High Above

A year ago today, to this very moment, I had yet to meet my daughter.  At this time last year I was in labor.  High above Chicago Avenue.  

My doctor came around 10pm to break my water, and I had been there for over 24 hours at that point.  My induction, long & complicated.  My labor, long & frustrating.  

The epidural very welcomed.  

I remember feeling weak.  Disillusioned with the whole birthing process thing. 
The olympics were on.
Thank God for that.

I was just beyond ready to meet her.  
 I needed to know if she had hair.
What color it was.  

I needed to know her scent.
To kiss her cheeks.  

11 days past my due date & I was so over it.  
I wasn't even going to try to have a good attitude.

It's been so surreal to go through the last few days this year.  To think back to exactly where I was in the birthing process at what time.  It's an experience I really truly hated in the moment, but of course, having some distance, I see that it was really pretty sacred.  Bringing a life into the world.  

I still could do without all the blood & pain- but you know- I'm not the one calling the shots.  

I've been reading a lot of women lately who talk about how the birthing process comes to an end but the laboring process never does. 

It seems a strange distinction at first- but the more I've reflected on my daughter and my role as a mother I think it's a pretty perfect description.  Labor is such a good word to describe parenting, don't you think?  No matter how much fun you're having, no matter how easy your situation or child is- parenting is hard.  It takes extreme dedication.  Sacrifice.  

I'm so thankful it's hard though.  It's only worth it if it's hard isn't it?  That's where love really shines brightest- in the struggle.  In the labor-some parts of life.  That's where your character is really shown.  Where your loyalty really lies- completely exposed.  

Tonight, her last night before her birthday, a night last year where I was holding her in my belly- praying for her to arrive, I climbed into her tiny crib with her and held her.  

She never sits still, except for when she is tired and going to sleep.  Then she will sit as still as possible.  She will let me cradle her & cuddle her.  She will let me stroke her hair, and rest my lips upon her forehead as I hum her goodnight hymns to her.    

Just to know her.

It makes me deliriously happy.

I know every curve of her face.
I know her scent.
I know her voice.
Her weaknesses and strengths.
I am learning more about her personality every day.
Slightly petrified of how much it resembles mine, and yet confident that God will show us both a lot of grace as we grow together as mother & daughter.  

What an honor it is.  
To be her mother.
To raise her to become a woman.
I'm so thankful for the Lord.
That I have His constant guidance & help.

I have kissed her a thousand times over this last year.

It has been one of the greatest of my life.  

I am so grateful to God for this perfect gift.
From High Above.
My Eliana.