Nine months

Nine months.

If you have followed our year at all, you may have some idea what I’m referring to.

Nine months ago today we were in the emergency room watching Olivia have violent seizures and wondering what was happening to our daughter.

Some of you may also be thinking about that fact that I’m also nine months pregnant. Yes, you’re right.

If you had told me that week in the hospital that I would be having a baby in nine months I would probably have laughed at you. A baby was certainly not on our minds. Keeping our daughter alive was the only thing I could think about.

I have wondered at the timing of everything so many times over the past months. The fact that my pregnancy has spanned Olivia’s recovery is a wonder to me. It’s really only evidence of a sovereign God who plans and ordains events that are sometimes nothing like what we could ever think of.

A week after Olivia came home from the hospital, we learned of another little girl who had viral encephalitis just like Olivia, but who never made it home from the hospital. If that doesn’t give you perspective, I don’t know what will. I sometimes think of that family and wonder what they are still going through months later learning to live without their little girl. And I am ever grateful for Olivia’s recovery. There have been hard days, weeks, and months, but she is now mostly back to the Olivia we knew before she got sick. I’m grateful.

I was seven weeks pregnant when I got a text from a dear friend telling me she was in the process of miscarrying. We were due ten days apart. I was still processing the fact that I was pregnant, and I sat down on the couch almost in bewilderment. There was never a moment that I didn’t love or want this baby. But there have been many moments when I wondered at the timing of it.

And then when I learned she was miscarrying it brought incredible perspective. The timing didn’t matter. My baby was alive and well, and I was enormously grateful.

I did nothing “right” this pregnancy. All the manuals tell you to “eat right, get lots of rest, and avoid stressful situations.” Can we all just laugh a little? For the past nine months I have had only a handful of nights where I’ve slept more than a three hour stretch at time, I certainly haven’t had time to think about how I’m eating and am mostly grateful if I remember to eat at all, and, well, we’ve  had just a little bit of stress this year. (Ahem!)

But as I write I feel the active kicks of my unborn child, and my three other children are sleeping soundly in their room.

If there is anything I am thankful for now, nine months later, and two days away from Thanksgiving, it is life itself.

God-breathed life.

From my eldest child down to my unborn child, it is God who is breathing into them life each and every day. I am the grateful Mommy that breathes back to God with tears in my eyes, “Thank you for giving my children life today.”

And I don’t say that lightly.

P.S. Yes, baby is actually in this picture, but only Brian and I knew it at the time. :-)

Comments

  1. Praise God for his life-giving, life-sustaining work! This brought tears to my eyes. Not only does it cause me to give praise to our great God for all he has done in your family these past nine months but it serves as a reminder to me of so many things I have to be thankful for in my own life and family. It’s a truly Happy Thanksgiving indeed!

  2. Team Southerland says:

    The Lord has taught you much these past months. It has been a privilege to weep with you in the difficult moments and rejoice with you in the happy ones. My little boys still pray for and ask about your little girl. They pray for her by name almost every night. They will be so thankful to hear what you read today. May the Lord continue to bless your family!

    • Thanks so much! I need to post an actual update on Olivia and the more long-term things we are working through, but we are so grateful that she has healed and recovered so well.

  3. Makes me cry! Soooo true. Thanks for sharing God’s amazing timing and providence. So happy for you and praying all goes well.

  4. Beautiful post.

  5. Beautiful. Praising the Lord with you!

  6. Beautiful post. Laughed at the “I did nothing “right” this pregnancy. All the manuals tell you to “eat right, get lots of rest, and avoid stressful situations.” Can we all just laugh a little?” part :)

    And thanks for ” From my eldest child down to my unborn child, it is God who is breathing into them life each and every day. I am the grateful Mommy that breathes back to God with tears in my eyes, “Thank you for giving my children life today.”” Certainly helps us other busy, tired mommies to be thankful – thinking of printing it out, framing it and hanging it in front of my kitchen sink to read every ten minutes :)

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