It is also William's Birthday.
I love that.
We celebrated William's Birthday yesterday, and to him, it was great and wonderful. It was enough to hold him over for another year, and to let me have a special day today. I couldn't help but whisper "Happy Birthday to us," a few times in his ear today, and share a knowing giggle with him though. He had that little twinkle in his eye, and he was content to take the back seat today.
I woke up this morning with a very content and peaceful feeling in my heart. I felt a pure sense of joy.
Yes, it was my Birthday, but honestly, I am an adult, and even though it is a fun day, this feeling was different. I just felt like I was a little more in tune to my surroundings. I felt in tune with the blessings of my surroundings. It is really hard to explain.
As I got up out of bed, I felt a gentle whisper in my heart say to me, "Behold, and know that I am God."
This may sound totally cheesy, but it is true, and I felt those words roll around and around in my mind. Each time I felt them, I felt so much joy and peace.
As I came down the stairs, and saw my family, I knew.
It was as if God threw me back 6 years ago.
6 years ago on my Birthday, I lost a baby at 16 weeks gestation. Not only that, but I hemorrhaged at home, was taken to the ER via ambulance, and then hemorrhaged on the surgery table. I lost 1/3 of my blood that day, and I lost my baby. It was a horrible, horrible day, and one that is hard to reflect back on.
As I was wondering why I was remembering this terrible Birthday, as I stood there looking at my family this morning, another image flashed into my mind.
It was me again, 6 years ago. I was in my closet, lying on the floor. I was home from the hospital, I was severely anemic, I was just diagnosed with mono (contracted during my hospital stay), and I was extremely depressed. I was crying so hard that I didn't couldn't even kneel down. I was praying with everything that I had, to know the future, what was to become of this precious baby we just lost, why I was going through this, and feeling completely hopeless. It was a bad time.
I remember thinking at that time, that I would do ANYTHING to have a crystal ball, and to see my future, to see what this would all mean, to see that I would be ok again. To see what would become of this sweet spirit we had just sent back.
God did give me a tiny crystal ball during a visit to the temple later on that week. I won't elaborate too much, but it was then that we knew that we would be able to raise that baby we lost, here on earth, in this life. It was also then that we knew the baby we lost was a little girl, with a very special purpose and role in our family.
(due to the situation at the time I had the D&C, the doctor was not able to tell me the gender of the baby, and we were not allowed to see it)
As I sat there reflecting on this this morning, as I looked at my family, again, I felt the words, "Behold, and know that I am God."
This was what I would have seen, if God had given me that crystal ball that day. This was it! I was here!
I then remembered back to my Birthday, just one year after the miscarriage. I was in the hospital again. I had just given birth to William, my 9.5 pound chubby, squishy, perfect baby boy. We did not plan the due date to be on this day. I firmly believe William was sent to us on this day, to bring us a ray of sunshine and hope, and to know that God was watching over us. William was a gift. He made this day special and happy again.
I then snapped out of my little reflection mode, and joined my family in the kitchen. I gave William a little extra squeeze and a kiss, and I felt so grateful for him, and for his timing in joining our family.
I then looked over at Luke, and I was thrown back to the ultrasound room, when he was in the womb. I remember the elated feeling when the tech told us we were having a girl! Ben and I just grinned and shed a few tears. This was our baby we had been waiting for. She was finally coming back to us.
Fast forward 6 weeks. I had started bleeding, and we were back in the ultrasound room, I was completely panicked. I remembered the wave of relief when the tech told us the baby was fine, and then the HUGE wave of shock when the tech told us that our baby girl, was in fact, a baby boy.
I was completely confused, upset, shocked, and second guessing my experience I had in the temple after the miscarriage. Could God really expect us to just keep pumping out babies until our little girl came back to us??? Good grief. What was I going to do with three boys in a row!
Shame on me. If I had only known how precious this boy would be.
I then came back to the present and looked at my sweet Luke. My heart completely melted. His adorable chubby cheeks. His completely round circle puppy dog eyes, his adorable white wavy hair, and his absolutely addicting little spirit. If our little girl had come before him, I honestly don't think we would have continued to have babies, and Luke would not have been in our lives. My heart breaks completely to even think of not having Luke here with us. I felt so much joy and thankfulness that Luke was here, in our lives, in our family. And again, I felt the words, "Behold, and I know that I am God."
