Today as we celebrate our Lord and Savior’s resurrection, I also wanted to resurrect my blog. More to come on that in the coming weeks, but today I wanted to share some thoughts I have been having around this holiday.
Today Stella woke up at 5:00 am ready to search for her Easter basket, we sent her back to bed only for her to try again at 6:00 am. We finally caved at 6:30 am and pried ourselves out of bed to watch both girls excitedly run around the house searching for their baskets. The Easter Bunny had brought them some candy and a couple of new Barbies, so soon they were in their own little worlds playing together.
Later on we watched as they played with their cousins at my parent’s house and ran around the yard for our annual Easter Egg Hunt. As I watched them chase a ball in the sunshine, I thought about how not that long ago Stella was spending her first Easter in the NICU. I remember being devastated that we’d be going to our Family gatherings without the biggest part of our life with us.
Recently I was going through the notes on my phone and came across one that I had pulled out of a devotional last year around Easter. It said,
“In order to understand the joy of day 3, you have to go back and remember the silence of day 2 and the pain on day 1.”
These words really struck me this year because we are in a stage of life where things are “normal”. Our girls are in school, they run and play and fight like “normal” sisters; and sometimes I take for granted the miracles that God blessed us with.
But I so clearly remember the pain of day 1, when at our 20 week ultrasound they told us that Stella would likely never come home with us. I remember when we learned that Nora would be born with a Cleft Lip and Palate – my heartbreak was almost unbearable to have a second child with something wrong.
I’m reminded of the silence of Day 2 when I struggled with all those days in the NICU – that 6 week mark was excruciating and I questioned God about everything, upset that he wasn’t following my timeline. I remember the 4 months of retainer changes and weekly doctor appointments with Nora; and the silence in the middle of the night when I felt sleep deprived from pumping and bottle feeding a screaming baby every 3 hours.
But I also remember the joy of Day 3 when we buckled Stella into her car seat, nervously loaded her into our car and drove her home (very slowly). I remember seeing Nora’s first new smile after her lip repair surgery at 4 and half months old. She was radiating joy – making all the hard work worth it.
Now that we are in Day 3, I feel so thankful for the process and all that we learned, how much we grew as a family and as a couple. But I also know that many are still sitting the devastation of Day 1, feeling hopeless and heart broken. I know others are fighting through the silence of Day 2, just as we did on Stella’s first Easter 6 years ago – in so many ways, that was hardest part of our journey.
So today I want to ask you to say a prayer for all the families fighting in the NICU. The families celebrating Easter in the hospital instead of at home. For all the exhausted Mamas – whether they have healthy children or not. Today I pray that everyone finds a little bit of peace, a lot of grace and a moment of overwhelming joy in the chaos of this holiday.
God bless you all and Happy Easter!