Wednesday, April 24, 2013

By: Heather

This next post is from my awesome sister, Heather. She's owned a super successful photography company that now is based in Philadelphia. She's got the most ADORABLE little red headed baby with the best little personality. I love that my Scout and her Madeline get to grow up so close in age!

Here's Heather's take on Motherhood:

What Motherhood Means to Me

My sweet Madeline came into the world November 29, 2011. She was 6 weeks early and it was a bit scary for us... praying and hoping our sweet girl would be healthy and okay. Our prayers were answered as Madeline breathed completely on her own and was a beautiful, 4 lb, 13 oz baby. We were in the NICU for 14 days but it felt like 14 years. She was only in there because she needed to learn to eat better on her own. My husband and I felt so incredibly blessed that we had a healthy baby girl. 

It wasn’t easy having our baby girl in the NICU. We wanted so badly to hold her and cuddle her all the time. It made me sad each time we went in and seeing her lying there with wires all over her little body. However, I felt so much peace and comfort knowing Madeline was in SUCH wonderful hands. I couldn’t have asked for more loving, caring NICU nurses. Again, Nick and I felt so blessed that even though we couldn’t take her home, she was safe and being well taken care of. 
I wanted to share a few thoughts from my journal during that time: 

“Some of the most spiritual experiences in my life have taken place in the labor and delivery room and the NICU. Each tender moment I have with that little one ~ I try to bottle up and remember forever. Even though I am sitting in a loud, florescent lit, machine filled NICU... I am behind a curtain with my sweet little baby girl, and everything else disappears. It's just me and her. I cherish these moments I have alone with her, just holding her close and kissing her. I love to nestle her very close to my chest... skin to skin. I sit in the glider and rock her back and forth, back and forth. Today I hummed a few lullabies and "I am a child of God" to her. She was listening. My eyes filled with tears the thought of her coming fresh from Heaven and into my arms. I felt the deep, deep love our Heavenly Father has for her. What a precious sprit she holds. She's so innocent and so pure.” 

“Today has been extra hard for some reason. I hate the thought of leaving her at the hospital. 
It makes me sad that she doesn't get a whole lot of "human touch" because she can't be over stimulated. 
I often wonder... " Is it my fault she came early?" 
I MISS her so much. Our home feels empty with out her. 
So much emotion. 

However, I know she's in great hands. I know she needs this special time to grow and get stronger. 
I know she'll be home soon. and I know she's supposed to be here at this time. 
She is a miracle.” 
And she did eventually come home. I remember sitting in the back seat with her on her first car ride home and just watching her breathe in and out. I couldn’t believe she was all mine and that we were actually taking her home! 

Madeline has added so much joy and light to our home. How on earth did we ever live without her? 

Motherhood is no easy thing. In fact, it’s difficult. It’s easily the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do... but you know what? It’s also the most rewarding. I believe there is no greater thing on this planet that is more important than raising children, nurturing and loving them. Children are so innocent and so pure. 
Madeline is now almost a year in a half. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone since the day she came into this world. She brings us more joy than I ever thought imaginable. I don’t think I truly understood what love meant until I had Madeline. I am her mother and I have a great responsibility to rear her and teach her! She already has taught ME so much. She is constantly wanting to learn and she is so curious about the world around her. It is so fun watching her grow and seeing her love for life. She reminds me to stop and enjoy the little things in life... whether it be smelling the tulips in the nearby park or stopping to listen to the trees leaves rustling in the wind. She has reminded me to see life through a child’s eyes: so curious and so eager to learn.  I’m 29 years old and she has reminded me to just enjoy the little things in life. What a blessing! 
There is nothing more important to me in this life than fulfilling my role as a mother. There is nothing more important to me than God and my family. It’s such a blessing that God has trusted me enough to send sweet Madeline to be under my care. I am her mother, and I don’t take that calling lightly. I really try to soak up each day I have with her because each day truly is a gift. I continue to pray that I can be a loving & devoted mother to her because she deserves nothing less. 

This poem describes exactly how I feel: 

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep..

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.!
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

~ Author Unknown 

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