Exactly one month ago today, I was sitting in the hospital, staring at this precious little girl in the bassinet beside me who had come into our lives in the middle of the night. For as much as I had tried to picture what our daughter would look like, nothing could have prepared me to actually see her in person, now ours to love and raise and enjoy for the rest of our days. Everyone tells you how your life is going to change, for better and for worse, when your child is born — but then came Harper, and suddenly I understood.
My days since October 3rd have seen a lot less sleep and a lot more emotions, from total joy and admiration over our sweet girl to unbelievable frustration and helplessness when I can’t figure out why she’s crying or what she needs from me. I’ve felt like a great mom and a horrible mom, and most of the time that pendulum swings back and forth in the same day. My days fly by without any chores completed, my hair and clothes a mess, and sometimes Jordan and I crawl into bed at night completely spent. I would have been in full breakdown mode if this had happened in my pre-baby days. But then came Harper, and suddenly it was all worth it.
Never before have I had to plead with God so much throughout the day for strength and patience, and more than that: for forgiveness. Forgiveness for spending even one second squandering this gift we’ve been given by complaining about my responsibilities; forgiveness for not being the mom that God has called me to be because in a given moment, I want to serve myself more than I want to serve anyone else. The truth is that I’ve always needed God to sustain me with strength and patience and forgiveness, but then came Harper – and suddenly I recognized my need for God’s grace on an entirely new level.
On the night Harper was born, we finally made it up to our room as a family of three a few hours later, and as crazy as it sounds, I couldn’t fall asleep. I was exhausted, but all I could do was stare at this precious little girl, and through tears to a half-asleep Jordan, I said, “she’s so perfect, I can’t stop staring at her.”
Because there was Harper, and suddenly nothing was the same.