This is a big one. I am not even sure where to start. But I will endeavor to tell you this beautiful miracle because Addie (my oldest daughter) and I just felt like it needed to be written and shared. It’s just too good not to. Most of it is her story; but, my girl allowed it to be a part of mine as well and that is why it must be told here.
I’ve told you before in this place of chronicling that I came from a very challenging mother-daughter relationship (click HERE for more about that). So, when my second child was born and she was a bundle of pink girlishness, I was at a loss. I didn’t know how to picture it, if I could do it, if it could even be good. I poured all of my love into my babies, but I had big fears about how to be a momma to daughters and what that would look like. It’s so very hard to explain what it felt like to have had a mother that didn’t love and what that does to a heart.
But, God. He is a Healer and He has brought me so far. And my whole entire life is a series of circles where He brings things back around for my good.
So to have not only two precious daughters (and my son — but that’s a whole different story) who love me, want to be with me, and invite me into their hearts and world is a gift that I just can’t even…
I was given the incredible privilege of attending the births of my first two granddaughters. Each were gut-wrenchingly beautiful and gut-wrenchingly difficult at the same time. As I had shared in my last post, thanks to the stupid virus making history, I was unable to attend the birth of this third precious one on the way.
I know we all have our story of how we felt when the sky was falling, and we were all sure some sort of apocalypse was happening, and we were living what felt like minute to minute as the world as we knew it came to a screeching halt. So many emotions and realizations and overwhelming thoughts. Probably the absolute hardest part for me was the worry for my pregnant daughter. What was supposed to be joy and excitement was tainted by dread and fear. The thought of hospital visits turned to a nightmare in her mind as we all tried to imagine what a baby birth would entail with the situation sounding so dire and downright scary! How does one mix the thoughts of a precious baby in with disease and pandemic? She had been told that no one would be able to attend the birth with her. She had been told that she would be alone, wearing a mask through labor. Can you even imagine??? Instead of a beautiful experience, she was imagining fear and isolation. As time went on, she was told that her husband could attend as long as he was symptom-free which felt like much pressure as we thought that the virus was some monster waiting around the corner for us all — coming in on our groceries and on our hair and such nonsense. At that time, we began praying for this future for her and her baby and family. I wept and grieved and begged God to tell me that it would be okay. He knew I wanted to be with them, but all of that longing aside, I just wanted them to be okay and have permission to hope for peace and joy.
At that moment, I asked for a sign. A fleece of sorts, like Gideon in the Bible. I asked my Heavenly Daddy to tell me it would be okay. He answered me with a nickel stuck tight to my bedroom wall. (see more about that HERE). I told Addie it would be okay and we both held tight to that hope even though it seemed impossible.
Fast forward to the week before the birth. Addie has experienced prodromal labor each pregnancy. This means that her body goes through contractions for weeks up until delivery as its way of preparing. Every day, we all were prepared in case today was the day. Every day we grieved a bit that things couldn’t be the way we longed for them to be. Every day we were thankful to have reunited just in time for Mimi and Papa to be with our other two precious granddaughters in order to help with all the last few appointments and for the birth, whenever it would come. Every night we went to sleep, ready.
It’s a Thursday — nine days before the due date. I wrote a blog piece about how I was feeling. Friends were caring about our hearts and praying for us — knowing that Addie and I were struggling. I played with the girls so Addie can go to her doctor.
My girl came home from her appointment — so hugely and adorably pregnant and looks in my face and says these 9 most amazing words:
“Mom, would you like to be at the birth?”
I’m not sure it registered for what felt like five minutes. You see, in our state with a governor who loves to impose her ideas, there is a little clause that had been found (or maybe allowed) the DAY before by Addie’s doctor that allows doulas to be present at births during these crazy days. And in that moment, I took on a new job and became a doula.
Doula: a woman, typically without formal obstetric training, who is employed to provide guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labor.
And two days later, my Addie went into labor and along with my precious son-in-law, I was able to provide guidance and support to my warrior-princess as she bravely, without medicine or intervention, birthed my third granddaughter — who is perfect and beautiful and an absolute miracle.
Addie and I decided today that if we didn’t know before how much our Father loves us, this was enough for the rest of our lives. We did know before, but I’m just saying. How can you deny this??? He heard the absolute cry of His girls and reassured us months ago that He had this. And then, because He’s a just-in-time God, He swooped in at the last moment and gave us a gift that was irreplaceable. Memories and bonding that you just can’t get back if you miss them. Even when we set it down, He picked it back up and wrapped it and presented it to us.
My middle name has been a thing I have had embarrassment about my whole life. It was a part of my mother’s name and I was teased for it too often. I rarely let the name Louise be said aloud. Until now.
My middle name has been re-framed and handed back to me, picked up, wrapped up, and presented back to me as a gift in the form of a beautiful bundle of pink girlishness. What once was ugly to me, is now the most beautiful name I may have ever heard. God takes what was intended to use for our shame and reframes it with PURE LOVE.
Louise became Louisa. My heart is so very full.
Welcome to the world, precious Louisa Mae. You have already changed it.