How do you capture the wind on the water?
How do you count all the stars in the sky?
How can you measure the love of a mother?
Or how can you write down a baby's first cry?
~ Candlelight Carol, John Rutter
Rosemary's birth was a flawless C-section. The same amazing nurse who took care of us the day we had Benjamin was my nurse again. (Love you so much, Jaime!!) And the same doctor delivered the baby. It was even in the same operating room, Jaime told me, as she led me in. Surely Benjamin was there with us, watching over us with joy and maybe even helping things go well.
The story of what happened to us three days later, on Christmas Eve, to me is a story of the loving kindness of Heavenly Father. I have written it journal-style, and want to tell it to you (somewhat edited) in 3 separate posts. It is important enough to me to tell it well. . . and a newborn really does a number on your schedule, eh? :) awesome.
So here is "Our Christmas Eve Miracle", part one. . . .
We knew for most of the year that 2009’s Christmas would be a very special one. Our new baby was due right around that time. As the time drew closer, and a birth date of 12/21 was scheduled, the doctor told me that the baby and I would likely come home on Christmas Eve.
The anxieties of this pregnancy were greatly sharpened by the trauma of having lost Benjamin so close to his due date with my last pregnancy. I felt like each day I had to learn again to walk by faith. Sometimes “the waves grew boisterous” like when Peter walked on the water, and I would panic and start to sink.
Gratefully, my sons’ faith was strong and pure enough that they looked forward whole-heartedly to December 21st, knowing that Heavenly Father would bless us to bring this baby home. They prayed every single day for Rosemary to be born safely, and we talked about it endlessly, how wonderful it would be.
Then came that beautiful morning when I heard my daughter’s first cry after she was pulled from my womb. The joy and gratitude and relief I felt at that moment are impossible to describe. When she was placed in my arms I could hardly believe it wasn’t a dream. Here was a living, breathing, healthy-pink baby, and she was mine!
That first day and night are a happy haze in my memory. Mom and DC were right there for her birth, and Dad came in soon after. Later Dad picked up the boys from school and brought them to the hospital to visit, and I thought I would burst with the joy and love I felt, watching them hold her. That night she and I were awake pretty much the whole night, and I nursed her and stared at her in awe, not even wanting to sleep.
The next day as I called Mom to check in on how the boys were doing, missing them, she mentioned that Fluffy had prayed that Rosemary and I would be able to come home from the hospital safely. That startled me a little. I felt a bit like there was nothing to pray for now that my deepest wish for the past two years had been granted! I realized that for my sweet sons at home, things were still much like last time. They had come to see me and Benjamin in the hospital then, too. But then I came home. . . .alone.
I commented to Mom something to that effect, and said, “I guess for them we’re not out of the woods yet.”
On Wednesday, two days after her birth, it started to rain. A lot. I heard that it was also supposed to rain the next day, Christmas Eve, and groaned at what an un-picturesque prospect that was. Ick. Rain on Christmas Eve. I hoped that somehow it would get cold enough to snow after all. I envisioned gentle white flakes falling softly as we lifted the infant seat out of the car and brought in our precious new baby. I’ve always been a bit idealistic. :)
The doctor came in to consult with us, and I asked if I could go ahead and be discharged. (The epidural had been out for only a couple of hours, if I remember right). He seemed to feel that it might be best to wait one more night. So we decided that the next morning, Christmas Eve, we would go home.
But by nightfall Wednesday the weather had gotten ridiculous. Whoever heard of pouring rain and a wild thunderstorm two days before Christmas? It was jarring to me in my new-baby euphoria, and being sleep-deprived as well, I literally had to pray to feel more peaceful and not to worry about the crashing violence outside.
Thursday morning’s shift-change brought the unwelcome news that the Interstate to where we live had flooded, and was now closed. My heart dropped into my stomach.
I suddenly felt absolutely desperate to get home, no matter what. My boys needed us to come home! Not only was it Christmas Eve, but I knew they were praying for us, and it seemed that we needed to be home to fulfill the great faith they had shown in Heavenly Father's promise that Rosemary would arrive safely.
So even though my mind was racing with a bit of panic, anguishing over what it would be like if we couldn’t get home, I also felt a calm determination to act as though we were going home, no matter what. I got up and got dressed, and put on makeup. I packed up all our personal belongings strewn about the room. DC got on the phone to try to find an alternate route. The weather forecast was showing that things would only get worse during the day, that it would be an uncertain amount of time before the Interstate could reopen. It appeared that the sooner we could leave, the better chance we had. . . .
"December 23 & 24 saw [a] flood event with 9.52" of rain in those two days alone. Roads were closed and homes flooded on Christmas Eve. It was the first time in history that Little Rock recorded more than 4 inches of rain on two consecutive days.
"Yearly Rainfall: On average Little Rock gets around 50 inches of rain a year. The previous record was 75.54" set in 1882. . . .The Christmas Eve Flood shattered that record making 2009 the wettest year in recorded weather history for Little Rock with 81.79" of rain for the year." source