Jenna was 4 days old, we had only been home from the hospital for 2 days. I was desperately sleep deprived, overwhelmed and extremely anxious. I felt this way after all 3 of my babies births, for the first few weeks. My hormones were crazy, I felt incredibly protective of my fragile baby that only I, and God, had held, carried and kept for the past 9 months. I was on edge and nervous. Anything and everything caused me to turn into a blubbering mess of tears. The only place I felt safe and peaceful was at home, with the blinds shut and the doors locked. I just wanted to stay home, in my pj's, so that I could be whatever kind of emotional I felt like. It was my way to keep a small bit of sanity, despite rare bits of sleep, pieced together by long, random feedings and changing tiny diapers.
So, it was Mother's Day and I had to get out of the house to visit my mom and my mother in law. All I really wanted was to stay home, paralyzed on the couch only doing what I had to do, feed and care for my newborn.
Joe dressed Bethany and Joseph, loaded everyone into the car and I came out of the house, on the verge of tears, for no apparent reason other than, I was just a basket case. I was stressed about having everything we would need for our few hours away and opened the back door of our car to see the entire back seat filled with children.
Where had they all come from?
In that moment, it hit me.
What had we done?
3 children, all in car seats.
It was their first ride in the new arrangement with a baby sister in the back. Bethany, never absorbing change well, was crying because Joseph was in her car seat, which looks almost identical to his. In Bethany's world, almost are a really big deal. Joseph was pleading for a sippycup and little Jenna was already fussing, probably because of all the commotion.
I got in the front seat and started crying, I looked at Joe and said, "Can we just stay home?" His reply, was that it would do us all good to get out of the house, we should at least drive to town and get lunch at Sonic.
As we pulled out of the garage into the rain, Joe flipped the defrost on and suddenly a ...thump...thump...thump, came from the dashboard. We both looked at each other, with a clueless expression and I just sobbed. Our car couldn't break down!! I couldn't handle it...we needed our car! When we turned the fan off, the thumping stopped and Joe said, it'd be okay to go ahead and drive to Sonic.
The next 10 minutes, I sat in my seat, tears rolling down my cheeks. Wondering how we were going to afford to pay for whatever was wrong with our car. Now we had 3 little precious children to take care of, how on earth was I ever going to be able to go anywhere with 3 kids, I just didn't think I could take care of all of them at home, let alone out and about. My mind was racing and all I wanted was to go home, get my shapeless blob of a body, in my frumpy shapeless clothes, and crawl into bed.
We made it to Sonic and I swallowed my food down in chunks, trying to pull myself together but really caring less if I did or not. Joe decided to diagnose our car problem and turned the fan back on low...thump, thump, thump, thump. I reached over and turned it off, "I can't handle this right now Joe!" He said, "Maybe if we just run it for a minute it will go away?" and he promptly turned the fan back on...thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. Then he reached down and cranked the knob over to high...
thumpthumpthumthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump it sounded like a machine gun and our entire dashboard was vibrating and shaking. "Turn it off, turn it off!" I yelled, hands shaking, arms waving. "You are going to tear something up!!! I can't handle this, I can't breathe!!!" By this time, he knew I was serious and was scared I'd have a heart attack if he turned it on again.
Somehow, we went on to visit our mothers. I remember just sitting, watching and listening as others held and made over Jenna. I just sat, eyes glazed over, trying not to cry. Some one told me I looked pale and I was thinking, "I knew I needed to stay home! I need rest, I just had a baby, I want to go home."
A few hours later, we made it back home and I felt so much better. I called my dad and he came over at like 9:30 to look at our car. If you know my dad, then you know he can fix anything. There is a blog post about my wonder dad somewhere in the future. He was laying in the floorboard of the car, all twisted about, taking the dashboard off. A little while later, Joe hollered for me to come to the garage door and see something. I walked into the kitchen and there he stood at the door holding a mouse by the tail. Apparently, it had crawled into our a/c fan and we carried it home from the hospital's parking garage!
For this story there are a thousand more, moments when my nerves were shot and I felt like I couldn't handle another moment of motherhood. God has been so faithful to me, He has given me strength when I was weak. He supplies all my needs, His rest is enough. I have been tremendously blessed to have 3 healthy, beautiful children. I am the mother I am, because of His grace and mercy to me. It's a journey and I am learning and growing as I go. It's not a perfect path, it is jagged with mistakes, bumpy with doubt and discouragement but His voice keeps saying,
"I will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 Come to me, I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 Learn from me, because I am gentle and humble. Matthew 11:29 Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 Trust in God, trust also in me. John 14:1 I have loved you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3"
Happy Mother's Day to my mom and to all my mommy readers. Today, is a happy day for me to celebrate being a mother, but it is bittersweet for me. I am thinking and praying for the women in my life who's desires have not yet been fulfilled. Some of them are readers and some of them not, but I say many prayers for you all today. You who have loved and lost, your pain I do not know, but my God does. He sees and loves you just the way you are. The same promises He gives to me, are yours as well.
"I will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 Come to me, I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 Learn from me, because I am gentle and humble. Matthew 11:29 Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 Trust in God, trust also in me. John 14:1 I have loved you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 "
My prayer for you, is that you will feel His love and hear His voice.