And then I looked down at Mary and Sam.
My friends. My first two babies.
They are both growing way too fast, and they have such a significant impact in our family, and in my life. I thought about them individually.
Sam, with his big, blue, curious, tender eyes, and is super long gorgeous eyelashes. His adorable giggle and grin. His spitfire knowledge of facts about reptiles, and his love for playing and having fun. His loyalty and natural desire to do the right thing.
Mary, with her gorgeous features, her long blonde hair, her creative flair, her athletic drive, her goofy sense of fun and her deep, yet well disguised desire to still be held sometimes, and tucked in at night.
I glanced over to Ben, who was holding Molly, while helping to get Luke cereal. He had decorated, and had gotten up early so I could sleep in. I could feel his true love for me and his desire to show that to me today. I thought about him. His gentle yet profound words he always says at the right time. His strong arms that have held me through the good and the bad. His conviction for the Gospel. His love for our children. His striking good looks, and his goofy watch.
My heart was very, very full.
I then went back to one year ago, again, on my Birthday. It was about 2:00 in the afternoon. I was standing at the counter, placing candies on William's race car Birthday cake. I was fighting back the tears, but it was a losing battle. I had a fever of 104 and everything ached. I had gestational diabetes, and I was starving all the time. I didn't have a Birthday cake of my own, because I couldn't eat one anyway. Ben had to go in to work early that day, and the kids had been going crazy all morning. They had no clue it was even my Birthday. Our yard was just rock and weeds, and we were right in the middle of trying to get our sprinkler system in. It had been an absolute nightmare, and I was beyond frustrated with it all. I was 6 months pregnant, hot, starving, miserable, sick (with what ended up being Influenza that kept me in bed for the next three weeks), my aunt had just died and all of sibling had come for the funeral. I was too sick to be able to join them. I had to cancel a party my friends had planned for me, and I was still trying to celebrate William on his special day. It was a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad Birthday.
I just wanted to feel healthy, to have my baby girl in my arms, to have grass for my children to play in, and dang it, I wanted a stinkin' Birthday cake for Pete's sake, and I wanted to be able to eat it!!!
I remember standing there at the counter, wiping the tears from my eyes, trying to tell myself that next year it would be so much better, it had to be.
And then I came back to the present, and I glanced over at Molly. It was almost all I could do to keep standing. I can't even describe the feelings that flooded my heart, and once again I felt the words, "Behold, and know that I am God."
Here I was, standing in this beautiful home, living in this gorgeous valley that we get to call home, I could see our green grass, and our big sandbox through the window. In the kitchen were my 5 precious children, my cute Little Mermaid birthday balloon, my husband standing there with love in his eyes, and there was Molly in his arms, looking right at me, almost through me, with her piercing deep blue eyes.
She knew exactly what I was feeling, and she was feeling it too, I just knew it, and I knew that she knew it. It only lasted a few seconds, but our spirits connected in a way that is so hard to describe. They connected in a way that became very familiar to me, as we were waiting for her to join our family for those 6 years. I knew her well before her physical body joined us, I had enough moments where she was with me during that time, to make it unmistakable, and that spirit that I knew so well, was flooding my heart as my sweet little girl gazed at me.
She is here. We are here. I am here. This was my crystal ball image. If God had shown me something that day 6 years ago, or even just last year, something that would have taken away the pain and despair, this would have been it. He would have taken me to this stair case, looking down on my family, reflecting on the life we now have. I don't think I would have believed it!
And here I am. I am living it right now.
I had a wonderful Birthday.
I had decorations to wake up to, even balloons!
I had cards. I had phone calls. I had loads and loads of Facebook messages.
I had friends bring brownies, and a cake.
I am healthy.
I got to run 6 miles this morning.
My family got me thoughtful gifts, and we ate at Red Robin.
Ben bought the best cheesecake ever...and I got to eat it!
It truly was a great day.
But God gave me a Birthday that will stick with me forever.
He gave me my crystal ball moment, and I am living it right now.
It doesn't get better than that.
Life is good.
God is good.