My parents were here and I had no reason to feel overwhelmed. But oh, I did.
That night, we laid Lydia in her pack 'n play and went to bed. Within a matter of minutes I was kneeling next to the pack 'n play, my forehead pressed against the netted side, with tears falling off my cheeks. My husband assured me Lydia was fine, and I needed to go to bed. "NO," I sobbed, "What if she stops breathing?"
These past few weeks have been one big exercise. An exercise in humility, asking for the help I know I need. An exercise in patience--with myself and with my kids. An exercise in rest, since this recovery has been the hardest (back ache, gas cramps, uterine cramping, etc.). It's also been an exercise of faith. With every need, there has been an answer. Meals provided. Babysitters provided (the kids have amazing grandparents and aunts and uncles and psuedo aunts and uncles). Help provided. God's mercies are truly new every morning. And He is patiently loving me as I learn to rely on Him through each day. To believe He is truly guiding my steps, that He truly cares about my tiny corner of the world, as I slowly, but surely, am empowered every day.
I am in a Bible Study entitled, "Walking With God Through the Desert". For as blessed and as beautiful as adding sweet Lydia has been to our family, this time still feels, in a way, like a desert. Unchartered territory that God has gloriously ordained and will faithfully guide me through, with his perfect provision. I don't believe it is random that God has me in this study after the birth of my third. It is perfectly fitting, an ever-present reminder that I am not in this alone.
And oh, the sweet moments are delightfully sweet. Lydia is a precious baby. She nurses well and sleeps well. The kids love her and are becoming more understanding of the time she requires, although they do conveniently want to be held when I am holding her! In the midst of feeling like I am simply enduring some days, there are moments within them that I cherish. I really do. This chaos is a sweet one and though I am challenged right now in a way I have never been challenged before, I am also being blessed like never before. God has called me to this journey, for such a time as this. And has faithfully placed people in my life to help me.
For as many frazzled moments that I have, where my hair is caked in spit-up and the sweatpants I've been wearing for three days straight begin to smell, there are also good days. Days where we make it to the end and I didn't cry once. And those days are increasing. But, you know, even if I have a week straight of spit-up-caked-in-my-hair days, that's okay, too. I'm learning to be easy on myself. If my sweatpants disintegrate from too much wear, so be it. We will make it to the other side, smudged mascara and all.
Thank you, Jesus, for my family. And for refining me through it all.
Have a lovely day.