Posts Tagged Birth

Joy!

The sun has now set on this Holy Saturday. The last darkness of Lent is upon us and when the sun rises tomorrow, the celebration will already be well underway. I can feel the anticipation building as I prepare for the Easter Vigil, which begins in just a few hours at church. The joy in my heart is building.

Twelve years ago today, I held my newest baby girl in my arms. She was born in the middle of the night at my home, in my bed, surrounded by more love than I can comprehend. Her daddy and her big sisters were there, both of her grandmas were there, one grandpa, and two dear friends of mine who remain my dear friends still (one of them even became her aunt!). The night that she was born, I truly carried the cross and bore the weight of sin and followed my Lord into the desert. And joy came in the morning. Oh, the joy when I was finally delivered from that pain. I knew pain with that third birth much more than the first two. But oh, the joy when I beheld her face. Oh, how we exclaimed over her precious dimples. Oh, how I remember waking up to that beautiful little blessing of love, nestled in between her father and me, just a few hours after falling asleep with her between us in the exact same place where she took her first breath.

Today, twelve years later, I feel like I am awakening to new life once again. This Lenten season has not been easy. I have followed my Lord into one of the most barren deserts I have ever known. And I have not carried this cross well. I have heard Lent described as a bright sadness. Tonight, I know it. For while I stumbled under my load and found that I could not go on, He continued on. While I entered into one of the most debilitating depressions I have ever known over these last couple months, the beauty and the blessings of a world that is being redeemed has continued upward and onward toward the Easter Feast. And I am thankful beyond words that I was able to seek help for my depression. And in my seeking, I found more than I even asked for.

Tonight, as I sit in my house surrounded by love, I listen to my middle daughter play a hauntingly beautiful piano concert. The notes fly around this house that has been blessed over and over and over. The music only continues to lift it heavenward and we wait. All of us, waiting. My oldest daughter cleans her room and hangs up colorful lights and sings as she rummages through drawers looking for extension cords. The birthday daughter puts her newest picture frame together, after a day of swimming in her new backyard blow-up pool. Even though the freckles aren’t as noticeable as they used to be, she definitely got a few new ones today. And those dimples are still just as precious as they were in those first few moments after she was born, twelve years ago today.

Tonight, we all feel satisfied after a birthday dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant. And tonight, in just a few hours we feast again.

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All Of It

Because I do take pictures of all of it. I do, even though I’m so tired I want to crawl under any covers anywhere. And I know I’ll be glad I did one day. Just like I was glad on Mother’s Day when I decided to look through old albums and get all sentimental at how cute Grace was when she was three. Seriously though, she was. Cutest three year old ever. And maybe ten years from now I’ll do it again on Mother’s Day and be glad for all of it. Every bit of it from hula hoops to spring plays to senior pictures to Easter and births and baptisms and goddaughters on Mother’s Day to why the heck can’t I be normal and not be freezing all the time like all the normal people around me?

Bare Feet Collage

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It’s a pretty good life, really. I’m glad Sophia is here to share it with us. 🙂

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Hello Lucy

My friend, Carlee, just had her third baby. I have been lucky enough to be present at all three of her babies’ births. That lady sure can birth babies. Thanks for welcoming me into your home once again, Carlee and Wilmar, and for letting me capture each moment. I love you guys and the little people you have brought forth into this world. May God bless your family.

Ready to welcome baby and celebrate – Carlee had everything looking beautiful
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Wilmar bought plenty of food for us to munch on all day
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Time to say goodbye to mommy for a little while
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Saying goodbye is never easy
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Julie and Marisela have never been at such a fun labor
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Aunt Linda gives the obligatory high kick at 8cm
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So does Mari-cutie
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Carlee even does a little high kicking herself in between contractions
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I would show you mine too, but it’s a little embarrassing…

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Hey! How’d that get in here?

Moving right along…

Yes! Carlee is having a baby!
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We ride the waves of pain as best we can alongside our sister
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We sing and get choked up, which makes it hard to sing, but Carlee sings right along with us in praise to the Creator of the universe, the Lord and Giver of life
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Janet holds Marisela’s baby and gets choked up a bit herself
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Sometimes the prayers are quieter
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Sometimes all we can do is wait
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And the joy that comes is indescribable
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How amazing it is that so much pain brings forth so much love
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Sweet Callie is overwhelmed at seeing new life birthed
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Lauri has impeccable timing and pulls into the driveway with Jacob and Maya at the moment their sister Lucy makes her entrance
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We all sing a very quiet and beautiful happy birthday song to Lucy
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Then Aunt Linda cuts the cord
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And the same hands that caught her as she came out, now separate Baby Lucy from her mommy for the first time ever
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Oh, this baby has a lot of love in her life
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Welcome, Little Lucy
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We love you so
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THE Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace, this night and evermore. Amen.

