappy Dad.
Like Mom I can barely see the screen to write. I am thankful that God allows me to be part of your life and your guys' lives. I thank God for all my girls and what they mean to me and how I see God in each of you. God is great.