6 months ago my life changed in a way that I never expected. As my body began the "labor" of Ruthie Lou's birth, my mind focused that "tomorrow I will have my baby". While I contemplated if my contractions were real, Ruthie Lou's "aunties" weren't taking any chances as they helped wash my laundry, pack my hospital bag, fed me popsicles and distracted my nerves with laughter while waiting for Chris to pick me up for the hospital. The excitement of welcoming our beautiful girl into the world filled my mind as I focused to endure the next 12 hours of labor. The car ride was surreal, the 30+ miles on the bumpy highway to the hospital, Chris and I silent as I randomly listened to Jewel on the radio, the slow melodies and soothing voice to ease my pain.
Walking into that hospital was a turning point in my life as I had every certainty that when I walked out of that place, I would be holding in my arms the greatest joy and love of my life that I had held in my belly that last nine months. Ruthie Lou gave me the most beautiful birth, better than I could have hoped or even ever imagined, my husband the greatest coach, Ruthie Lou's nana, Grammie and TT present. Who would've thought Ruthie Lou would have that grand of an audience watching her arrival?! However, having since learned how clearly she loves the spotlight, it makes sense that the delivery room was full. What a magical night. As the sun set the night of the 8th and rose the morning of the 9th, our most beautiful baby was born, unbeknownst to us, our real life miracle.
To say our life changed that moment is an understatement. To say our world was flipped upside down, turned inside out and re-ordered might give it a more appropriate visual. The moment Ruthie Lou was born, we fell in love more than one could possibly imagine, although any parent when meeting their child for the first time knows exactly, to what I speak. The kind of love you would die for if given the choice, the unbearable pain in my heart that could only be filled by Ruthie Lou remains still, proof that love survives all else.
So now, six months later as many parents would shoot their child's monthly photo to hang on the wall with the others, I think back to the blessings of her life, the gift of being her mama. My soul aches for her, that I cannot deny. No gifts or blessings could ever feel worth the pain of losing her. The energy, strength and courage of facing each day, brings exhaustion still. But, as we don't choose these tragedies, at least not consciously in this lifetime, this is our new life, this is our reality and in order to continue living life fully, I look at her blessings daily to give her life and mine, meaning. I wake up each day giving the love in my heart for her to my husband, my kids at school, the loved ones in my life, sharing the love she so selflessly gave us.
From Ruthie Lou, I have gratefully learned that...Life is: Love. Beautiful. Painful. Unpredictable. Short. A blessing. A choice. Not only what we see. A quick step in our entire journey. MAGICAL. I have also learned so much about myself. I have learned I am not prefect. Phew! I thought after such a life changing experience and having truly been blessed with a miracle, our sweetest angel, that I should now be "Zen" and see the beauty of life at all times and be perfect for my little Ruthie Lou, so that her lessons aren't lost upon me. But that girl sure made it clear, life is not perfect and neither am I. What a relief! I wish I could articulate her lessons more profoundly but I do believe that they are still presenting themselves as life progresses and changes daily. Ruthie Lou's spirit is ever so present in our days, our thoughts, our conversations, and our home, the walls decorated with her beautiful face, the photos showing love in it's purest form.
We live life differently now, see things differently and live life more consciously and while my head still feels foggy at times, many things are perfectly clear and life's choices are simpler, they have new meaning. Ruthie Lou's life has changed everything as I am sure was "the plan". To change life, to change relationships, to grow, to feel, to love, to become more of who we will be in this life. These lessons, to be learned over a lifetime, instead we got a crash course. Ruthie Lou is our greatest love, "the heart of our hearts", the reason why I love Chris more than I ever knew possible, those are the gifts she left, those are the gifts that remain. The days of her life when we somehow were able to be present, to remain in the moment, that gift remains today. The ability to see what is truly important in life, the little moments, THIS moment, that gift also remains today.
I will continue to say for all the days of my life, "I will love Ruthie Lou again and again and again. If given the choice to go thru this pain, this heartache but to also experience the love, the miracle and the blessing of Ruthie Lou then "yes, I will take you, I will love you again." (9/14/11) We are celebrating the day of Ruthie Lou's birth today...but mostly really we celebrate her life, love and joy everyday, there doesn't need to be a special day for that. Love you to the moon and back, little miss, more than all the stars in the sky.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.