I am overwhelmed by the responses from well-wishers both here and on Dom’s blog. So many prayers, so many friends, so much love. Thank you to all those who have written and to all those who have prayed for us. I wish I could thank each of you individually.
As I said in the comments on Dom’s blog, I don’t think of my readers or his as strangers, just friends I haven’t had the chance to meet face to face yet.
I’ve been sad, of course. I cried last night getting ready for bed when I glanced at a bottle of cough syrup in the medicine cabinet. Thinking, well, if I get a cold now I’ll be able to take some of that. Yeah, but the bag of maternity clothes in the living room, I’m fine with. And seeing the morning sickness book in the bathroom just made me think about library fines.
I cried rocking Bella to sleep, thinking of my other baby, wishing I could hold both of them, feel two heads, one on each shoulder.
But I’ve also been laughing and smiling quite a bit the past couple of days. With Bella around, who could not. She is a joy, even when she screams during meals because we can’t figure out exactly what it is she wants to eat.
And I’ve spent quite a bit of time the past few days counting my blessings. Realizing how much I have.
First, there’s my faith. I am very aware that faith is a gift. And my faith has been such a comfort to me. I know that death is not the end. I believe in the resurrection. And I hope one day to arrive in heaven, though I know I won’t deserve it. I hope that when I arrive, there will be a very familiar face, saying mom. My little Francis.
I know that my children are a blessing. That I am very privileged to be able to participate in the creation of a new person. Such a mystery, to great for my to grasp. An immortal soul from that hidden moment of conception. I prayed as soon as I knew, and continued to pray that God would help me to be a good mother, would make up for all my failings, would guide these precious souls and not let them go astray so that one day we would all be together in his heavenly kingdom.
And when I woke in the middle of the night and the cramps were terrible, I put my hand on my abdomen as I have so many times before and traced the sign of the cross. And I asked God to bless my baby, to keep my baby safe with him. And I asked him to honor our wish that our child be baptized. Because if I had been able to do so, I would have carried this baby to church as I did Bella and ask for baptism and promise to bring this child up in the faith. And I named the baby the name I knew Dom would like too, as in fact it was the name he’d been thinking too, it turned out. Francis. My sister’s confirmation name, and a family name as Dom’s oldest sister is Francesca.
For it was you who created my being,
knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you for the wonder of my being,
for the wonders of all creation.
Already you knew my soul,
my body held no secret from you
when I was being fashioned in secret
and molded in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw all my actions,
they were all of them written in your book;
every one of my days was decreed
before one of them came into being.
To me, how mysterious your thoughts,
the sum of them not to be numbered!
If I count them, they are more than the sand;
to finish I must be eternal like you.
O search me, God, and know my heart.
O test me and know my thoughts.
See that I follow not the wrong path
and lead me in the path of life eternal.
My mom told me recently about the baby girl my grandmother, her mother, lost at birth. My grandmother was devastated. But then one night she had a dream of a little baby girl. And she kept dreaming. Through the years the girl grew and then one day my grandmother had a dream in which the girl came to her and said, mom I’ve got to go home now. And she never dreamed about her again. But it was ok by then.
Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus, even though he knew that in a few minutes he would raise Lazarus from the dead. To me that says tears are no sin, no sign of despair. Even God is brought to tears at the presence of death. Blessed are those who weep and mourn, they will be consoled. There are abundant consolations. And there will be more. I know I will continue to cry and I will grieve. But I know God is with me through it all. And I am more comforted by all the prayers of all my brothers and sisters in faith than I can ever say.
And in turn my prayer intentions this week are for all parents who have lost children.
I also am blessed is in my family.
My husband, Domenic. He is so strong, so loving. Words just can’t express what he is to me. With him by my side, I am not afraid. I had to wait quite a while to find him. I’d almost given up. I’m glad he didn’t. It was more than worth the wait.
My baby Bella. My joy and delight. She slept on my chest for more than an hour this afternoon, I stretched out with her on the couch and slept because I was tired too and she wouldn’t let me put her down. Is there anything better than that? When she woke up, after she’d rubbed the sleep from her eyes, she smiled and then started giggling at me for no reason except sheer delight.
My parents. Words can’t express how much they mean to me. My sister, my best friend and confidante. My brothers. And Dom’s family, which is mine now too. I was so glad his mother and sister were in town this weekend. My mom couldn’t be with me, but I still had a mom to hug me, to hold my hand, to say all the right mom things.
Yeah, when I think about my family, my very big wonderful family, I realize I am very, very blessed.
And then there are all my friends. Those who have laughed with me and who will cry with me and will be there for me when I need to talk. Especially Richard in Florida who called even when he didn’t know what to say. All my friends from the blog world who wrote to say they were praying, with words of comfort.
Some Thoughts on Motherhood
A time to weep, and a time to laugh
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