Sunday, January 09, 2011

The best gift

One year ago, give or take a few days, we were taking down our Christmas decorations. My job is to take down the tree, the lights, the stockings, the village. My long-suffering husband has the delightful job of hauling out the ladder and hefting huge boxes and bins into the attic.

In the midst of all the holiday dismantling, I stopped in the doorway of Savannah's room, and forced myself to take a look around.

This is what I had to admit; it still looked like a nursery.

Sure, we had moved her to a big bed, and given her a dresser, a beautiful old antique thing that used to be mine when I was her age.  And big girl toys were scattered everywhere - dolls, a tea set, an explosion of pony tail holders and barrettes.

But right inside the doorway, the changing table still stood. Across the room, the crib took up half the wall. And inside the drawers, baby things galore awaited. There were piles of bibs and blankets and boppy pillows.

It was still a nursery, still waiting for a precious new bundle of joy, one for which we had been praying and waiting for almost three years now.

But since my husband only hauls out that ladder once or twice a year, I knew it was time. And so, along with the Christmas decorations, those baby things finally made their way out of the drawers, into big plastic bins, and up into the attic.

My heart sighed, but truly, I wasn't really sad. My heart still longed with everything in me for another little one, but somehow during the past year, I had come to a place of surrender. I wasn't fighting any more. It wasn't an act of giving up, but rather a way of saying, It's in Your hands.

Which, of course, it had been all along. But sometimes in my struggle I failed to see it. 

Three weeks later, on February 2, I rolled out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom. For some reason, my groggy mind remembered that I had one last pregnancy test still stashed under the cabinet. I have no idea what made me think of it; I had no symptoms, didn't feel extra tired, nothing. But for some reason I reached for that test. I put it on the floor for 2 minutes like I had 50 other times in the past 3 years, and expected to see one lonely line.

There were two.

There were two.

I couldn't wrap my mind around it. I actually started to hyperventilate a little bit, I think, and in the midst of my little meltdown, I grabbed the phone and called my husband.

I was sobbing by that point. I blurted, "I just took a test and it was p-p-positive!" Sniff. Sob. Blubber.

And my poor husband, shocked and understandably concerned at this news, said, "Hon, what do you mean? What kind of test?"

Well. Not the best way to make this kind of earth-shattering announcement, I suppose, since he probably thought for a second I had some incurable disease.

But I explained, and oh, did we ever rejoice.

And eight and half months later, we rejoiced again, when this precious little one came into our lives at 2:30 in the morning.

(Those cheeks!)

I have no words to describe the joy we feel when we look at her. For the first few weeks, I held her, and thought, She's mine. And I still couldn't quite believe it.

She is amazing, and delightful, and smells so good - that heavenly baby scent. And she had the loudest, maddest sounding cry you've ever heard, which frankly just makes me laugh. She is a good sleeper, and an excellent eater, and is already wearing clothes that Savannah didn't even dream of wearing until she was about nine months old.

She is an answer to prayer, and that answer went exceedingly, abundantly above what we could have ever asked or thought.

Welcome, sweet Leah Caroline.
To Him be the glory.