Fast forward another month and a week or two and here we are. It’s the day for Nathanael’s c-section. I was eagerly awaiting the news of Nathanael’s safe birth and to hear that just maybe there were in fact babies who dared to make a sound after birth.
He did arrive. In beautiful perfect sweetness. I cried tears of joy so much over my silly iPhone as I stared at that grainy perfect picture message – and wondered if tears counted as water damage in Apple’s policies.
I felt so much hope. Hope that while my Kyle Nathaniel wasn’t here – this little Nathanael was. God still lives and He still gives life. I wanted to hold this little baby so badly as if he had some sort of connection to my son. And perhaps in a way there was a connection – his mother and I were knit together at heart seams with grace and love and now – a sort of redemption. I had begged God to let my heart rejoice in new babies again. And finally, it was able to. What my heart so desperately wanted to turn ugly in bitterness and jealousy and hurt and despair, God had worked yet another miracle of beauty – a little bit of healing. Maybe this little Nathanael would fulfill a few dreams that I had for my little Kyle. And perhaps – he would be able to glorify God here on earth as much as my Kyle Nathaniel is in Heaven – except this time I’d get to watch it happen.
Despite my best efforts, it still took a little bit to make my way up to see this little guy. I started the 3 hour drive from my house – to meet a complete stranger in person, but a close friend at heart – on his 3 month birthday. The drive up was rather uneventful with my sweet girls chatting away about what it would be like if unicorns walked on the road with the cars and how many “are we there yet’s?” they could say before we really were there yet. Madeline music came through the speakers.
I stopped at a baby store in the mall. First time I’ve even tried looking at baby boy clothes since I bought Kyle’s one outfit. And I bought him something. And I did ok.
I thought only of seeing this little baby. And the fear that perhaps I’d crumble under the pressure of seeing him. Fear – it’s something I haven’t really experienced until I became a mother. But now it’s something I face daily in my mind. Fear that perhaps seeing him would in fact bring on the biggest doubts and despair. At this point, I’ve avoided all things baby including holding sweet babies themselves for almost 17 months now. (That is, all baby boys younger than 5 months anyway – for some reaon – once they hit 13 lbs or so, they seem just ridiculously huge to me after my new 1 lb 4 oz normal.) Would I completely lose it if I heard him cry? My tears started flowing freely along I-85. Does anyone else cry when they’re driving? Surely it isn’t safe. I can see the new laws now: “Cell phone use without a hands free device and free flowing tears now cause for primary ticketing.” At least my phone was ok this time since I try not to look at it while I’m driving.
Anyway, I did arrive (safely). And my fears, though so very large and real and seemingly insurmountable, were completely erased when I saw a whole pile of smiles. Welcoming smiles.
And as this dear new friend’s arms wrapped around me in love, and her paint-tainted fingers passed her baby into my arms…I healed.
And, to those of you who have hurting hearts, or who have hurt with us, or who are perhaps just joining in on this chaotic roller coaster, I welcome you to witness this moment of healing. Healing for me – for my family – and a precious gift from a new friend. It truly was a match – a healing, beautiful, glorious match – made in Heaven. (Start the healing by playing the lovely song below – dedicated to Nathaniels and babies all around the world.)