Jacob Journal: April 3, 2011

As I post this it is April 5, 2012 and I finally have the guts to publish it here. It belongs with the rest of these letters, personal and vulnerable as it is. As I sat rocking Jacob tonight before putting him to bed, singing and praying for him, I told him that I traded a lot to have him: I used to have a life, I told him, not even remembering these words I wrote the day he was born, and I told him it was the best trade I ever made.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dear Jacob,

It’s almost 2:00 a.m. and we’ve been at the hospital for 5 hours now awaiting your arrival. Labor was slowing down so I thought I’d try to get some sleep, but then the contractions kicked in again and now I’m sitting here in the dark listening to Fernando Ortega sing hymns while your daddy gets a bit of precious sleep. Things will get intense soon.

I want you to know how perfect God’s timing is and how much He’s shown us His extravagant love this week. It could not have unfolded more beautifully. Finally I was done nannying so I slept late every morning and did very little each day. Over this week I got many important things done. I finished our taxes, I got all of your clothes and things ready for you and your little nursery — a tiny corner of our bedroom — prepared. I cooked a lovely meal for Daddy & me on Friday night. We made the decision to move to Indiana this summer on Wednesday, an answer to much prayer. On Friday night Daddy had a preliminary phone interview with a church where he may be able to serve while we’re there. So many loose ends got tied up this week and to our delight we were able to spend the weekend together as we desired. And now here you are, arriving on the day I prayed for on Thursday as I left the doctor’s office, knowing that God could choose to give us anything He wished.

Today dear Laura Camp — you can blame her for your nickname “Jonah” for all these months — came to visit. Daddy and I slept in and enjoyed each other’s company, after having watched a movie in bed last night. I fixed blueberry pancakes for our breakfast. He got done everything he needed to do today and got to the gym this evening. Laura brought Dominos’ pizza which the three of us shared. Then while Daddy worked Laura and I went for a long drive through dirt roads around the countryside, enjoying conversation, the view, and daydreams about farming and gardening. We shared ice cream at my favorite Northfield restaurant, saw an old college friend spontaneously, browsed a bookstore and an antique store where I found a couple books for you, and then went home to read Shakespeare aloud. Laura gave me the foot soak and massage of the century and then my water broke. Leisurely, we packed and prepared, I did some dishes, Daddy came home and got a shower and we all sat down to leftovers, and then we packed the car and set out, leaving Laura with our keys to clean and wash linens. All the way to the hospital I read Psalms to us — 85, 90, 91, 92, 103, 139, 16, 33, 34… We prayed together and now here we are, ready for you.

I don’t feel ready for you and I feel frightened — out of my league — here in the delivery room. But I am choosing to be your mother. Choosing to be strong. Choosing to do this thing and to breathe through each contraction because I read up above that I love you, and I can’t stop remembering that now. You are my son and I am going to give you my life. I never thought I’d feel this unprepared.

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