Monday, May 13, 2013

Not Just a Hallmark Holiday

Tears were stinging my eyes and the sheets of music on the stand in front of the keyboard were starting to blur. I felt that horrible lump in my throat, the one that means your emotions are getting the better of you. In a split second I decided to leave the service as quickly as possible--it was over anyway and I didn't want to have to explain my inexplicable teary eyes and lumpy throat to anyone. 

But my husband knew, and my best friend already knew, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. It was Mother's Day. And I was a childless mother. A childless mother? What an oxymoron...but for those of us that have been there, you know exactly what I mean. And you know just how unbearable Mother's Day can be. And you feel like such a jerk for feeling sorry for yourself on a day when you should be thankful for your own mother and happy for all the mothers around you. But you just can't. At least I couldn't. 

At this point, it'd already been 2 years of trying to get pregnant and nothing but heartache. Tests and more tests, pills that didn't work, bloodwork that didn't give hope, ultrasounds that showed an empty womb. Data. Data that added up to one thing--I was not a mother on Mother's Day. 

But this proved to be a turning point. After 2 years and some months of pouring my heart out to God and lamenting my worst fears and trying to bolster up hope, I finally felt as if I had reached a decisive moment. God made it clear in the following days and weeks that it was time for me to share my story, my struggle with people. It started with our pastor and then his wife. I was anointed at the old altar in the church we were then attending. It was a private moment, didn't take very long, but it was profound and significant, and in my opinion, it made all the difference. 

I came home from that anointing and asked 10 people to pray, a mixture of old friends and new, a few family members on both my side and his. It was a cross-section of people who knew how to pray and always held out the highest hopes for us. 

And then I started writing. I wrote here and I shared it. And then people started sharing their stories with me. Stories of infertility, of miscarriages, of hopes and fears and prayers and triumphs. A community sprung up around me. After years of feeling alone and ashamed with my childless womb. 

Last year was my very first Mother's Day. My son was exactly a week old. He was recovering from jaundice and we thought he seemed more yellow than he should be so we took him to the hospital to be checked. The photoraphs aren't very good--he's a squishy little newborn and I was still all puffy and big from pregnancy...but they're precious all the same. My very first Mother's Day with my little miracle of faith. 

But this year...this day... is one of great significance to me. My second Mother's Day is one for the record books...or the blogosphere , as the case may be. For today Dayton was dedicated. Along with two other babies, the April and June babies, Adalaynn and Jaxon who bookend my miaracle, miracles themselves.

We stood on the stage before our congregation, our church family, our extra grandparents and aunts and uncles and role models, and we pledged to give Dayton back to God and to raise him in faith. He was conceived in faith, how else could be raise him? And our friends, some of which were the very same people that prayed for his conception, pledged to help us raise him to know God and live the faith. The same pastor that anointed me led us through the dedication. It all came full circle. 

Hannah, the mother of Samuel and one of the best mothers on record in all of history, has been my hero since this journey through infertility began. Hers is a story of intensely honest emotions and intensely profound faith. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I began to fear losing him during pregnancy. So it was at the same altar I knelt to be anointed that I gave my son back to God...before I even knew he was a boy...before I'd ever heard his heartbeat...before I'd ever held him in my arms...I gave him back to God. And today I did it publicly. That looks different for me in this century, in this culture, than it did for Hannah...but I'm familiar with her promise, her heart. 

So while some people disregard this as just a Hallmark holiday, a way for businesses to sell cards, flowers, and brunches, I will never see it as such. It's so much more and it'll never be about the gifts and cards. It's about my heart, my faith, and my miracle. My little noisy rambunctious precious miracle that I waited so long to conceive, meet, and give back to God. 
A bit antsy during the Dedication Ceremony

Standing up so big and tall!

Myself, Pastor Mike, Dayton, and Curtis after the Dedication Ceremony

Happy Mother's Day!!

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