Sometimes my journal entries are letters. This is one of those.
My Dearest Vera,
Today you are 6 months old. You’ve been here for only a half of a year and already I can’t believe how we survived without you. I have some things to say to you today that I hope you’ll understand some day:
On August 9th last year, when I found out you were coming, I didn’t cry because I didn’t want you to. I cried because I felt so vulnerable right then, like I knew something was coming…besides you…that made me want to brace myself but I knew I couldn’t. There was nothing close enough to grab hold of. So I cried because I wanted to be the best I could for you I was so afraid that I couldn’t be. I had never done this without back-up, without my mom, my aunt, my friends nearby. I was afraid that I’d be spread too thin to be what you needed. I didn’t want to fail you.
Never have I cried so hard and so much as I did while I was pregnant with you. The black plague of pressure out here…job stress, deciding what to do with our life, where to live…just seemed to get harder and harder until it all snowballed together, criss-crossed its legs, and sat directly on my chest.
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I worried for you, that I was causing you to have a complex even as an unborn baby.
It all erupted just two weeks before you got here. Everything we’d been hoping for and praying for had seemingly been answered. We had a week of bliss where we thought it had all come together right in time….we thought we were moving, we had a contract on a house, we had picked out your room. And just like that, we didn’t have it.
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I didn’t let the other kids see my cry. They were hurting just like we were I didn’t want to make it worse. I bit my lip and waited for a quiet moment. That night when they had called and taken every ounce of wind from your papa’s sails, I cried. No one saw me, but you knew. I hunched over on the living room floor and begged God for an explanation I knew would not come. It just was what it was and there was no changing it.
As much as I begged for relief, it never came…the stress was always there. Problems that had nothing to do with you that came to try to rob us of every shred of joy we could get from you.
But I wouldn’t let it.
You were mine and I had dreamt about you. You were part of us long before we could even fathom someone as amazing as you.
And you are here. You gracefully swooped into this world early Earth Day morning and changed us forever. Did you know I thought you were a boy all along? When your dad announced that you were a girl, my heart exploded into a million sparkling pieces and fell like glitter all around us–it was magic.
When I think about how much heartache surrounded your birth and now your babyhood, my heart hurts. I never want you to feel the effects of this. I want you to always know that no matter what, no matter what was happening around us, no matter how much I hurt because of all the circumstances, I drank in your baby smell, I twirled your hair in my fingers, I rocked you for hours after you were already sleeping, I loved you till it hurt. Through all this, I loved you…nothing changed that I loved you.
You, Vera, are the missing bookend we were waiting for. We needed you. Thank you, sweet one, for being my joy.
Thankful for today:
1. Vera Mae–our perfect bookend
2. a night out alone
3. coffee for the tired headache
4. trusty sitters
5. baby hair
6. Sophie’s take-chargeness
7. clean countertops
9. time outside in the fall
10. live music
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