Well, Dave informed me the other day that I haven't blogged in a while. Two things are pertinent about that comment: a. Baby Micah joined us via c-section on August 11 and takes up lots of my time, and b. Dave has time during the day at his new job as Assistant Director of the Applied Technology Center to check my blogging progress. Both things have been great blessings in our lives. The baby is such a joy, and we are all enjoying every minute of having her here in the world with us... And, Dave loves his new job with all its challenges.
Having a baby at my "advanced maternal age" has been such a wonderful blessing. Danielle was born when I was 23 and Sarah when I was 26. Both girls were prenatally diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, so both pregnancies were riddled with a whole host of concerns. With Danielle, I felt apprehensive and under prepared much of the time. It was like someone said, "Here is this fragile, little baby with a life-threatening illness. She was supposed to die upon delivery, or at best, be very, very sick due to a ruptured intestine and meconium ileus. However, somehow, her intestines healed, so try not to kill her at home." With Sarah, I was a little more relaxed, but she, too, had many challenges as a baby including coughing up blood at a relatively early age... There were all the daily duties of giving enzymes and the whole host of other meds... I also had to "beat" them several times daily (chest physical therapy). Later, we added the routine of nebulizer treatments. But, I became accustomed to the routine and never knew anything different. I also developed a strange sense of gratitude that both of my girls had CF. Given their closeness in age, I think there may have been some emotional difficulties we never had to face had one had CF while the other didn't. With Dan and Sarah, they have always been in it together... Mind you, I don't wish the disease on anyone, but I also know that having CF is a part of each of them, genetically. And, I wouldn't have wanted any other children... Even if I could have traded for a "healthy" child. I have always felt "chosen" by God for the honor of being their mom; so, even though I have periods of feeling terribly inadequate for the job, I have always felt grateful that God gave me Dan and Sarah. I value them for the people they are, CF and all...
But, back to Micah... She will be two weeks old tomorrow, and she doesn't have Cystic Fibrosis. After the c-section in the hospital, I was a little loopy on Demerol. Dave was the perfect husband, by my side every step of the way, and doing a fabulous job taking care of the baby while I was unable. I looked over and saw him feeding Micah a bottle. My first instinct was to ask if he had given her enzymes. It just seemed odd to feed a baby without worrying about enzymes first. Although, the other day, Micah seemed to have a tummy ache, so I gave her some CPT, and it actually seemed to comfort her. I remember it calmed the girls' tummy troubles along with clearing their lungs. But, the rest of the routine seems so easy. No meds... No treatments... No feelings of being absolutely inept and ill-equipped to handle the new addition to our family.
Other things have changed too... The girls are a tremendous help with Micah. They dote on her and are clamoring to hold her and help any way they can. Dave and I tried for such a long time to have her that we are valuing the experience of having a baby much more. But, beyond that, I have changed. I'm calmer than I was in my 20's... And, I realize that time goes so much faster than it did in my 20's. With the girls I seemed to always find myself thinking, "If I can just make it through this phase..." With Micah I find myself thinking, "I want to savor every moment..." I realize that every moment is precious and seriously fleeting. I don't want to miss a thing. (Hence the reason I haven't necessarily been blogging, or doing much of anything else except experiencing each and every moment with Micah.)
My own recovery from surgery has been a breeze too. I just find myself thinking, "I'm a little uncomfortable... This won't last forever." The challenges of breast-feeding don't seem so earth-shattering either. All the things that rocked my world with Dan and Sarah, are much easier to handle with Micah. And, I think it is simply because I am older. I understand that time passes so quickly. It is easier to value to blessings inherent in the moments, rather than focusing on the negative aspects or challenges.
After all, Danielle turned 16 on August 10th. She received her dad's fixed-up Volvo for her birthday, and has moved succinctly into her Junior year of high school. And, I rub my eyes, as if waking from sleep, wondering when this happened... When did she become old enough to drive? What happened to the little girl who used to hop around the living room like a frog? Where is the 4th-grader who yearned to have two front teeth like all the other kids her age? Did I miss it? Was I just trying to "get through a phase"?
I think I did the best I could... But, I was ill-equipped with youth to enjoy my babies the way I am currently with Micah. I kept hoping for something different... Praying for good health... Wishing for a different, better something for my beautiful girls... Now, I realize there isn't anything more, or different or better. Right now is the moment that is full of beauty and wonder and everything I need to pay attention to. I don't want to miss it! I don't want to miss a thing...