Although it has been ten years, it only takes a few moments of reflection to bring back the fear and the fog of those days.
Eighteen months prior I had been deemed infertile.
Ten months later I'd been told my eggs "really didn't look good" and "this injection was probably not going to work."
I had a negative pregnancy test only four days before the faintest of faint lines appeared leading me to ask for a blood test to see if maybe, just maybe, one of those eggs had been ok after all.
Two weeks after that my husband and I received the most shocking news of our lives--there were THREE tiny humans growing in my womb. This was followed by medical counsel to 'selectively reduce' down to twins or a singleton because there was a 30% chance at least one of our babies wouldn't make it to birth.
At 22 weeks I was on home bedrest and at 23 weeks I was admitted for the duration of my pregnancy.
And when they delivered these teeny, tiny two and three pound bundles at 31 weeks, we still were not out of the woods by a long shot.
I'll spare you the ups and downs and twists and turns of everything since then--I have eight years' worth of blog archives for that. ;-) But tonight as we went for a family walk to "watch the sunset on our single digits" my heart could scarcely take the wave of overwhelming gratefulness.
Oh, how I wish I had a time machine to go back to that girl I was...
The newly married woman sobbing over the infertility diagnosis, wondering if I'd ever get a shot at being anyone's Mama...convinced my identity somehow depended on it.
The pregnant lady alternating between weeping and shouting Jennifer Knapp songs the entire 75 minute drive to and from each OB/GYN and Perinatology visit--terrified the ultrasound would reveal a missing heartbeat.
The one who heard the whispers in the halls of the High Risk Pregnancy Unit when another Mama would deliver too early and suffer a terrible loss.
The patient who had to stop reading the books because the litany of preemie complications were too scary.
The new Mom who was lonely, frightened and overwhelmed during the ICU/NICU days.
The exhausted toddler Mama who has just heard scary diagnoses--and the one who became seasoned at scheduled pediatric therapy visits.
And the one who even now wakes up sometimes overwhelmed and worried that I am royally messing up these kids.
I just want to show my younger self these pictures and remind her to breathe.
Life is far from perfect. We have issues galore, but so does every body else...and it is OK
Oh, and they are going to age you...in wisdom and in wrinkles...but you will have earned it.
And one day you will find yourself sitting by lamplight in that rocker glider you registered for a decade ago, completely sure that every single minute of it has been worth it.
It was a fitting God-incidence that the Children's Worship lesson I was assigned to teach today repeated the refrain "the story is not over yet." How frequently we all need to be reminded on this journey to not lose hope, keep holding on, God's still at work, and this story is not over yet!
A whole decade under our belt! Here's to the next...