Tuesday, July 13, 2010

99 hours

It has been 99 hours since I met my daughter face to face. It has been both 99 months and 99 seconds. I have always known her so how is it possible that she was born less than a week ago? I cannot believe she is mine. For the first time in my life, I have a small understanding of God's love for me. I look at her and know how much he must love me- to give me this gift. I had so many fears, so many desperate prayers before I gave birth. I prayed that we would not have to have a c-section. I prayed that she would be born healthy. I prayed for bonding with her. I prayed that I would not suffer with post-partum depression. The night before she was born, I had a dream with the beautiful hymn from Isaiah 43. The words will always remind me of the night I met my daughter.

Do not be afraid, I am with you. I have called you each by name. Come and follow me, I will give you rest. I love you and you are mine.

Our sweet God used these words, which I have sung so many times in Mass, to reassure me every step of our labor and delivery. When the nurse re-positioned me, hoping to progress labor, I heard "do not be afraid. I am with you."  When I cried from pain, "I have called you each by name." When I became so sick from pushing, "I will give you rest." When I didn't think I had one more push in me, "I love you, and you are mine." And when she was here, safe and healthy, I wondered if I would continue to bond with her, if I would be plagued with the depression I remember from years ago, I could not even utter the fear. It was like God would not let me get the words out- would not let me give the words power, only "Do not be afraid, I am with you."

And He has been with me for 99 hours. It has been both the most difficult and most exhilirating 99 hours of my life, harder and more amazing than I could have ever imagined. Every day I have cried from frustration and pain, joy and awe. It is everything I have always heard it is, and many things I never fathomed. Mostly, these hours have been filled with a love that makes me get a tiny glimpse of the love God has for each of us. And like he reassured me over and over again, I now say to my precious girl,
Do not be afraid, I am with you. I have called you by name. I love you and you are mine.

Thank you, sweet girl, for the best 99 hours of my life.


  1. those words give me the chills....that was always a fave hymn of mine to sing. esp in the cathedral, when i couldn't sing it without having head to toe chills.

    congrats, she is a cutie!

  2. i love it, keri! what a sweet, sweet family!