A smile spread across my face as I felt the flutter of my baby’s movements, thankful the all-day-long-sickness was now behind me.
I daydreamed of the day in October I would hold my baby in my arms and tried to picture the tiny life growing inside my womb.
Are you a girl…or a boy? I wondered quietly, doubting my decision to wait until I gave birth to find out.
Five more months seemed like an eternity to wait to meet the precious little one snuggled comfortably within, but according to the advice I had received from others who’d been down this road a time or two, the special day would arrive before I could blink.
And it did.
Eighteen weeks into my first pregnancy found me flat on my back in a hospital bed. I had gone into preterm labor and the only solution was complete hospital bed rest to hold off labor for as long as possible.
And for a few weeks longer it did.
At only five months pregnant, my water broke.
I was whisked off to emergency surgery. The operating room was a whirl wind of chaos as a team of doctors flurried to deliver a baby who would be unable to take a first breath on its own.
Fearful and waiting, I lay there on the operating table.
Then a doctor leaned in close, and spoke softly.
“Do you believe in God?” he asked.
“Yes—I-I’m a believer!” I answered.
He nodded quietly before speaking again.
“Then we will ask the Lord to help your baby.” he stated confidently.
The surrounding noise faded into the background, drowned out by the miracle of that moment. The words of the kind neonatologist whispered a promise of hope and comfort in one of my darkest hours, calming my heart amidst the chaos.
Moments later my baby was delivered.
It was a girl.
Happiness and grief waged a war within my heart, when I first gazed upon her 1lb. 2oz. fragile body lying in the incubator.
I wept as the intense emotions tore my heart in two.
I grieved over my shattered dreams of the joyous birth of my first child, yet I celebrated the beautiful life lying there and the gift she was to me.
I was a mother.
After embarking on this journey of motherhood eight years ago, the road has taken twists and turns over difficult terrain, leading me along a path different from one that I’d imagined, but one that God has mapped out specifically for me.
There are days that I question my ability as her mother—the mother of a child with special needs. The inward struggle of inadequacy torments my heart more than I care to admit, and the chaos of doubts and uncertainty spin uncontrollably around me.
I feel alone.
But then the Lord speaks to me in my moment of helplessness, His soft whisper drowning out the surrounding noise.
Do you believe in me? He asks.
“Yes, Lord—You know I do!”
Then trust that I AM able to help you help your daughter.
He speaks softly, offering me hope and confidence that the One Who has called me to be a mother will also enable me to do it, calming my heart amidst the chaos.
Rachel is a child of God, wife, and stay-at-home mom of three, the oldest of whom has special needs (resulting from her premature birth). You can follow along shareslog This Journey Our Life her personal journey of parenting a special needs child at her blog This Journey Our Life, and connect with her @JourneyLifeRach on Twitter and Facebook.