The last weekend in August of 2011, we were scheduled to move. I was due in three weeks and the Friday after the move I was supposed to go on maternity leave. During the move, a friend of mine said she had a dream that I went into labor at work. I gave her a dirty look as if to say, "I better not."
That Sunday morning around 5 am I was awakened with some pain. I thought she shifted into an uncomfortable position (for me), because that's just what she did on occasion. By 7 am I knew I wasn't going to make it to church. I thought I had just over exerted myself the day before with the move, although I really hadn't done much.
Hubby kept giving me side glances and repeating the question, "You're sure you're not in labor?" I assured him several times that I wasn't, I just needed to rest. Since he is a musician, he went to church.
Around 9:30 am the pain was definitely increasing and with more frequency. I called my doctor and left a message. Next, I called my mom to tell her the water wasn't working at the house and it appeared as if a pipe had burst. Since she was the realtor, I figured she knew the best way to handle the situation. While speaking with her, the pain hit me and I was very audible about it. She asked, "What's wrong?" I explained I was in a little bit of pain and had already called the doctor and was awaiting a call back. She yelled, "YOU'RE IN LABOR!" I calmly told her I wasn't sure if I was, I didn't have any other signs, just the pain and I wanted to wait and hear from the doctor. Well, I heard back from the doctor and was told to go to the hospital.
I sat in my bed shaking my head. I had moved the day before, everything was in disarray, absolutely nothing, nothing was ready for the baby's arrival, and I didn't even have a bag packed for the hospital. She would be three and a half weeks early for goodness sakes! I called my mom back and told her to come and get me. Then I called and left a message for my husband. After what seemed like an eternity, probably almost an hour (she lived 15 minutes away) my mom showed up - and like any good southern mom would she came with a pot of grits - hence why it took an eternity for her to arrive. Now, I think I have to explain that my mom isn't really the person you call in an emergency situation like that. But it was Sunday, and she was the closest and hadn't left to go to church yet.
By this time I was doubled over in pain and I barely made it to the door to open it for her. I looked at the pot, steam coming from it and exclaimed, "What's that?" She replied as she ran into the house, "Grits, you gotta eat before you go!" I literally wanted to cry at this point, I was in too much pain to eat and I wanted to crawl in my bed and just have the baby there. I told her I couldn't we just needed to leave - but she needed to pack me a bag first. Remember, we moved the day before ... All I managed to direct her to find was my comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, a pillow and socks ...
As we went to get in the vehicle, she asked me if we should take her car or mine. She has an SUV and I didn't think I could climb to get into it so we took my car ... and it took about 5 minutes just for me to get in it. As we headed down the freeway to the hospital I was having contractions 5-7 minutes apart. I was getting a little nervous, my mom was not the person I should be in this situation with. Every time I had a contraction, she would yell, "Oh my God, you're in labor!" Thanks mom, I think I know that now ... She then would occasionally mumble under her breath, "You're in labor", I think she might have been on the verge of being in shock, and we were speeding down the freeway ...
As we approached the exit, I knew I had to compose myself to give directions. My hospital was downtown and there were a lot of buildings that belonged to the hospital. Thankfully, we navigated it that well. When we arrived, my husband was waiting. He saw the car and ran inside and yelled for help (also not someone to depend on in that type of an emergency). A hospital employee opened the door and asked, "Ma'am, are you able to walk?" A contraction hit and I howled (literally howled).
"Get her a wheelchair!"
They put me in the wheelchair and rolled me toward the elevator. When I got to the elevator another contraction hit, I howled again. The officer on duty had a panicked look on his face as if he just knew I was gonna drop the baby right then and there. He yelled, "Move out of the way!", and they cleared the elevator for me. In retrospect, how embarrassing ...
I made it to the maternity ward, apparently almost 7 cm dilated (10 cm is when you push). Sigh ... almost had loving adorable daughter at home.
Two years, five months, five days, sixteen hours and 25 minutes ago (and counting) my loving adorable daughter Kiara was born (thanks to my mathematically minded sister for doing that calculation for me - I have no such patience).
About a week ago, my loving adorable daughter had to potty. She went to the bathroom and umm ... began taking care of her personal business. I asked her several times if she was finished. She would reply, "Not yet." After waiting 10 minutes for her to be finished, exasperatedly I said, "Kiara, are you finished?!" I guess I asked her one too many times, because she replied, "No, go 'way an finish your bog (blog)." All I could do is stare at her with a blank look on my face ...
The other day, when I was actually working on my blog, Kiara looked over my shoulder saw my picture and said, "Where's me? Where's Kiara?" So in her honor, below is a slideshow of pics.
At church when I don't have Kiara with me the first words out of people's mouths are not, "Hello, how are you?" Instead it's, "Where's your daughter?"
"Well, I'm fine thank you, and how are you? So good of you to ask!"
Throughout motherhood, these short two years, five months, five days ... there have been many lessons that I've learned. For instance, just because your child acts mature for their age doesn't mean you put your guard down - ever. Because you just might step out of the shower and find you have a lot of cleaning to do or she might find herself in a precarious situation, see pic below (once again while in the shower - am I to never take a shower alone again?).
God's love is eternal. He loved us before we were born and He will continue to love us when we have left the earth - He sent His son Jesus to ensure we would be with Him when we left here. It doesn't matter how long we have been walking with Him (or not). 30 years or 30 days, His love is never ceasing. A great picture of this I reflect on, but did not fully appreciate at the time.
My former pastor was in a meeting at church. In the middle of the meeting one of his adult daughters walked in, sat in his lap and whispered some information she had in his ear. I think everyone was a bit taken aback. I know I was, I kept thinking, "Really, in the middle of a meeting?" He wasn't ashamed, made no apologies and went right back to the meeting as if nothing out of the ordinary had taken place.
What I failed to appreciate at the time is how comfortable she felt sitting in her daddy's lap, anywhere and at anytime. Yes he was the pastor of a well known church, that politicians ran to for counsel, and was hailed as the "Pastor of Pastors" around the city. However, he wasn't too "big", too lofty, too untouchable for her to sit comfortably in his lap and know with a certainty he did not mind at all - she was his child after all ...
Our God so desperately wants us to know with a certainty that we can do it with Him too.
I've also learned how unwavering His love is. Even when I sin, He still loves me. Does it hurt Him? I'm sure. Is He sometimes frustrated? Absolutely. Does He have to discipline me as a result at times? Yeah, He does. But, now I know that He disciplines because He cares and He doesn't want me to make the same mistake again. I now understand that although I get "spanked", He doesn't enjoy it and afterward, He can't wait to assure me of His love. I understand that He really has plans for me that are good and not evil, for a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
If I could, I would ensure that Kiara would never experience the full brunt of any hardship. I know she will encounter trouble, but if I can ease some pain, make it more bearable for her I would do it in a heartbeat. My dear sweet Jesus reminded me the other day that He wants to do the same for me, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
The most cherished lessons from motherhood are the invaluable lessons the Holy Spirit teaches me about God's love for His children through the care I provide for my own child. If you don't happen to have children of your own and it is hard to fully grasp what I'm saying, trust me in this, God's love for you is so deep it cannot be measured and it is so wide it will never intersect.
It doesn't matter how much you think you have disappointed Him, let Him down, or down right defied Him. It doesn't matter how long you have, or have not walked with Him - He will always be waiting and available for you to come to Him and get into His lap so He can put His arms around you and assure you of His love.
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38, 39 NLT)
Just Around the Corner,