The children came to the hospital yesterday for a visit. They’re so big compared to her. They are growing up. And seeing this, made me feel melancholy, even on such a blessed day.
E couldn’t keep her hands off the baby. And, when L took a turn, she climbed into the hospital bed with me. She started crying, “This is a really big step for me, Mom.” I smiled so big. I didn’t let her see.
Yes, this new baby is going to shake up our family a bit. We’ve been just the five of us for so long now. We’ve made a lot of memories together. We’ve been through both wonderful times and incredibly difficult times, together. We’ve depended so much on each other.
When we were moving from our flat in London, I told my uprooted children, “Home is where Mommy’s heart, and Daddy’s heart, and E‘s heart, and L‘s heart, and J‘s heart are together. That is home!” And when we boarded the London double-decker bus, as a family, headed out of London for the last time, L asked me again, “Mom, where is our home?” I again assured him, “Our home is where my heart, and Daddy’s heart, and E‘s heart, and your heart, and J‘s heart are together!”
He looked around the crowded bus, looked at each member of our family, then concluded, “We’ve invited a lot of people into our home!”
Well, we have since invited another “heart” into our “home”.
Baby J was born November 2015, in the New York Presbyterian Hospital.
When I first got checked into the hospital, I was very emotional. I cried, the memories of Matthew’s birth and death all came to the surface. Bryant held me close.
I had labor pains all Thursday night. Friday morning, we took the subway into Manhattan, and to the Upper East Side. I labored, walking around Manhattan and then in the hospital, all Friday day and Friday night.
Too much anesthesia via epidural has, in the past, made me throw up, so I took less and felt more. Come Saturday morning, I was exhausted.
Around 4:00am, the doctor checked me and said I was not progressing quickly. “Don’t push.” But the pressure was really intense. 10-15 mins later I told the nurse that I thought I could feel her head crowning. “Don’t push.” Got it. She went to get the doctor. I didn’t push. Then, just before the doctor got her gloves on for an examination, I turned to Bryant, “Her head is coming out.” He jumped up and he and the nurse lifted the sheets. Yep. The doctor with her one gloved hand,caught our baby girl, on her way out.
The baby cried out. I cannot describe my feelings when I heard our baby cry out. Bryant and I wept.
And when the doctor handed her to me, and she opened her dark eyes, I felt I was looking directly into heaven. I felt God’s love.
In that hospital room, with my newborn baby in my arms, all the blessings and the challenges of the past, the uncertainty and the grandeur of the future ahead – everything felt so peaceful, so right.
And I felt such incredible love for Bryant, the man I shared it ALL with – life and even eternity.
When Bryant bought me an engagement ring, thirteen years ago now, he had engraved on the inside of the ring: “Eternity is You”. Over the years, I have come to better understand and feel so absolute in my heart that, indeed, “Eternity is You” – meaning, my family. I believe we live on, even after death, into the eternities. But, without my Bryant, without E and L, J and our beloved Matthew, and now Baby J, what is eternity to me? What lure would it have? How could I endure it at all?
E said to me, “Isn’t it amazing how much we can love another child.”
And J prayed to God, “Please help us take care of our baby.”
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar
Not in entire forgetfulness
And not in utter nakedness
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!