Annie stood back casting a hard look at my very pregnant belly. “You’re having a girl” she said with a nod.
This was the time of predictions and guesses and the build up to the reveal which would be announced by the baby herself in the hospital delivery room. There was no cake with a pink layer inside or box of blue balloons. We waited the full length of pregnancy and bought baby clothes in yellow and green, the gender neutral shades of our time.
Henry and I spoke of whose complexion we hoped she had and the brown eyes we were certain she’d share like both of ours. I doodled names on my art tablet and all I could consider were girl names. I scribbled Annie and Amber, Jesse but not Jessica, Danielle as a middle name…maybe? A friend mentioned Heather and Henry was definite that would be the name but what if. As certain as I was this would be a girl we needed a boy name too.
I read the books and we took the classes and a full month and two days before her predicted due date a 6 lb. 9 oz, dark haired baby girl announced her arrival to a room full of nurses and a last minute Doctor. Henry cut the cord and the Dr. placed her right on my chest.
Her eyes were deeper brown than either of us could have expected, so dark they are like pools of liquid dark chocolate. She’s our brown-eyed girl with his olive complexion and easy going manner but she’s my mini-me, a full inch taller. She stole our heart all pink and messy naked in that hospital room. We just had no idea how far she’d take it.
Having a child changes everything. Everything.
The first few months were exhausting. She was happiest in the day when she was being held. By me. When she woke for middle of the night feedings, she went gently back to sleep while I was wide awake. How long was this going to last? It was breaking me and there were times at night I’d cry as I looked at this sweet baby. That’s when you know how deeply in love you are, how you will do anything for this infant and when you know God’s grip of love is firmly on you.
Thirty-eight years ago our world changed when our Heather Lee entered our lives. Thirty-eight years God has gotten my attention as I’ve come to understand unconditional love. That he loves us period. Not because we’re good, skinny, smart, rich, talented, but because we’re none of those things in comparison to who He is. He just loves us because. Because He is love.
I get it now. I get how my parents prayed for me, how I drove daddy crazy when I started dating and how desperately they wanted me to know God.
I get it when the Psalmist says “Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life”. Psalm 23:6 I learned it with our first born and it was confirmed with our next and I haven’t stopped being amazed by God’s love for me.
For me, it took becoming a mom. How is God showing you his love without limits?
PS Happy birthday girl. You changed our life. For the best.