On the third day we had Baby F, I was overwhelmed with a flood of emotions.
I couldn't stop crying. Every time I picked her up, I burst into tears. Poor baby. I had flashbacks to when I started dating John.
(that doesn't sound right, but keep reading!)
Our entire relationship was long-distance until about 2 months before our wedding, so our times together seemed to be on a constant countdown to saying goodbye. I was constantly sobbing into his chest "I-hi-m no-ha-t a cri-hi-er-er-er!"("I'm not a crier" for those of you who don't speak Bawling). I'm really blessed that he actually married me, come to think of it.
With Baby F, I was back in that countdown zone. On Day 3 I was thinking about saying goodbye to her and couldn't handle it. So, I did what any grad-school educated military officer in her thirties would do.
I called my mommy.
Good thing she speaks Bawling, because a half-hour and half a box of tissue later, she was able to get a word in.
In essence, she told me, "God will give you the grace you need to go through that day. Today is not that day, so you don't have that grace. Quit trying to live in it. He has given you the grace you need for today, and that grace is to love Baby F with all your heart and give her your all. When it comes time to say goodbye, you'll be able to."
They should have an Oscar for moms, and my mom should get it. I have carried her words in my heart every day since. They echo what Jesus told his disciples in Mark 6:34:
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Check it out in The Message:
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
I think my mom must have been reading the Bible or something. Am I ever glad she does!&
So with that and the words from the Lord's Prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," I woke up today knowing that God would give me what I needed to get through taking Baby F home.
This morning I went into task-oriented mode, sorting through piles of clothes, doing laundry, packing her things, trying to cherish our last feeding and diaper changing before it was time to go, and trying to reassure my dog that she'd be my only baby soon. Before I knew it, we were in the car and on our way.
My wonderful pastors, Bill and Lisa Shuler, agreed to meet me at E's house, so I wouldn't be alone. I know John would've been there if he could but a small thing like the Atlantic Ocean got in the way, so the Shulers filled in.
I spent about 30 minutes with E, showing her how to mix the formula, going over Baby F's schedule and giving her some words of encouragement. She told me I could take Baby F to a birthday party with some of her new baby friends this weekend, which is a good sign to me that she really does intend to keep in touch. Then we prayed over them, hugged and went on our way.
I felt good. Calm. Peaceful. Happy. I felt God's pleasure for me and hope for what is to come. So, if that's what you were praying for me, thanks. Keep it up!
And the rest of today has been just the same. I did have a miniscule second of freak-out when I glanced at the car seat and couldn't remember buckling her in and then remembered she wasn't there.
I'd love to know how E did the rest of the day. Getting to know her baby, deciphering her cries and squeaks, learning that she really does need to have the clean diaper ready to go when she moves the dirty one. I'm sure she did great.
And now I get to sleep through the whole night! Can I hear an AMEN!?