Last night Adam and I went on a date. It feels like the right thing to say is that it was much needed, and in a way I can wrap my head around that perspective, but to borrow a line from "Madeline" (I think Audrey and I have read that book a million times in the last 2 weeks) - something is not right... Yes, we needed the alone time. Yes, we needed to laugh, to get out of the house, to do something completely unrelated to our current reality. Yes, it was a brief respite from the sadness and the emptiness of a nursery without a baby. And yes, I had a really good time with my husband. But even in the laughter, even inthe enjoyment of beautiful ballerinas, it felt weird to just go about life. Sitting in the dark of the theater, I was aware that I should've been nursing a newborn, exhausted from little sleep, and covered in spit up wondering when was the last time I had changed my shirt.
I know that our newborn experience with George Mason was going to be very different from the one 2 years ago with Audrey. I have been stressing for months about the unknown of parenting a NICU child and a toddler at home. Instead of nursing on demand every couple hours I was planning on being tied to my pump; a rigid schedule of every 3 hours in order to give our little man the best possible fighting chance by providing God's perfect food. I was anxious about how different parenting was going to look for our second child and I even sometimes felt guilty about that. Talk about brutal honestly with myself. But I would give anything for that to be our reality and not be missing our son. Why did a God who is so good, so faithful, so loving, take our son from us after giving us the miracle we'd prayed for all along? I just knew that my God wasn't going to make me grieve my son after getting him to full term despite all the odds being against him. I just knew that if I carried my sweet baby boy to that 37/38 week threshold that all the doctors kept touting, that God was going to let me take a breather and enjoy that newborn. I just knew He was going to relieve my anxieties and give me the strength to get through each day as a NICU mommy. I just knew all these things to be true.
As I look back on the last several months, God really did give me the strength to get through each day. He gave me hope each morning when I woke up. He gave me hope with each baby kick. He gave me hope every time those doctors scratched their head at the simple existence of my son. He gave me exactly what I needed to be able to continue carrying that baby. He knew that I wasn't going to have very long with my gorgeous little boy after delivery, but He gave me hope to enjoy those kicks and get to know my stubborn little fighter. God knew that what I needed to be the best mama to that sweet boy was hope because the alternative was fear and living in fear is exhausting and depressing.
So even though I just knew that George Mason was going to live a long and wonderful life on this earth, God knew something different and He gave me what I needed to get through each day. And looking back, I am able to understand that. I'm also able to rest in that Good News... because God was good to me and Adam these last few months and even though our outcome is not at all what we would have scripted or hoped for, God will continue to be good to us and give us exactly what we need to get through each day.
Yesterday, He gave us tickets to the ballet, alone time with each other over red wine flights, and that was just what we needed to get through that day. I don't know yet what He will give us today, but I know that I can count on Him to deliver.
A verse from Hebrews popped up on my Instagram feed and I think it might just be what I need for today.
"...be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'"
- Hebrews 13:5b-6