I realize the phrase "calm before the storm" implies a negative connotation. But in my personal experience, it can also refer to some of the happiest and most cherished moments life has to offer...
For instance, late on Christmas Eve (or early on Christmas morning), I love looking around the living room and soaking up every bit of it. The tree, the lights. The nativity. Almost 20 years worth of homemade ornaments. The snowmen, the angel atop the tree. And the piles and piles of brightly wrapped packages. For that moment, everything is peaceful. Still. But shortly after sunrise (if not before!), the proverbial storm swoops in and what had previously been a near-perfect moment is now transformed into one of those rare moments of utter and complete joy.
Excited screams. Grins from ear to ear. Hugs. Thanks. Laughter. Sometimes ~ if the gift is perfect enough ~ tears...
That's the kinda storm I like. And it's the one brewing thousands of miles away from where I sit.
Now that the 30 week milestone has come and gone, I've found myself almost in my own version of "expectant father" mode. I am constantly checking my phone. Making sure I didn't miss an email, text, or call. Always taking no news as a sign of good news, and blissfully it has been just that. The nursery is ready. Little outfits (I'm sure!) hanging in the closet. And best of all ~ a mommy and daddy just bursting with anticipation and excitement.
The impending arrival of Lil Man is felt silently yet heavily in our home. With Lil Miss becoming busier, chattier, and more toddler-like by the day, I find myself missing those precious baby moments. A soft (and still!) hug. A quiet moment. Those sweet cooing sounds. For us, those have been replaced by flailing, excited hugs (if you can catch her as she's running by!), giant, wet kisses (love those!), and shouts of "Mommy!", "Daddy!", and "Doggie!" The other night, I took out the photo album from her early months. Amazing to think it was only last year....
As I flipped through the pages, I started concentrating intently on her tiny fingers. Her crazy toes. The shape of her eyes. Her little button nose. Her waking and sleeping facial expressions. And wondering. Wondering how much he'll look like her. His biological big sister.
I think that is the reality that has been hitting me more & more. Yes ~ there are also four biological half-siblings. Ones who are older and don't have quite the stake in this that she does. What will she think? How will she feel? Knowing it could have been her? I want to believe ~ have to believe ~ that if we follow the path we discussed, remaining as open and forthcoming as possible, telling her how very much we loved each and every one of those babies and were going to do everything in our power to help them, that she will understand. That she will be grateful knowing she wasn't the only one given a chance at life.
And yes, of course, there is also a part of my heart that sits in waiting. Waiting, upon seeing images of his sweet face, to leave my body forever. Just as it did when I delivered my five children. So a piece of my heart will go to their sweet boy as well.
But I continue to believe, and have steadfast faith, in knowing that the piece of my heart will be just one of many. So many people already loving this little boy, counting the days til his arrival.
And so we wait. And we pray.
I love the calm before a storm.