Remember in high school when they made you write a letter to the future you 15, 20, 30 years down the road? This is that same concept, but to you 3, 6, 9 weeks down the road when you are again the mother of a newborn. This time with different insight, but also different worries. You are in a unique position of having been an active mother and knowing what comes along with it, but also losing a child and knowing what being without means. We are such fickle beings so there are some thing I want you to remember...
1. There will be sleepless nights and I know more than anyone how much you love your sleep. You will be frustrated and want nothing more than sleep,.. but remember. Remember that it is your Creator's breath within your child's lungs crying for you. Remember how wrong it felt to NOT wake up at night after Quinn. Remember bargaining with yourself how you would wake up all the time, every night for the rest of your life just to be with her. Remember to cherish this time in the wee hours with your little miracle and not wish the time away.
2. Your days of a tidy house won't be the same. Babies come with a lot of big, cumbersome equipment. Things that are hard to hide. And even though you never got to experience this with Quinn, there will be days ahead when just when you think you have everything picked up, it will seem he has it all out again. I know more than anyone how much you love a clean house...but remember. Remember the pain of putting all those cumbersome baby things in storage. How empty the house felt without those things that are the constant reminder of life within the walls of your house. Toys out equals a child playing in your home- don't ever forget the miracle of that.
3. Over the years you have become more introverted. You like your quiet alone time riding in a silent car once in awhile and having time to read and reflect. That will be harder to come by in the coming years... but remember. Remember how loud the silence was after losing Quinn, how the silence screamed of something missing. Never forget that the sound of your child's voice is the most beautiful sound on Earth.
4. This is your second child and let's face it, your body will never be the same... but remember. Remember the years you prayed and cried and begged for God to fill your womb. Remember looking down in the shower at your flat stomach and not feeling the sense of accomplishment but feeling a state of barrenness. Every time you look at your body that doesn't look the same, remember that you aren't the same. Look at those "flaws" as a reminder of God's faithfulness.
5. It is not just about you anymore. You can't be as selfish, you can't just leave to get supplies or shop whenever you want. Going out on the weekends will be more challenging and that was and will be a hard adjustment for you... but remember. Remember when you lost Quinn and doing all of those things felt wrong. This is exactly what you prayed for and this miracle is worth every big and little sacrifice you will have to make.
Alison, I know this is hard. I know you will worry a lot more than you did with Quinn. She died in your arms and every Dr. you have talked to has told you there's not a thing you could have done about it. God has our days numbered, He knew Quinn's number and He knows the number of days of this little miracle in your arms now. And no matter how you try to control your child's well-being, his life is in God's hands. Remember when you listened to that interview with the oldest woman in the world and she was asked what is her secret to a long life and she answered, "Don't you know? It's nothing I did, God already has our days numbered." From the oldest human in the world, to the tiniest human in your arms, God is in control. This will be a daily struggle, but make a choice each day you put your feet to the floor to trust Him, to open your hand to what He has to give. I know trusting God looks different than it did before. Trusting that nothing bad will happen is trusting in your own will, but trust that no matter what happens He is already on the other side of it working everything together for the good of those who love Him. And remember to find joy. I know being guarded is your defense mechanism, trying to save yourself from the heartache again, but that is a lie of the enemy. Truth is, you will be heartbroken no matter how guarded you are, so choose each day to open your heart to this child, savor every moment, see the miracle of each experience and in those actions you will be honoring God's faithfulness and in turn truly living.