Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sharing a Memory -- Don't Blink

Nearly 20 years ago we learned that I was pregnant.  Briana had just turned one, and we were thrilled.  Having already had a "normal" pregnancy, we didn't think a thing about telling everyone that another little one was on the way.  But just a couple of weeks after Christmas I miscarried.  In the middle of the night, with my husband out of town on a work assignment, I left our daughter in the care of a sister-in-law while my mother-in-law took me to the hospital and held my hand while I cried through a D&C.

I came home and slept for several hours.  My SIL offered to keep Briana through the day, but I was so grateful for that little girl that I asked her to just bring our baby home.  Bri was still really just a baby herself--only 14 months old, but she brought me an incredible amount of joy and peace.  She was also the PICTURE of normality, because babies don't know when Mommy's world has turned upside down; and normality was exactly what I needed.  So we spent the next days watching Beauty and the Beast (400 times, at least), eating PBJs, and having horsie rides to bed.  Daddy came home, and we moved forward.

A few months later, I was pregnant again.  This time we were more careful about announcing it to the world.  This time I waited a bit before going to the doctor so that it would be a more sure thing to hear a heartbeat. And this time the pregnancy was normal.

Our first baby boy was born just days past the one-year mark of that miscarriage.  He was beautiful and healthy, and he cried all. the. time. for four months.  But oh! how I cherished that little one.  Which is not to say that there weren't times when I wanted to run screaming from the room.  And I remember what it was like to feel like I might never have an adult conversation again.  There were days when people would say, "Don't blink," and I'd think You clearly haven't had a day like I have had or you would know that the best thing you could wish for me today is for this day to END.  I remember the diapers and diapers and diapers.  And diapers.  This is not something you forget, believe me.

Now suddenly it's been 21 years since that beautiful little girl first turned our world upside down, and nearly 19 years since that wonderful baby boy joined our family.  There have been two more beautiful babies since then (stories for another day).  There have been stitches and broken bones and broken hearts, flat tires and late nights and even move-outs.

Last night Spencer, Taylor, Ashtyn, Landon, and I sat at the dining table for a couple of hours and carved jack-o-lanterns.  We didn't have to hide the knives, and everyone (mostly) did their own work.  After I'd done some clean-up I went into our bedroom, where my phone was beeping with a message from Briana (because, remember, she's in Far-Away Logan) which said, "My mission papers went in today!"

I wish you joy.  I wish you normality.  I wish you nicknames coined by the children for their siblings.  I wish you a few stitches and broken bones and flat tires (nothing major, of course).  But let me tell you something:

Don't Blink!


Amy said...

Will you be shocked if I'm self-centered enough to think this might have been an e-mail to me? (or my dear friend Well) Currently. Not. Blinking.

Kim and Preston said...

Wow...what a beautiful story... and life to charish the beautys of every day! Thank you for the reminder.

Coles Fam said...

This brought tears to my eyes. What a bittersweet post. I love your family so much and am so excited for Briana.
I'm trying not to blink too. I'm afraid if I do MY oldest will be on his mission and my youngest will almost be dating.

Jacqueline said...

Love this! But I love everything you post. Really. I'm trying hard not to blink but some days, like you, I just want the day to be over.


I'll try harder...