Your daddy was deployed to Afghanistan, it was just you and me. Daddy was able to be on the phone with us the whole time.
It all happened so fast. Actually at first it happened slow. I thought because your sister came early, you would too. I didn't listen to God tell me to let Him be in control. I made plans for help to come and your great grandma Mary came for 3 weeks. You didn't arrive and she had to go home. Then your grandma Debbie came from Ohio and stayed for a week. For weeks before hand I tried to make you come out. I had weeks and weeks of short hospital stays because I had tons of braxton hicks contractions. They said I was in pre labor with you for 3 weeks, but you still didn't want to come out yet. I did everything I thought of to get you to come out, but the ONLY thing I didn't do was trust God and His timing. I mowed the lawn, I took miles and miles of walks...I ate entire pineapples. All I got was heartburn. No you...
It was the last weekend we had help. Your grandma Debbie had to leave to go back to work so our doctors set a date to induce. You were going to be induced anyways by 39 weeks because I had gestational diabetes. I drove myself to the hospital at 5 am on a Thursday. I cried the whole way there. I felt so alone, your daddy was gone and I wasn't ready to have you. I thought about turning around. I was driving in circles. I struggled for many weeks before you came with how things would be. I thought I could never love another child as much as I loved your sister, Grace. I wanted you out so bad but I wasn't ready. I was so lost. Things felt so strange. We started the pitocin and it went on for hours. We never had consistent contractions. It was so irregular. My body was so tired and I was struggling with everything. At one point our nurse came in and I just lost it. I told her that I knew why the induction was working. I wasn't ready. My body was but my heart wasn't. I needed to let go.
They stopped the meds. They called it a day. They said we would try again the next day. I couldn't believe it. Now we had lost a day. Frustrated, I turned to God. It just so happened that I had a Joyce Meyer book with me. It was called Power Thoughts.Ashley, my nurse friend, and I read it together all night long. I knew that there was some lesson that I wasn't getting and I needed God. I just needed to spend time with Him. Ashley and I prayed, read and contemplated what it was that was being revealed to me all night. Bless her heart she stayed so late...It turns out all I needed was to learn to let go, and let God. I was letting all the details of your birth and how things were going to be for us at home alone following your birth, scare me. I was afraid if I couldn't control how things went, we would be a mess. I read, prayed and received and we called it a night. You were still in my belly. They gave me some meds to sleep so I could be strong for you the next day. We were going to do it again. Round two.
I woke up the next morning renewed. I felt strong. I knew it was going to be the day! I actually took a shower! I had not eaten since the night before I came to the hospital so now it had been a few days. I was starving. But more hungry for you than anything! We started the meds and contractions started. They kept growing stronger and stronger. We started at 8 am. I anticipated the same back labor that I had with Grace so as soon as I felt I couldn't take it anymore, we got the epidural. Back labor is so painful Lucy, I hope you don't experience it. I began to relax into my contractions and was still dilated at 3. They decided to break my water. Things were moving very quickly. Once I felt totally relaxed, I decided to take a little rest. I watched the monitor show waves of steady contractions and it lulled me to sleep. In the midst of my nap, I felt the nurse check me. She had rolled me over the side and I could hear lots of commotion. All of a sudden, she ran out of the room and called everyone in. I was now fully dilated. You and I were ready.
It was 11 am. Our midwife came in, opened up the blinds wide...Everyone got their blue gear on and
started to prepare for you. I pushed a few times waiting for everyone to get ready and you were coming. They told me to stop, you were right there. I couldn't believe it. My heart was pounding so hard Lucy, I was ready. I praised God for the lessons He had taught me. I prayed for you. I prayed for daddy, that He would be near a phone. Earlier I had sent him an email saying we were ready. I know that God led him to a computer right at that moment because he called within minutes. I handed the phone to our friend Heather, I couldn't handle being on the phone and pushing!
We stared the pushes. I couldn't believe how amazing I felt. I couldn't believe how beautiful the room looked. I couldn't believe how much I loved you. God had heard my prayers and answered them. After twenty minutes of pushing, you came out. There was a moment where I pushed and everyone turned away waiting for the next contraction. It was surreal. They all had their eyes fixed on something else in the room besides me and you. But you were there. I yelled to Kelly, our midwife, shes coming! She turned and you were half way out...she caught you.
You arrived at 11:44 am. Your daddy heard the whole thing. Our friend Heather took you to get your fingers and toes printed, weighed and bathed. Usually the daddy goes, but he wasn't there. I remember aching for you, just to see you. I wanted to go so bad. But we had to deliver the placenta and get cleaned up. I just cried and cried for the next hour. I was in awe of what had just happened. I had so much tearing with your sister. I was in so much pain with her. I didn't know God then like I do now. I didn't know how to trust Him back then. Things were rough during her birth. But with you, the minute you came out, I remember thinking, I could do that again right now. It was magical. I actually got up and walked myself to our new room. Right after I devoured some suspicious hospital meat and a salad. I was starving. Oh and a diet coke ;)
I shared the most precious day and night with you in this room. It was just you and me. We had no visitors. No phone calls. I wanted it that way. I knew that you and I had a rough road ahead and I wanted to make the 24 hours we were in this room special. We practiced nursing, we talked, we cried and we slept. Your pediatric doctor was a gift straight from God. He kept telling me not to worry about anything and that we were doing great. He knew exactly what to say and when to say it. Your grandma and sister came to see us. And then the next day we drove home. You and me. There were no hospital pictures. This is me taking a photo of us. We were alone. I remember thinking what a big deal it was to take Grace home, first time in the car seat and in the car. But it was just us. I found myself very sad that nobody was there to celebrate you in that way. It was raining the day I brought you home. I didn't even remember how to put your seat in properly!
We drove home, walked in the door and I showed you around. A few moments later, your grandma had to go home. She had a long drive ahead of her and had to get back to work.
Heather was there for a while, she let me shower and get a little organized. But she had to leave too. In a matter of a few hours, it was just you, me and Grace. Alone. I will never forget having to go to the grocery store the next day. I had given birth three days earlier and here were were, grocery shopping. The next few months were crazy! But we made it.
Today you turned one. I cant believe how fast time flies. I cant believe how much love I have for you. Lucy, you hold the most special place in my heart. God has shown me many things about Himself through you. I have learned how strong I can be with Him. I have learned that He will prepare us for everything He asks us to do. I have learned how emotions are not the truth. He is. I learned that the closer we walk with Him, the easier things are. I now know that when we try to take control of every detail, fear steps in. And that there is no way that we could possibly make everything turn out the way that we want it to. When I was trying to control how everything happened in our pregnancy and birth, God had other plans. And it wasn't until I let Him take the lead, that all my fears went away.
My love for you has been part of my story. The story God is writing with my life. Today, I want you to know how beautiful you are. I want you to know that every morning you wake up, you give me the cutest smile. I want you to know how much love you have in your heart already. You make people laugh and you brighten the darkest days. I will never forget this year, as long as I live. You have left a mark on my soul and I thank God everyday that He gave you to us. Thank you for being so good and patient with me as I navigated the first few months of raising you alone. It was a lot of trial and error. But each day, God was with us. And He still is. And I want you to know that He always will be...as long as you let Him.
I love you Lucy James.