Dear Baby Li

Previously, in my Stepping Yonder post I made a bold statement:

“So this post is my step of faith… a way to express audacious hope that this time next year there will be a baby in my arms or in my belly.”

I felt kind of cheeky writing that post, barely believing that it could be true.

A short time later, I found out that the wait list for my jaw surgery was about a year. We were planning on waiting till after surgery to start trying for a baby because obviously they can’t put you under while pregnant and I didn’t want to lengthen the process. But waiting another year? We didn’t even know how long it would take to conceive once we started trying… months, years? How do we proceed?

So again kind of cheekily, Forest and I said to each other “we could have a baby before my name even comes up on the list!”

And that is exactly what will happen.

We prayed and felt peace to throw all our eggs in the basket (pun intended) and see what happened first. We felt like our trust in God was truly being put to the test. Surrendering our plans, our agendas and holding our hands open to life whenever the time came.

Literally the very next day God gave us new life.

A little over two weeks later my naturopath said the words, “your test was positive.”

It was the first time that I wept for joy. When I called my ever caring conscientious husband he first words were “Praise God!” His second words were about setting up finances for baby and reading parenting books. I am in good hands.

Since then I have cried tears of pain and frustration and Forest has found it hard to say Praise God or have time to read any books.

I had very high expectations of not getting sick at all and not having to cancel any activities despite my sister’s history. I was already living a relaxed restful lifestyle that would carry me through, right?

First came the nausea. Mild for a couple of days and then the flood gates opened. Unending pain, vomiting up water and stomach juice every hour. Three sleepless nights and long hours of waiting in ER finally got me the meds and fluids that I needed. But original bliss and excitement was shaken. Forest and I looked at each other. What have we done?

Gradually my schedule stripped to nothing as I said good bye to piano lessons, badminton lessons and teaching Sunday school.

I have finally had to learn to rest. My home has become like a hospital with rubber gloves. meds everywhere, blankets, Kleenex, emesis basins and no agenda. No time pressures or expectations. Every idea, plan appointment and food item held lightly. Foods that I used to love I now despise. Food that was once bland and boring is now my best friend. I get a craving and Forest lovingly cooks only to take one bite and have to throw it away and/or vomit it up.

Last Saturday Forest and I ventured on a long car ride, despite nausea, to Cloverdale for a birth fair. We desperately needed to celebrate this pregnancy to burst the cloud of disappointment and anger. It worked and hope was renewed just in time,

Strange sore bumps began appearing in my mouth, especially on my tongue. At first I thought it was from the braces but soon it surpassed that greatly. More sleepless nights with a fiery tongue covered with white spots. I went to the walk in clinic on Sunday morning and got swabs to determine thrush, herpes or hand foot mouth disease. We got the med for thrush just in case. I couldn’t stop the tears while waiting at the pharmacy. This was just all too much. Almost to point of being comical but not quite. More meds, liquid diet only for a hungry pregnant lady, constantly drooling….

Again hope came just in time. Forest’s best friend I California called and gave Forest the encouragement he needed to be strong for me. Three guys from our church came and prayed for us. Some friends and near family kept in touch online. Yesterday I spent the day at my parents and today my mom is coming here for a couple of days.

We were going to wait until a happier day to announce but well, you know how real and honest I am and how I find strength in sharing the journey. Our first ultrasound is on Saturday. We are so looking forward to that.

I want to end this post with a letter to the dear little baby, the size of a blueberry, who has already turned my world upside down. Who is teaching me to hold life lightly, to rest in the midst of chaos, accept help and find hope and joy in the midst of pain.

Dear Baby Li,

You are so loved, treasured and desired by so many many people and most of all by God. Even now he is fearfully and wonderfully knitting you together in my womb. Designing your eyes, ears, nose and mouth and breathing life into your spirit.

Thank you for breaking into my world and getting my attention. Thank you for teaching me that my value does not lie in how many activities I accomplish but in simply being alive and resting in my Father’s love just as you are resting in mine.

I have had so many pictures in my mind of hugging you, kissing you, playing and singing with you. And now here you are right inside of me.

My cravings for Chinese dumplings tell me that the Asian genes are strong and I hope that you are very much like your daddy. He is such a wonderful, caring man.

Baby, the world that you will enter is not an easy place. There will be tears and suffering and disappointments. Even Daddy and Mommy won’t be able to protect you from everything. But know this: you will never be alone. There is a whole community eager to meet you and walk with you. And when people let you down, because no one is perfect, rest in the arms of your Creator, who knows you more intimately than anyone else. He will never leave you or forsake you. He rejoices over you with singing, as do your daddy and I.

Thank you for being alive. I pray that you never feel that you have to prove your value or earn love. Just keep living and growing. You are beloved forever.

Your Mama

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