Lila Blue: Her first 5 years
"And though she be but little, she is fierce."
— William Shakespeare
I don't know why 5 seems like such a sentimental birthday for me. Perhaps it is because it is the first birthday I really remember as a child. Perhaps, it is because I feel like my strengths in parenting are set for early childhood and 5 feels like the step over the threshold into "big kid" mode. Whatever the reason, here I am upon my second child's 5th birthday. In light of Lila turning 5, I want to share with you her story and all the parts that make her so very special to our family.
In February of 2011 we found out that we were pregnant with our second child and we were completely ecstatic. We announced it to family, friends and social media by the time I was 8 weeks along. I shared a bit about this on a previous post as well. I remember being bummed that I had to make my first doctor appointment for 11 weeks along, but Josh was taking his first trip to Haiti and he did not want to miss the appointment so I waited until he got back. While he was gone, I remember continuing to pray over my womb and I kept busy by going on walks with Jude and visiting friends throughout the week. I remember one night having a terribly vivid dream of placing my hand on my womb and my baby became detached. It was one of those dreams that bothered me to my core and I could not bring myself to tell anyone because it was just terrible.
When Josh got home we were so excited to head to our doctor appointment to see the first little ultrasound and get a good report. We walked into the room on that April day and I will never forget every word the doctor spoke, every move we made, every feeling we felt. As my doctor scanned over my belly with the ultrasound machine he seemed to take longer and scanned and scanned and then he pointed to the screen and said, "You see, this is where I should be picking up a heartbeat. I am not seeing it on the screen, and I could be missing it, but I want to set you up with a full ultrasound." It was one of those moments that make your heart stop and the room seems to shrink in on you. While we waited to go to our ultrasound that day, we called all of our prayer warriors and believed God for a healthy baby and heartbeat.
However, when we went to the appointment, that was not the case. The ultrasound tech kindly told us that there was not a heartbeat detected. We were heartbroken to say the least and I know it is something so many of you can relate to. I remember just holding on to little Jude so tightly as we went home that night with so many questions and feelings. My doctor was so kind to personally call me that evening to go over everything with me. We opted for a D&C which would be done 3 days later, April 21st.
One of the most meaningful moments that night, was when a couple girl friends drove to my house and placed a Papa Murphy's pizza and some cookie dough on my front step. They waited a moment and then called and asked if they could give me a hug to make sure I was ok. It was something I will never forget and I made it my mission to try to be there for anyone I knew going through a miscarriage because that very moment meant the world to me.
I had shared our hopes and dreams for this next baby and I will never forget when my friend Katie looked at me and said, "Bre, I know that God has a sweet Lila Blue waiting to send to you guys at just the right time." Her words gave me so much encouragement.
Because of the D&C we had to wait several months before we could try again. In July, we got a positive pregnancy test, which meant a due date in April! We were hesitant to tell anyone right away, but coveted prayers for a healthy pregnancy. Because I had volunteered at the local Pregnancy Care Center, they were able to get me in for an early ultrasound and we saw that sweet baby's heartbeat around 6 weeks! We were still a little anxious to get past the first trimester, but we were believing God to be faithful in what we so hoped and believed would be a healthy pregnancy.
9 months later, even though I was scheduled for an induction for the 19th, I started contracting 2 days before and ended up going into the hospital the night before the induction because my contractions had fallen so close together. We got to the hospital around 1 a.m. and then our sweet and beautiful promise was born at 5:31 a.m. on April 19th, almost exactly 1 year after our miscarriage. Our Lila Blue was perfect in every way. She has this sweet little heart shaped birth mark on her right shoulder and I can not help but think of it as being perhaps a little angel kiss on this sweet little promise of a baby girl.
Through her, God showed us his love, grace and above all, how incredibly faithful he is when you place your trust in Him. It was just the foundation of truth we needed to trust Him through several other trials in the past and today.
My heart swells with everything this little girl is to our family.
She is kind, loving, compassionate and fiercely independent.
She is shy and slow to warm up to people, but she thrives with one on one attention.
She is drawn to taking care of babies and kids smaller than her, and will play with baby dolls all day long.
She is quiet and reserved for the most part, but every once in a while she will show us her super sassy side by trying to tell us what to do while rolling her eyes.
She can turn on the dramatics in the drop of a hat and laugh hysterically in the middle of a big cry.
She loves to be silly and to keep us on our toes.
God has big plans for this small girl.
There are so many wonderful parts about parenting and observing your children to get to know the ways in which God designed them.
I love watching Lila with her strengths as I see very similar strengths in myself, but when I see her weaknesses it terrifies me. These are similar weaknesses for me as well, and I want to make sure that we lead and guide her toward the things in life that are life-giving. She is incredibly observant; she takes everything in, and shares very little about what she is thinking. She will bottle up her emotions and I know that if I do not take the time to facilitate those emotions in a healthy way, it comes out in an explosion.
I decided to try something this year to help with one of those weaknesses.
I know the struggle she goes through when she is feeling too painfully shy to talk to others she does not know, or to simply ask someone she does know a question.
I decided to pick a scripture and declare it over her life every single day. Her scripture over the last 7 months has been Joshua 1:9.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
On Monday mornings, before we go to our co-op where she has to give a presentation in front of her class, I say, "Lila, I am so proud of you. You are brave and courageous and you are going to do such a great job!" I pray it over her at night and any other time I sense her start to feel overcome by feeling too scared to speak to someone.
She has taken big leaps and I have watched her bloom on so many occasions. She is not a completely new and outgoing person, and that is not the goal. I don't want her to be a different person at all, I just want her to feel confident in who she is and brave enough to not be afraid of people or the things God has in store for her life.
I can't believe she will be 5 in a couple days. To say that I am a proud Mom is an understatement. I am so thankful God chose me to be her Mama.
We love you Lila Blue.