Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Touch Not of this Place

Let me tell you sweet darling why I can't stop holding you. I want you to know there is a reason why I can't bear to not be with you every moment of every day.
I know where you came from - it's a place I have not seen, only felt. It is a place where I have lost dear loved ones to. A place I felt rejection when they left and I wanted to follow.
Time lessens that feeling. Time is the only thing to lessen that sting.
You came here, as a long-lost promise from our Maker to me. I surrendered that He'd give me three sons but not a daughter. Acceptance and Joy nonetheless.
When I learned I was with child, yet again.......Fear, fear like I have known the last two times, only times 1000. There were to be no more, no more without consequence of me joining those who rejected me for residence, not of this place.
See, I know this place is sacred, peaceful, beautiful beyond comprehension and the ultimate knowing of one's existence. I try not to think of this Place often, because it is Home. It is where I wanted to run back to and feared that I couldn't carry on if I lost anymore life from inside of me. It is where we return when our experience here is finished. The time is not for us to know, it is up to us to live. To relish the struggle and greatness of conquering this foreign domain, by being in relationship with our Creator while we breathe this air.
My heart cried out, with no voice. I kept it inside for weeks. How could I face the place, yet again, where such pain was, for sure... waiting?
Then they told me you were a girl. The veil of fear lifted - I knew He would not fail me. He would not tease me only to keep you.
A few weeks of peace and planning. Lately, I am thrown into remembrance of what I was doing a year ago and all the signs were there for the outcome that was coming to us.
Then, the gate opened and your world, inside of me, changed. A normal occurrence for a normal expectancy. This is when you revealed you are extraordinary. All the fear returned to me and loneliness as I had to be removed and put in a womb, just for me - so we could have you.
Brave face on. It wasn't just a face. It is what we do when we have a combat mission. Strap up and boots on. Let's do this.
I was in denial that you could come 16 weeks early. I refused to see the NICU. "We have 10 more weeks to go." Harumph. Back off with the suggestion to get a tour of the NICU.
When we had 14 weeks to go, you let me know it's "go time and I'm coming."
As I lay on the table, with your daddy playing with my hair, my body trembling, I sang. I sang praises to our Maker because we had to focus on Him. As hard as it is, we can't lose sight that He fights our battles. I was in battle for  your life and mine.
When the cutting, tugging, pulling, stapling was finished - I asked, "How much does she weigh?"
Nothing could prepare me for their reply......."1 lb. 11oz. and 13 inches long".
I could feel myself want to crash.
How? What??? No!
How will she live? What are You doing to me???? No! That can't be correct!
We remained in this womb of sorts. It felt like a refuge to finish our pregnancy - for both of us. It is called the NICU. Thank you God for the NICU. For the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and staff. We love you University of Iowa Children's Hospital!
The next day, when I laid eyes on you........I didn't recognize you. I was so sick still and felt such guilt that I couldn't keep you safe. But you looked back at me and you knew me. Sometimes, you still look at me as if to study my soul through my eyes and tell me, "We got this Mama."
Nineteen days later, it was time to hold you. I have heard other mommies stories of being so overcome with joy. I was still afraid. I felt like I was putting you in harm's way by wanting to hold you. We didn't get comfy. They laid you on my chest and I froze. I didn't want to move to make any monitor go off, where they'd tear you from me again. It still didn't feel real. But hold you I did. Even skin to skin, we had to cover you in layers of fleece. It was good to hold you. You loved it. This was the next big bullet point you issued: You were just so excited to be mine and to be here.
We called you Warrior Princess. You are not from this place Katharine. You are a miracle. 87 days in the NICU and you never faltered, waivered. You steadily gained every inch of ground.
Praise be to God that you are healthy, vibrant, strong, growing, with no concerns. Thank you Katie Beth for your warrior spirit. I don't want to pressure that you are to accomplish great things, but I cannot deny that I know better than anyone what you are made of: Strength, Tenacity and Grace.
Thank you for this past year!! We are almost to  your first birthday. You are the perfect addition to our family. Your brothers adore you. Your daddy and I will always delight in you.
As we enter November, we will celebrate our experience of YOU! It is an honor to forever hold a Touch, not of this Place.

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