Eva August is a week old today. Her sweet face sleeps peacefully in a Moses basket beside a hand-me-down couch and the smallest sounds are coming from her making her instantaneously more loveable than I believed possible. She looks like my mom, and my siblings, and me.
Last week, Lane and I were reminded of the uncommon wealth we have been granted in the form of family and fullness of life. My cup overflows and before my tired mind releases the moments, I want to write them down.
Three weeks ago my mom arrived in this cockeyed town to walk me through my final (agonizing) days of pregnancy. She filled my days with activity and the softness of her presence. We shopped for baby things I’d forgotten, she helped me find clothing that would be baby-accessible, she spoiled me rotten then bought me coffee. In her air BnB we watched silly to shows while eating chocolate babka and discussing home designs. It was like being on vacation, we ate good food (promising that each meal may be my last — none of them were but they were all strengthening and delicious anyway) when she left after 10 days of waiting I decided I would just probably be pregnant forever and assigned myself to that fate with the smallest portion of grace.
On Sunday I texted Lane’s mom asking her and his dad if they could make the long drive on Monday instead of Wednesday, knowing we were going into the week of celebration for all that he has accomplished after two difficult and long years of training. I was still pregnant and began to undrstand that I may not make it to his graduation or tabbing ceremony — the iconic moments that would turn him from soldier to green beret.
With incredible love both of his parents came without question and (still pregnant) the three of us were able to attend his tabbing ceremony on Tuesday. He had lots to do and I began to realize I really might make it to graduation on Thursday and the dress I’d picked long ago wouldn’t fit over my still full tum. Sweetly his dad let his mom and I go out dress hunting — we had the best time looking through options and settled on a dress she found that made me feel less the whale and more the imminent mother I could hardly believe I was. Then she grabbed the ingredients for Lane’s favorite pie (the one that I botched so badly not long ago that I swore not to try again).
I woke up at midnight in consistent pain and texted my sister across the world. She walked me through my first strains of labor and between contractions we discussed her new home, and my coming changes, and is two minutes apart too close together? If she hadn’t moved across the world just days before, I would have been alone for those hours. (I didn’t want to wake anyone on false pretenses).
at 3 I called my parents and they got in the car and by the time I was well into labor both sets of parents and some siblings were in town.
I wont go into my labor story here, but ask me if you’d like to talk about it.
When Eva arrived, she was soon surrounded by the love of her extended family. Her great grandmother came in on a plane — it was too late for her to get on base without military personnel, so my precious friend Lisa drove out to meet her and brought her into the hospital with cookies in hand for me. Dearer friends I do not know than those who I meet in this gated world, forever supportive.
The next day was Lane’s graduation, a day I looked forward to attending for years. But a newly born baby and a brand new mother don’t leave hospitals hours later. Still, my incredible, courageous, determined, and brilliant husband was well represented by all of his siblings (save one), his parents, grandmother, and my dad. My mom (coffee and snacks in hand) came and stayed with Eva and I.l
I remember being up early and taking Eva to the window to watch her first sunrise considering what a thing it was that every person has a first and a last of these. The songs that played through my head for the whole of her birth and first week were “Thy will be done” by bethel music and “Either Way” by beta radio
My dad arrived later with a camera full of pictures and the most stunning bouquet I had ever seen (from both he and my mom). The whole family visited throughout the day and it was good to see how loved this child is.
We woke up the next day to delivered chick fil a by Lane’s dad. We were to be discharged by evening. Family took turns keeping us company in the middletime.
Over the next few days Lane and I were showered with love — from chipotle for all from my parents, to the best classic grill out by Lane’s family. Homemade Oreos and chocolate covered pretzels were made and left to sustain the first sleepless days, packages ordered to surprise me when family had left. Flowers and strains of essential oils cut through my unshowered funk and remind me of love not far away.
I was overwhelmed with pride for lane, a long labor, a new daughter, the sheer vastness of family and their seemingly unceasing and ever forgiving love and grace while I muddled through the last days of pregnancy and the first days of motherhood.
These are just glimpses into the week. It would take a book to tell you how it felt to see Lane hold his daughter, how lucky we two are to have him as our guy.