Monday, May 10, 2010

the lamb

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It was just over seven years ago, that I threw a baby shower for one of my good friends. She was expecting her first child and I was in the midst of my 1,000,000 IUI.

I'd hosted and participated in so many baby showers, by that point, that I'd almost become numb to the pain of watching an expectant mother rubbing her bulging belly without feeling the need to wail. On the outside I was happy. But on the inside I was devastated because I felt so barren and empty. As I've written before, years and years went by where I dreamed of and prayed for a baby and it never happened. Still, my inability to have a child certainly didn't seem to preclude the people around me from popping beautiful newborns out like candy.

While I was out shopping for my friend's baby shower, I happened to see a soft, cuddly lamb. At first, I thought it would make a wonderful present for the new baby. But when I picked it up, I felt a strong attachment to this stuffed animal. I wrapped it's soft paws around my neck and held it close, truly imagining what it would feel like to hold a child of my very own.

Ultimately, I decided to keep the lamb. Because one day, I was certain, it would make a wonderful present for my little one.

These days, the lamb is very rarely seen. It has migrated to the bottom of the toy basket and is buried beneath RC cars, robots and assorted dolls. Still, whenever it surfaces, it always warms me to think of how blessed I am to be a mother. Although several years have lapsed since I've had children, I can remember - so vividly - that aching feeling of what it was like to be without.

This morning, while I was still in bed talking to Charlie about our plans for the day, Elizabeth sleepily wandered in to our room. Her hair was sticking up all over her head and she was sucking her thumb, while gripping her beloved bunny. As she often does, she came over to my side of the bed and put her head down on the pillow next to me.

After a few minutes she plucked her thumb out of her mouth and asked, "Mom! Is today Mother's Day?" When I answered that it was, she said, "OK. Hold bunny! I'll be right back!"

She tossed bunny on my pillow and scurried out of the room, returning a few minutes later clutching the lamb that I had bought several years ago. I'm not really sure why she settled on the lamb - when there are no less than 100 stuffed animals to chose from - but when she presented it to me and cheerfully declared, "Happy Mother's Day, Mom!" I was surprised.

I sat up and hugged the lamb the way I used to, with it's soft paws draped over my shoulders. After a long moment, I put the lamb down and placing my hand on her cheek I said, "This is such a wonderfully thoughtful present for you to give me." Scooping her up on to my lap I added, "Thank you so much for coming in to my life and giving me the chance to be a mom."

She placed her small hand on my cheek and said, "Well, thank you Mom, for giving me life!" Then she threw her little arms around my neck and squeezed tightly as she whispered, "I love you!"

And thus began the start of my beautiful Mother's Day.

20 comments:

  1. What a little dear she is! This brought a smile to my face.

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  2. oh, Jen, that is one of the most beautiful, touching posts you've posted. I'm crying here..
    Hugs, Sweetie. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

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  3. That is just the sweetest thing I've heard all day! **sniff sniff**

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  4. What a sweethear that Elizabeth Jeanne is.
    She is so special.
    MOM

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  5. What a beautiful post. What a precious little lamb you have - the stuffed animal is cute too! ;)

    -From a Mommy to be (someday....)

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  6. WHAAAAA! That was beautiful and totally made me cry! LOVE IT! Thinking of you today! HUGS!

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  7. Sonja Markwart5/10/10, 4:06 PM

    I am a long time lurker who de-lurked once before. Just wanted you to know that you have been on my mind all day. Prayers for you.

    And, I think the lamb story is one of the best yet.

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  8. How very sweet and how intuitive of Elizabeth to bring you the lamb. I'm glad your special day was wonderful.

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  9. Beautiful! I hope you continued to have wonderful moments all day long.

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  10. This post brought tears - very touching...and adorable. As my kids are adults now, those memories are in the past, but never forgotten. Thanks for reminding me!

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  11. Tears--what a beautiful post. Keeping you in my prayers.

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  12. This story seriously made my eyes well up with tears. Your children are seriously wise beyond their years.

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  13. What a sweet post.
    Just read your twitter update- lots of hugs and prayers coming your way. Having been there it truly s*cks.

    Lorraine
    Carolyn's Boards

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  14. I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking and praying for you today. I think you posted that you would receive the blood test results on Monday. I hope that the levels are rising and doubling. I experienced an early loss and went through many heart wrenching blood draws and then an ultrasound to confirm the loss. It was such a sad point in my life. I pray that you receive your happy ending! Hugs to you and your family. Jen

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  15. i read your blog although i don't acually know you but feel so compelled to leave a message at this very sad time for your whole family.
    I know the pain is very raw and i can offer no comfort except to tell you of my sister-in-law,she tried for a baby for 2 years and it was her 4th she got pregnant but bled at 6weeks and scans revealed that the baby had stopped growing. After 3 months she was pregant again and had every pecaution taken at the hosp for a high risk pregnacy ,as she is 43 my niece Florence is now 12 weeks old and the apple of everyone's eye, so while you are still grieving please take care of yourself and never give up hope
    xxxx
    Donna (uk)

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  16. Jen,
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. The loss of a child is unbearable at times. Please know I am praying that God will ease the pain for you.
    Much love
    Heather
    aka Heather CA

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  17. so sweet:) Hope you had a wonderful day!

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  18. Missed this one and the latest one when you posted so I read them backwards. They are beautiful and follow up on the God's fingerprint/cloud moment observations you made. I am so menstrual and tired from work related stress that I am crying as I read it.

    Keep moments like these in your heart to lighten your load.
    Kathy

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  19. Thank you for sharing your Mother's Day experience. That post made me cry. She is a very thoughtful little girl.
    On the other hand, whenever a child is lost, born or unborn, it is worth all our tears and grief. Even if it had only spent a few weeks within us, we gave it all our love already and were looking forward to it so very much and when we lose it it breaks our hearts. Please remember that it is not your fault that the pregnancy was ectopic. It is nobody's fault and you couldn't have done anything to prevent it. It is God who decides such things and for some reason your little baby was not supposed to live among us here on earth but in heaven instead. I am so very sorry for you and I share your grief.
    Michaela

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