30 September 2013

seven weeks with anabel


 I have had a hard time starting this post time and time again, so I am going to allow myself to just write what's on my heart - even if the larger part of me is afraid of over sharing. 
First and foremost, these words are for me.

Anabel has been with us for seven weeks now, and that is just about how long it has been since I have written in this space. So much has happened between her birth and now. In hindsight, they have been the best weeks in all my life. During - I struggled. I don't think a lot of people talk about the hard parts enough. The postpartum hormones are very real. Add that to a refluxing, very sad newborn, and the grief I experience after her traumatic birth - I was quite honestly a mess. Exhausted and (unexplainably) sad. Living in survival mode. 


The story of her delivery is very sacred to us, so I do not think I'll ever share it in full publicly, however, I think it is important to write down and remember the trials (just as much as it is to write about the joy). 


Anabel was born without a pulse. Her cord strangled her to the point of coding, she passed meconium in distress, and would have died had I pushed for a minute longer than 30 minutes. Due to a severe hemorrhage and a fever, I was only able to hold her for about a minute before I was wheeled away into the OR for several hours. I felt broken without her. Like I was missing a limb.

Laboring before her delivery is one of the best memories I have. It was such an exciting, happy fifteen hours (the team on call, and the people I invited to be there were angels on earth), but I'd be lying if I said I didn't struggle with her delivery afterward, upon realizing how terribly close we were to losing her. Even though she is thriving now, I truly had to go through each stage of grief. 



In seven weeks, there has been a lot of healing and acceptance. Through long sleepless nights, battling breastfeeding, an inconsolable baby, never leaving our house, trial-ing and error-ing, getting in a routine - only for things to change a day later. 

Motherhood is hard. 

But you know what? When my daughter giggles in her sleep, or recognizes my face and greets me with a massive gummy smile, or she looks up at me as she feeds with those shining blue eyes. When she sleeps beside me all throughout the night, still and beautiful, squeaking and snoring. When her fluffy red hair curls after a bath. When she kicks wildly in delight, and I can hear the happiness in her dove-like cooing. When I see her with her father, and my mother. Seeing her in my grandparents arms, and in the arms of the other souls I have come to love in my lifetime. When I held her as she slept soundly throughout her very first flight, and heard my husband give her the sweetest blessing in front of my grandparent's congregation.

Even in the crevices of the trying moments. 

That is when peace floods in. That is when I am reminded how much I am loved by a God that is bigger than worry, and struggle, and pain. I am loved by a giant God. Her little life has brought purpose and fullness, and I sit here today with a grateful heart. 


Motherhood is hard.

  Of course it is. 

Because there is nothing in this world more rewarding.

17 comments:

  1. Oh wow I can't believe it's already been 7 weeks! I'm so sorry to hear how rough your labor was and I can only imagine how terrifying those first couple hours afterwards were for you but I'm glad she is doing well. I will say in a way it does get easier, I say in a way because as they grow there are new things we have to learn as parents but as you have already said there is nothing more rewarding.

    She is a gorgeous little girl and I'm wishing you and your little family all the best and that things get a little easier for you soon. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  2. She looks so much like you, but like her father as well. I cannot decide ^^ I am sorry that you had to experience her first hours of life like that. Depression is hard, especially while having to look after a newborn! However, God took good care and now, 7 weeks later, you have a beautiful healthy baby girl. I hope you can enjoy her baby years without the sad feeling and that your family stays as cute and in love as you always have been <3
    Much love from Germany

    ReplyDelete
  3. ohhh my gosh these pictures are just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, gosh. Thank you for sharing your story with us, though...it is so very touching. I can't imagine how terrifying that must have been, and how much more insanely grateful for your miracle y'all must be. She is beautiful, and I'm sure the life the three of you will create together (and she beyond you) will be as well. I can only imagine how hard motherhood must be, but each stage in our lives comes with sincere challenges as well as sincere blessings. And, I hope that you are feeling better, and have the peace to be patient with yourself. I truly wish you all the best!

    ReplyDelete
  5. So so wonderful, N'tima. Thank you for letting us in to this bit of your journey.
    Also, that red hair just makes me so so happy. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. this really touched me, you are so inspiring! I love the faith you have in God and the love you share for your husband! Your daughter is absolutely beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can really relate to your story, with both of my girls. Jess was only 2 pounds 9 ounces, had to be delivered by an emergency C-section. there were so many complications. One of the hardest things was having to go home after delivery and not being able to bring your baby with you! When we finally got her home (She was on an apnea monitor along with prescribed caffeine) and I was feeding her, she turned gray (not blue like I've been told). I had to give her CPR. She made it through okay..very traumatic. With Molli, I had to have another emergency C-section and as we were going into the operating room the doctors turn to Dale and said "Say goodbye, there's no room in here for you" they needed all the room they could manage for different type of machines...They were expecting one or both of us NOT to make it.
    Both girls made it of course, but until you're a mom and having to go through even a slither of trauma...you can never fully understand the feelings.
    It gets better, I promise!

    ReplyDelete
  8. That last part is THE TRUEST statement I've ever read. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. you are so strong and beautiful, and so is your precious baby girl! Love to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your posts always make me cry..

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your right no one talks about the hard stuff. Pregnancy and childbirth can be very memorable and sometimes traumatic. You'll also find, one day, that each pregnancy/childbirth is very different. Thanks for sharing, N'tima.

    ReplyDelete
  12. She is so beautiful. I can't imagine what you must have felt after finding out you almost lost her. She is an amazing little lady.

    ReplyDelete
  13. First, love this writing: "I was only able to hold her for about a minute....I felt broken without her. Like I was missing a limb." 100% I felt exactly the same the second his body was no longer inside mine, like a part of me had just been taken away.

    As common as pregnancy and childbirth is, they are still incredibly daring, dangerous acts that women brave their way through. Your story resonates with me- though luckily my delivery wasn't quite as traumatic. Delivering a baby with no pulse- I would've lost it. That just shows your strength. My labor was long and hard and I wasn't supported medically as I should've been. My baby also pooed meconium in the womb from distress and swallowed some. The delivery was near impossible for me, but I did what I had to do, delivering my first- a 9lb baby boy who was in the right occiput posterior presentation with his fist to his face. I pushed so hard to get him out, with no help from midwives, that I got "hamman's syndrome". Needless to say, labor and delivery are amazingly complicated and dangerous feats. It's amazing so many women go through this every day.

    I can also relate to everything you've said about those early weeks. I had such a hard run with breastfeeding on top of which my baby has reflux and was always cranky. It was a mission figuring things out. I still feel like I am figuring things out and my baby is 3.5 months now. Motherhood IS hard. I don't think anyone could've prepared me for how hard it would be. It's something we go into blindly and naively, wishing for the best. When we get there, we learn that it is the most challenging job we will ever have that takes everything we have out of us. Sometimes you feel like an utter failure of a mother - not being patient enough, not giving enough, not knowing how to "fix" what's wrong with your baby. And most people don't share how hard they have it too. But before becoming a mother we are equally naive to the magnitude of love for and connection to our child that it brings; something indescribable, unimaginable and so totally worth it.

    Vanessa from www.thelittlekicks.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I feel we must have had similar experiences. Our babies are exactly the same age--to the day. I had a very rough start, as well. My heart is so full now and I feel the words of your post. xo

    ReplyDelete
  15. Well what can I say? You have a very beautiful daughter. I love your passion to be all that God has called you to be for your precious little girl. The photography is amazing, love seeing your beautifully captured moments.

    ReplyDelete