Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Tree of Life

Below is my journal entry from this morning, I thought that I'd share my first thoughts about welcoming our daughter:

Our Anna Patricia was born yesterday. What a Beauty for sure. We are grateful to have a baby in our arms, in our room, on Kathryn's breast. God has been so kind. This is how it is supposed to be. Not that we deserve this, but that this is about as un-broken as child birth can be in this world, in this life.

She was born at 5:13 pm on Saturday, June 25, 2011 - 8 lbs. 15 oz., 21" long. Kathryn elected to have an epidural for the first time. That made for a totally different experience than our previous three births, especially in comparison to Samuel's, in which the normal pain experienced by an unmedicated mom was accompanied by the stresses and uncertainties of his known (yet unknown) heart defects. Anna's birth was remarkably calm for the last hour-and-a-half. We were able to hold her right away, and there were a few emotional moments for me when Kathryn first held her daughter - a healthy child who was not whisked away. Because of everything going on in the moments immediately after a child birth and because of all the people in the room, I wasn't able to remain in those moments for long. Just the same, they were moving. As I reflect on them now I am reminded again of the wisdom and truth of Proverbs 13:12: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." If a tree of life can be an emotion, that's what I was feeling. Seeing Kathryn hold Beauty was watching a longing fulfilled. We have been through - and are still navigating - the lands of hope deferral with the loss of Samuel and our subsequent grief. But as far as I can see, trees of life are the best salve for the ache of disappointed dreams.

I don't want to overstate this. A healthy Anna is not the same as a healthy Samuel. She does not replace him. She can't. We don't want her to. Our specific hope of August 2009 - that God would heal Samuel - will not be realized in this life. But, our broader hope for a growing family, for more children, has come to fruition in the birth of Anna Patricia.

Thank you, God, for your kindness expressed both in comfort and healing, and in life, health, and birth.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Apinis family! I read the book "Heaven is for Real" last night (in just less than 2 hours). I think it would do your hearts good to read it if you can't. Samuel is for sure looking down on all of you and his new baby sister!