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Don’t Let it Slip Away

What a beautiful, beautiful day. The kind where going from inside to outside does not have a noticeable difference in temperature, but somehow there is an immeasurable difference in feeling and it heals to sit outside. It heals the hurts of the darkness of the night and it minimizes the anxiety of the fuzziness of the future.

And when one is done sitting outside and must get in one’s car to pick up one’s children, there is a possibility that a song will just be starting on the radio. A song that one has heard a million times and loved for a million years.

Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?

But suddenly, this song will be heard from a new perspective. Because what’s on the mind on this beautiful, beautiful day is a lovely, emotional, complicated woman-girl. And suddenly one might wonder if this song was actually written to this girl. From her mother.

Will it make it easier on you now
You got someone to blame?

It changes everything on this beautiful, beautiful day. This woman-girl who grew into life inside the very body of another has been slowly detaching herself since the day she came into the light. Wet, helpless, squawky and naked she burst forth from the womb, covered in water and blood, involuntarily switching her reliance for life from water to oxygen. She drew a breath. On her own. And has been doing it ever since, absolutely dependent (and yet, independent) and unable to cease even if she wanted.

You say…
One love
One life
When it’s one need
In the night

And as one drives, another involuntary need takes over. Without thinking, one reaches out and turns up the dial until the bass can be felt pounding through one’s veins. It all becomes a part of everything.

One love
We get to share it
It leaves you, baby
If you don’t care for it

It’s possible that one may find that she can’t see the road very well anymore on this beautiful, beautiful day. And the lyrics may start to run together, like water.

Did I disappoint you… you act like you never had love… we’re one, but we’re not the same…we get to carry each other…carry each other…did I ask too much…we hurt each other then we do it again…we’re one, but we’re not the same….

And the blood may pound as one realizes what she has. The absolute most incredible blessing and privilege one could possibly know in this life. The blessing that both gives life and takes it. The gift that one can’t understand, nor deserve, nor fully embrace, nor ever figure out how to do without. But it somehow sustains while sucking up all in its path.

One love

One blood

One life

You got to do what you should

One life

With each other

Sisters

And somehow, one may arrive at the school all in one piece on this absolutely normal, simply extraordinary day. This beautiful, beautiful day.

Carry each other
Carry each other

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It’s September, Baby!

It sure is September, all right. Mid- September and counting. I can’t believe how my life seems flipped inside outside upside downside every-which-way-but-simple side. But today’s September 15th and tomorrow will be September 16th and if past experience proves reliable, I think we’ll probably just keep going from there. I may figure out how this life is meant to be lived and I may not but life will go on whether or not I’m keeping up with it.

And that’s what I know.

The kids are in school now. So am I. Phew. It sure is a lot of work. We had an average of six hours of homework a night last week. I’m wondering if that will lessen any as we get more used to it. It’s so hard! But everybody’s happy. Although Grace did discover that she can’t see the board from the back of the room, so we took her in for an eye exam. Cute little black rimmed, rectangular glasses for her cute little round face coming right up! We’ll get them next week. In the meantime, her teacher’s moving her to the front of the class.

First Day of School

First Day of School

Pilgrim arrives this weekend! Our very own Pilgrim, staying right here in our very own house for a while. She’s pretty cute, so she should fit in well around here. Although I’ve started getting worried that she may prefer her bathroom a little cleaner than my girls usually leave it. We’ve pretty much mastered picking up clothes and emptying the trash, but somehow wet washcloths just seem to multiply in there. And they leave puddles of water that make me have to change socks ten times a day. I’ll try to get that under control before Friday, Pil.

I got an extra burst of energy last night while cleaning the kitchen after making an extra dark, ooey gooey chocolate pudding. Yes, that’s right. I not only washed the dishes, but I cleaned the stove too. The whole top of it. Everything that’s been splattered there from all those ooey gooey things I seem to make on a nightly (yes nightly) basis. So maybe, just maybe, I can keep up with this life after all. Not gonna be shedding any pounds in the process though.

