"Let's have a merry journey, and shout about how light is good and dark is not. What we should do is not future ourselves so much. We should now ourselves. "NOW thyself" is more important than "Know thyself." Reason is what tells us to ignore the present and live in the future. So all we do is make plans. We think that somewhere there are going to be green pastures. It's crazy. Heaven is nothing but a grand, monumental instance of future. Listen, now is good. Now is wonderful." ~ Mel Brooks

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Grace Notes

"If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice."~ Meister Eckhart
On Tuesday I will turn 33 (Christ year!!) and Kiki will turn 3! On Valentine's Day of 2009 we were wonderfully surprised to find that we were expecting. She was due to arrive around October 10th. When she didn't come before or on that day I wasn't entirely surprised because Charlotte went 10 days over her date! My birthday was a Friday that year. We had planned to go out for pizza and then take the littles to see a movie. It never dawned on me that I was feeling a little out of it, slow, easy, drifting in and out of naps with a baby Charlotte (looking back I clearly see that now). We were both still in pj's by late afternoon so I felt a little overwhelmed realizing I  needed to get Charlotte and myself ready for my beloved to come home from work so we could go out for my birthday celebration. Charlotte and I made our way upstairs. I was still out of it and yet it still never really dawned on me that I was in labor. I wasn't having any real pain.......no rhythmic contractions. Just a sense of being in lala land!
My husband came home to find Charlotte playing by herself in a sea of toys in Bella's room (I have no recollection of how she got there!!). He found me on our bed, sitting and breathing through a contraction. Still, I had not admitted I was actually in labor! I was 100% denying it! We had plans! We were going out for pizza and a movie!!! My husband, of course, knew what was happening and frantically began running about packing overnight bags for our 3 older kids, for us, and getting Charlotte ready to go. All the while I was still convincing myself we were going on with our scheduled evening so I headed to the shower!!
I managed to get out of the shower, still not convinced, and got dressed. I was aware that I was having painful contractions but we sure it was just Braxton Hicks! We made our way to the car and began driving to pick up the big kids who were visiting a friend after school. I called for pizza.......for us to pick up! My husband tricked me into thinking we'd bring it over to my folks, just in case I decided I wanted to just go get checked out! We picked up the big kids and as we were leaving we drove over a speed bump.......not slowing down but actually slamming into it causing the car to jolt and throwing me into transition! It was that moment where, mind you I was completely shocked, that I admitted I was in labor. It was my birthday and we were going to have a baby!
We got to my folks, DH frantically unloaded the 3 big kids, bags and pizza. My Dad asked how frequently my contractions were coming and DH replied "Oh, I don't know.......every 2 minutes or so!" My Dad patted him on the back and said "Son, you better get your butt in gear!!" We left at high speed and made it to the hospital in no time. We got checked in, the nurses began their routine vital checks etc. Less than an hour later, with what seemed like the least painful experience of my childbearing years, we brought our little surprise into this world.
Now, when Charlotte was born, my husband took one look at her and swore he'd known her for many, many lifetimes. There was no mistaking that "Oh, yes, of course it's you!! I've known you forever!" When Kiki was in our arms we looked at her........her beautiful face, that nose, her eyes, her little hands and toes. We both looked at each other and asked "Who is she? Who is this little being?"
Our little Kiki  had surprised us in many ways. From conception, to being born so quickly and quietly and on a day we had never imagined. There is something so magical about sharing a birthday with your own child. On the day I was brought forth into this world I, too, brought forth the life of another. Her birth was also a gift of healing for us. It was only 21 months before that I lay in the birthing bed of the same room that I almost lost my life. Death and I shared an intimate dance that evening. I remember hearing my sister whispering into my ear to breathe, that she was there and to keep listening to her voice. Her hands gently sweeping my face, her face close to mine. I don't remember feeling much. I remember not being able to open my eyes. I do remember focusing on my breath and reminding myself to take another breath. I do remember looking over at one point and seeing my husband crying and in emotional turmoil; being so elated with the birth of our daughter but also watching, helplessly, as the love of his life slipped closer to the veil. There was a moment when I realized that my time on Earth might be over. I cried and I begged to be spared. I saw the faces of everyone I loved and felt the love and joy I had for each of them. I don't have much recollection of what happened next but I do know that it wasn't easy for many and I was surrounded by many angels. It was because of this experience that my beloved and I decided we would not have anymore of our own children. The fact that I was almost taken from him and our family was altogether too traumatic. That experience introduced a real fragility to our bubble so I'm sure you can see now why we'd be so surprised to learn Kiki was coming. Surprised, scared, uncertain, questioning. The Universe knows what it's doing especially when its asked to provide an avenue for healing. I am a firm believer that when you ask for something; healing, strength, courage,  love, that you'll usually be given an experience to be brave, for example. Kiki needed to come in order for us to heal from our traumatic birth experience. Everything had come full circle.
It was beautiful.......so, so beautiful.
Thank you for giving me life. Thank you for giving me life again. Thank you for trusting me to care for and love five beautiful souls. Thank you for forgiving me when I don't bring the best of myself to those that I love so deeply. Thank you for the unconditional love I am given every single day.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
What are you grateful for this week? Please join me using the link-up below xoxo

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