Tonight it was Mary Kate's little head. She climbed into my lap after Marita gave her a bath. I soaked in her little profile, completely enamored at the person she already is. A little less sugar than spice, a girl who is acutely aware of what she wants, a heart already tender- this is my girl. Unable to participate in the rush of the nighttime routine, I get to just sit back and wait for her to come to me, for me to brush her hair and smell her bathtime sweetness. When is the last time I stopped to do that?
Earlier today, it was watching 3 children run around the 'racetrack' of my house. Our living room is connected to the kitchen and hallway and it makes the perfect circle for children chasing each other with toy shopping carts and lawn mowers. Friends who have been on bedrest have told of their banishment to one floor of their home while life continued on the other floor. In the years before this little journey, I spent many a day lamenting these close walls. Today, I am thankful for them. And then I think of the housekeeping duties that have now been relegated to Ross after working 9-10 hour days and maybe one, unlucky mother's helper. While MAJORLY gifted with deep cleaning services from members of my wedding party, I am thankful that the day to day pickup involves just a few rooms of toddler tornado damage.
I recently looked at my thank you note list and sighed in total awe at how long it is. What was in the beginning almost painfully humbling has become a way for me to experience God's presence and love in the midst of some lonely hours indoors. It is as if each offer to take MK, or visit to sit and talk, or message or care package is another whisper "I am with you. I love you. I've got this." I can truly feel a spiritual comfort in every call and text and gesture and know that God is using so many beautiful people to make this journey bearable.
While I hope they are not too frequent, I am in a place of having to make requests for my needs and Mary Kate's. I have quickly seen how far a sincere 'please' and 'thank-you' go while at the same time learning to to assert my needs. I want so badly not to burden anyone but getting up to do it myself means breaking rules that are in place to protect our baby. I am having to be direct and specific with no time for sugar-coating. It's new territory but good practice.
Today we saw the perinatologist and he gave us a great report. Not great enough to lift the bedrest, but great enough to prove that the bedrest is working. Our baby is safe and growing and beautiful. The prayers of oh so many faithful are working. For as long as I am blessed to keep baking this babe, I hope I continue to see the beauty that has been right in front of me all this time.