Dear Son, Today You’re One…

Last night, I started to remember the hours that led up to your sudden entrance into this world.  I pulled up the note that I still have on my phone where I documented every hour that I was feeling what I thought were Braxton-Hicks contractions.  Looking back, I should have realized I was in preterm labor.  But in the hazy fog of pain, my brain just couldn’t even fathom the idea that you would be born at 29 weeks.  So early…too soon.

Every time I drive past the hospital where you were born, I remember your dad speeding down the highway at 3:30am…and that’s when I realized you were coming.  November 20th would be your birthday.

I still remember the moment you were born and the nurses found your heartbeat.  You were alive.  All 2 lbs and 6 oz of you was alive and ready to fight for survival.

They asked us what your name would be.  Daddy and I looked at each other and we knew exactly who you were meant to be.  Josiah.  It was God’s promise to us – “Jehovah Has Healed.”

Those early weeks in the NICU were a blur.  Every day we stepped into your little hospital nursery we didn’t know if it would be a good day or a hard day.  We definitely had our fair share of both.

But eventually we fell into a rhythm in the NICU.  And your little corner of the hospital became mommy’s bittersweet sanctuary.  It was my season of sitting in the refiner’s fire.  It’s where I started to learn that sometimes we don’t know the answer to “why?”  But in that tension of what is and what truly is, that is often where we find the greatest treasure.

And then, after 9 weeks in the NICU, you finally came home!  And that’s when it really started. 🙂

Those newborn days of over-exhaustion and total inadequacy.  Of looking at myself in the mirror and realizing that motherhood simultaneously ruins you and rebirths you.

But also realizing that the whole “the days are long but the years are short” and “babies don’t keep” are all true.  One day, this would all be a thing of the past.  And it made me try harder to treasure each moment, to mentally capture exactly what I felt when you first laughed, to breathe in your scent after a nighttime bath.

We had our everyday days.  Days filled with playing outside and learning new things.  And we had our hard days.  Days in the hospital, surgery after surgery, realizing that this was also a part of our reality.

But looking at you now, all I see is a sweet, smiling miracle.

Son, your life is living proof that God is good.  Every breath you take and every ounce you gain is living proof that God loves to do the impossible.  Every moment you learn something new and every time you continue to defy the odds and medical expectations, you are living proof that God has the final word.

So, thank you son.  Thank you for coming into our lives and turning everything upside down.  Thank you for giving your daddy and me the greatest year of our lives yet.

And I pray for the day that you begin to realize all this for yourself.  That you ask us about the story of your birth and how you came to be.  That you start to understand that your name holds God’s promise for you.  That you can read this and know just how truly blessed you are and how much you have blessed so many just by being alive.

Above all else, on this first birthday, I want you to know that everything we have been through this last year we would do it all again in a heartbeat.  Every joy and every trial has been more than worth it to witness the living miracle that you are.

So happy birthday, my sweet, sweet son.  The best is yet to come.

Love,

Momma

P.S.  I’m still banking on you saying “mommy” first.

 

 

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Josiah

People always ask the same two questions to a pregnant woman – (1) Is your baby a boy or a girl? and (2) What is his/her name?

The first one was easy for us to answer because a little boy ultrasound is hard to get wrong.  But the second one, we were stuck on for quite a while.  I think we were both waiting for some giant neon sign from God telling us our son’s name.

A name holds so much meaning for a little one.  It’s the start of his identity.  It’s what he will be called for the rest of his days, and in some ways, it’s the beginning of his destiny.

Months before I got pregnant, I was driving down a really beautiful scenic road near our neighborhood when I just suddenly, out of nowhere, got this thought into my head, “I think our first child is going to be a boy.”  Yeah, I know…random.  But I knew that I knew that I knew that this was not just a passing thought.

Fast forward six months later and as I’m staring at the positive pregnancy test, I remembered.  “This baby is a boy…” was the first thing that came to mind.  And lo and behold, 15 weeks later, we found out that we were having a son.

One of the earliest names that popped into my mind was Josiah.  So I looked it up on my Baby Center app and saw that Josiah meant “fire of the Lord.”  “That’s pretty cool,” I thought, “A good, strong name for a son.

We took some time to mull on it, pray about it, and wait on whether or not Josiah was the name.  We tossed around some other ideas, but nothing really stuck.  “Oh well…we have plenty of time until next year when the baby comes,” we kept saying to one another.

The week before I gave birth, the name Josiah kept coming to mind.  Finally, I told my husband that we should really pray about the name.

The night before I went into early labor, I couldn’t sleep.  I Googled the meaning of Josiah and to my surprise, I realized that the original Hebrew meaning of the name was different.  Josiah means “Jehovah (God) has healed.” Read more…