My Tiny Little Love has finally made it to the other side of a horrifying bout of diaper rash. I know, I know. That does not sound like such a big deal, but believe me, when your very small baby girl is wincing and crying out in a heart-sickening shriek of pain every time she tinkles it starts to feel pretty serious.
So. Many. Diapers.
I counted actually. Because we usually use cloth, but since we had to buy a 96 pack of pampers for the sad occasion, I now know that I changed exactly 30 diapers in the last day and a half. 30 very sad screaming and squirmy or EVEN WORSE whimpering and subdued (as if the nasty red broken skin on her bottom had just whipped all the fight right out of my Little Firecracker) diaper changes.
It was heartbreaking.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I didn't know I could love like this.
I was literally confused that today was Thursday because this past week has been a blur of play with the sick baby, snuggle the baby, carry the baby, comfort the baby, change the baby's diaper, baby sleeps for 20 minutes, up and crying, change diaper, more snuggling, more comforting, say hello to your husband after work, take baby to bed and pray she sleeps for real....
This kind of love, this mother-love is so big. So strange. It's not like any love I've ever felt.
Eight months ago this Sweet Baby Girl was just a bouncy bundle, a faceless shifting body floating around inside my own. A squishy mysterious Little Bugger that liked to do a dance right when I was ready to sleep, and was hungry all the time. I knew her, but I didn't know her. And now I love her?
I remember in our labor class someone saying that enduring childbirth gives you the confidence you need to mother your baby. Like if you can handle labor, you can handle anything this kid will throw at you. But to me the whole thing just felt like oh-dear-Lord-someone-make-this-stop. When it was over, I didn't feel like a stronger more capable super-charged mom version of myself- all I felt was RELIEVED! And a teeny bit scared at the thought of ever doing it again.
And I wasn't one of those mommy's that had this instant I'm-totally-overwhelmed-with-my-love-for-you moment when I first laid eyes on the beautiful tiny human placed screaming on my chest. It was more like a "Oh hello little girl. It's you!" sort of feeling. Where was that feeling? Where was the gushy mama love I should feel.
Then those first three months were BRUTAL. I remember thinking, how am I to learn to love this Tiny Girl when she is literally sucking the very life out of me all day everyday, and refuses to let me sleep. These are real torture methods somewhere in the world. I knew that I felt something for her. Something new and strange and a little bit scary. She was precious and fragile, but whoa was she needy, and I am selfish. And Lord, can I do this? Those were desperate days, marked by moment-to-moment pleas for grace.
This is the first Valentine's Day that my Sweet Girl is here in our world, and so
it's got me thinking how this love- our love - has been a slow sweet dripping that's somehow filled my heart to the brim.
It's an impossible love.
I've been emptying.
Poured out over and over into this Child never knowing that I was yielding my heart, being drained dry, only to be filled with a kind of fullness I didn't know I could feel.
God is so good. So faithful to bless the servant even if the giving is through clenched-teeth and with the very last of what we feel we have to give. I've fought with Him over this new Mama-life, struggled with the laying down of my own wants day in and day out, whined, complained, kicked, screamed- I have not been a generous giver of my self to this Tiny Treasure entrusted to me.
And yet He has BLESSED.
Love has made me able.
And Love- He has made me full.