It's taken me 4 months to sit down and write this blog post. It's not that I haven't had the words to express what I've felt since our tiny darling came into this world, it's that I've been soaking up every last minute I can with her. I suppose Lyla has been getting double love from me, as she is our first child and may sadly be our last (biologically, at least). Be warned: this is a lengthy tale of how my life was radically changed by a tiny human.
And so begins Lyla's birth story.
I do believe that God constantly challenges us in order for us to 1. Grow closer to Him 2. Have our personal testimony reflect His glory 3. Countless other reasons that are too difficult to put into words when you have a sleeping baby on your chest. However, I never thought having a child would be that challenge. Yes, we were married. And for Pete's sake I know that having a baby is a possibility with the intimacy of marriage, but it was the last thing on our minds. Dex and I had only been married for 9 months, were jobless, in finals week of our senior year at Ouachita, were about to be moving in with my parents for the summer, and had our careers to create and our lives to live. Then, BAM, during the most stressful week of my life, I saw a little pink line. I had just taken 3 finals and had 3 left to go. Freedom from school had been so close and then I was slammed, like a freaking freight train, with the reality of having a baby.
I cried in the shower until my American civ final. Then I cried some more during my American civ final. Then I threw up. Yes, I was a diva, but how could I have known that a baby would be the most beautiful blessing I would ever be given? I couldn't have known. I was too selfish, too upset, too scared, and too stubborn. How could I take care of a child when we didn't have jobs and we weren't in our 30's? Have faith, young padawan.
Fast-forward 10 months to January 14th. I was chatting with some of my coworkers when I told them how I hadn't felt Lyla move for quite some time over the weekend. Thankfully, God had placed some amazing people in my life in an amazing work place (I work at the same OBGYN that tended to me while I was prego) that checked me out. Within the hour, I found out that Lyla was small for full term, my blood pressure was high, and that I was heading over to labor and delivery.
This is where God taught me that I was most definitely not in control of my own life (as if a surprise pregnancy wasn't proof enough already). I was sure that I was going to have this child naturally. No c-section here! I had been walking, doing squats, pelvic tilts, etc. in order to have a smooth, natural birth. No more than 2 hours after my labor-inducing pitocin drip had been started, a nurse came in, looked at how Lyla was progressing, flipped OFF my drip, ran out of the room to find a doctor, and left me stunned and scared to death. I seriously might have gone número dos in the bed if I hadn't already taken an enema. Dexter tried to console me, but he was still in shock from seeing an IV blow both of my hands and arms (multiple times) and various other things that are done to pregnant women that shouldn’t be discussed in the written word.
I shook the entire time they wheeled me back into the room, and my body proceeded to shake while they numbed me up. I always thought I would have the courage of Katniss, but in reality I shook worse than Jack did at the end of Titanic. If you say you aren’t nervous about having a needle shoved in your back, your lower half completely deadened, and stomach sliced open to high heaven, then you are a mad, raging, lunatic. And you should probably be institutionalized. There I was - naked, fat, hormonal, exhausted, worried, nauseated, they are about to probe my spine, and they ask me to be still while they numb me up. Absolutely impossible. The impossible was possible though, and the next thing I know I hear that I’m cut open and they’ve discovered I have a weird uterus – I have two to be exact. Instead of hearing that my baby is alive and well, I hear that I have two uteri. My life. Typical. Weird. What does Dexter ask? “Can she get pregnant in the other one?” Long story short: no I can’t. I was one of the lucky few whose other uterus doesn’t connect to anything. After being told that my child was a miracle baby, I heard a sweet, soft cry.
I don’t really remember what I was thinking because the tears were too thick, my throat was too tight, and my heart was so full of love for this tiny human that I thought it would burst. I do remember looking at her the first time though. She was so beautiful that she literally took my breath and my words from me. I know that in reality newborn babies actually look like bloody, naked little mole rats, but I swear that’s not what a mom sees. She was 17 inches and 5lbs 13 oz of pure, healthy, amazingness.
In the days that followed I learned more about my weird double uteri condition: 1. It’s pretty rare 2. It can be pretty dangerous for the baby 3. It can be pretty difficult to get pregnant. I’m telling you all of this in order to explain the ridiculousness of God’s plan. We weren’t even trying to have a baby and I have super weird reproductive parts, but we still had Lyla. The plan Dex and I had created for our lives - going to professional school, saving up before having kids, buying a house, no longer mattered. God's plan was way better than ours. I’d rather bathe a baby than go see a movie in theaters, or wake up with a sore body next to a smiling child than sleep in bed with all the pillows my heart desires.
She’s made me more grateful, more patient, more loving. She’s teaching me how to slow down and treasure life. She’s the miracle that changed me.