Carlee had her baby on September 7th.  That lady sure can labor, so I think it was fitting that the baby was born on Labor Day. We could mention that labor actually started Friday night and the baby wasn’t born until Monday morning, but what would be the point of that? 7:07am on the 7th. Pretty special.

I got there Saturday morning and gave Jacob a bath.

I got there Saturday morning and gave Jacob a bath.

Trying to get the contractions to come a little more regularly, we went to Panera for some bagels...

Trying to get the contractions to come a little more regularly, we went to Panera for some bagels...

and the mall, for some air-conditioned walking...

...and the mall, for some air-conditioned walking...

...and back home to blow up the tub and rest a little. Jacob thought that tub was pretty fun. He ran around in there like a wind-up toy.

...and back home to blow up the tub and rest a little. Jacob thought that tub was pretty fun. He ran around in there like a wind-up toy.

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Resting didn't seem to be the best thing for those contractions though, so off went again, in search of more air-conditioned walking space.

Resting didn't seem to be the best thing for those contractions though, so off we went again, in search of more air-conditioned walking space.

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Then back home again for Julie to try some aromatherapy and acupressure.

Then back home again for Julie to try some aromatherapy and acupressure.

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Then we resorted to "When all else fails, try chocolate." I can't say that it made those contractions come any closer than every 20 minutes, but it sure was fun. There was live music and a drunk couple behind Carlee that gazed at one another, singing every lyric to every song.

Then we resorted to "When all else fails, try chocolate." I can't say that it made those contractions come any closer than every 20 minutes, but it sure was fun. There was live music and a drunk couple behind Carlee that gazed at one another, singing every lyric to every song.

Marisela and I gazed at each other some too.

Marisela and I gazed at each other some too.

Then back home for sleep, which is what made those contractions pick up again. Poor Carlee didn't get much rest.

Then back home for sleep, which is what made those contractions pick up again. Poor Carlee didn't get much rest.

By 2:30am, they were five minutes apart and things pretty much continued that way, slow and steady throughout all of Sunday.

By 2:30am, they were five minutes apart and things pretty much continued that way, slow and steady throughout all of Sunday.

Jane, the wonderful midwife, came in the afternoon to check on things.

Jane, the wonderful midwife, came by to check on things.

By 5:30pm on Sunday, we got the most exciting news! Eight centimeters! It called for some serious celebrating in the form of yahooing, spirit sprinkles and high kicks.

By 5:30pm on Sunday, we got the most exciting news! Eight centimeters! It called for some serious celebrating in the form of yahooing, spirit sprinkles and high kicks.

Well, Marisela did high kicks anyway.

Well, Marisela did high kicks anyway.

I more just kind of hurt myself.

I more just kind of hurt myself.

And yes, I realize this is turning into the world’s longest blog post. So for the next fourteen hours, I will switch to black and white with minimal commentary:

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Welcome to this world, Maya Gabrielle Mejia. We love you so.

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The Wait is Over!

Little Jacob José Mejía made his arrival into this world at 6:23am on Wednesday, July 30th. (His due date!) He gave his mama a little more trouble than she bargained for in making his entrance, but he’s here now and all is well. Let’s just say he put up a fight long enough for the basil on my kitchen counter to die because nobody watered it over the couple days that I was gone for the birth. I am so thankful to have been a part of the whole process. It never ceases to amaze me, this thing called childbirth. The way we work for that which we love and the way mommies never give up hope. You can bet I cried. Did I ever cry! Carlee sure worked hard and never lost hope and boy, does she love that baby. Oh, what a sweet little guy. Mommy, Daddy and baby are all doing well other than being tired and sore. They are resting and adjusting at home, where he was born.

Here’s to you, little guy. May the Lord bless you as you grow. We love you.

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A New Linebarger

Joel Christopher Linebarger arrived today. So did my new oven, but I am significantly more excited about my new nephew. Cuteness just doesn’t get much cuter than this. Or sweeter. I am now an aunt of four nephews. I love him so very much with his scrunchy little face and his squishy little arms. He kept trying to open his eyes when I was with him today but, oh those lights were just so bright. Maybe tomorrow. There are so many tomorrows. What a blessing from the Lord. Mommy, Daddy, Baby and Big Brother Seth are all doing well. May they all sleep well tonight.

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