Yesterday I was in my doctor’s office, looking at an ultrasound and hearing her say “we really should induce before you lose anymore fluid. Come back at 8 tonight and we’ll getcha’ going, ok?” Okay!
Wait. Um. You mean, like, TONIGHT??? As in, this time tomorrow I’ll have a baby in my arms??? Whoa. Suddenly the whole “I’m gonna be a mommy!” thing feels very real.
Did I say yesterday? Well it feels like it was yesterday. It was actually six whole years ago!!! Even typing that feels weird. It seems very unreal that 6 yrs ago, Nathan and I were just a couple. We slept when we wanted, ate when we felt like it, went to late-night movies without falling asleep, and talked about what great parents we would be one of these days. (Doesn’t everyone think they’ll be a great parent until they *actually* become a parent??) When I wasn’t at work, I was in our little Aurora, CO appartment, cleaning grout with a toothbrush, vacuuming perfect “V” patterns into the carpet, and alphabetizing our meager collection of books. I would sit back in our futon with a sigh, look around at the sparkling clean room, and think “This is boring.”
Then came the happy day when we learned that the little thumps in my belly were the happy little kicks of a baby girl. I was elated!! I always wanted to have a girl first. Who knows why… maybe because of all the fond memories I have of my big sister doing things with me and looking out for me? Maybe because I have always loved being a big sister, myself. But for whatever reason, I was thrilled! So was Nathan… we could hardly wait to see what our tiny little angel would look like!
The first time I suggested the name “Cloe,” Nathan said “I like that!!” He then told me of his idea for our kids to somehow carry our siblings names. Nathan is the oldest of 4 kids, I’m the second of 8, and we both love our siblings dearly! That sounded like a good idea to me. The question was which name to put with Cloe? Cloe Danielle? Cloe Kimberly? Cloe Leah? Cloe Renee? AHA! Yep. We’ll just change the spelling a tad to make it “ours.” And to confuse people. 😉 From that night on, she was Cloe Renae.
Just a week after that pic was taken, I went in for my weekly check-up with Dr. Vargas. All of a sudden, in the middle of measuring my belly, she looked up and said “whoa! Does that hurt? That’s quite the contraction you’re having!” I was totally clueless. I thought, “Really? That’s a contraction? I can’t feel it! This labor business is going to be a piece of cake!!” Haha!! Little did I know. She checked me out and told me to come back in a couple hours so she could check me again. So my big belly and I wandered around Target for a while, buying some things for our guest bathroom since my mother-in-law would be coming in soon for a visit. Eventually we went back to the Dr’s and sure enough, I had dialated some more! That’s when the panic began. I was sent over to Labor and Delivery and admitted!
Dr. Vargas was concerned that Cloe was really small (her guess was 4 pounds), especially being 3 weeks early! She started me on an IV with lots of fluids to try and slow things down, which it did. But too late! The panic button had be pushed! My parents were driving up from Beulah and Nathan’s mom was on a plane from Mexico. Haha! Within 8 hrs, the contractions and dialation had stopped. *phew*
For the next three weeks I just hung out, took it easy (doctor’s orders!), and cooked meals with Nathan’s mom. On the day that Jamie flew back to Mexico, I had the weekly checkup that I mentioned earlier. By 8pm on Feb 15th I was checked in and getting an IV of pitocin started! My parents and Nathan were there, playing cards and making small talk, doing a great job of keeping me distracted as the contractions slowly picked up speed and intensity. By midnight it got really hard.
Let’s skip several hours of details and get to the good part, shall we?
At 5:20 am on Feb. 16th 2005, Cloe Renae burst into the world with barely a sound. Even at full term, she was just 5 lbs 9 oz! Such a tiny, precious little angel.
My life has not been the same since that moment. I had no idea I was capable of loving so deeply until I held that baby in my arms. I thought I knew what the word “love” meant until I looked into her eyes. That’s when I realized that I was only beginning to learn the meaning!
How is it possible that this was 6 yrs ago? I remember it like yesterday. I remember my parents and grandparents saying “cherish the little moments with your baby, because the next thing you know, she’ll be all grown up.” I would smile and thank them for their advice, but inside I thought “yeah, right. These sleepless nights seem never-ending. I can’t even imagine her walking, let alone being grown up.”
Then I blinked. When I opened my eyes, this is what was before me!
I can hardly type it without getting all teary-eyed. I think I’m beginning to understand the wisdom my parents and grandparents tried to share with me. This is all going by too quickly! Can’t we just pause the growing-up business???
Part of me does feel that way. Like I’m just overwhelmed at how fast my kids are growing up. And yet, I love to see them growing up! I love seeing their little personalities develop. I love that Cloe and I can sit and have discussions about my Bible study, and she gets it! I love it when she wants to hang out with me or help me pick out an outfit for a date with her daddy. I love watching her with her little sisters… she’s so tender and loving with them! The other night I overheard her telling Gabi about Heaven. She explained that our brains are too small to understand how amazing Heaven will be! Gabi sat in rapt attention, hanging on every word. She trusts her big sister, and rightfully so! Cloe is forever looking out for Gabi and Brennah, many times at her own expense.
I feel that these are just little glimpses of the woman she will become. My heart does a dance when I try to imagine what God might do through Cloe! There is so much potential there, I pray that she will always say (as she does now), “I just want to do whatever Jesus wants me to do. `Cuz I trust Him.” There are absolutely no limits to what God might accomplish through a heart so surrendered to Himself!
I have loved being your mama these past six years, Rae Rae. I can hardly wait to see what the next 6 will hold!