Thursday, August 6, 2009

From September to May

On a warm, exhausting night
last September Lucy and I were upstairs in the Ollie's temporary bedroom. Somewhere in the house were our spouses and the children, running and chasing. I had the baby on the bed with me, Lucy was changing Gig's diaper.

"I think I'm pregnant." She told me, as if confessing to heavily-carried sin.

She stood up and wrapped the wet diaper like a burrito and tossed it down the hall.

It had been a rough year for my little sister. After a much hoped for pregnancy ended in miscarriage, she had spent the rest of the year in the throes of infertility. Wanting, waiting, expecting and being disappointed. Having stepped up and taken Stephanie's baby and with the ongoing emotional tolls of not knowing our sister's mortality, this announcement seemed oddly timed.

"It's wonderful." I said, and I meant it. We needed a piece of hope, a reason to look forward to something in the distant future, another name in our growing prayer list. But then, almost in the same moment, I realized that her daily help would soon become stunted. She'd be sick, and tired and have a two-year-old to keep up. My partner was weakening, what was I going to do?

Lucy had been my angel. She showed up everyday to manage the unmanageable. We ate together and cried together. Our lives became one, we shared everything we had, which was mostly energy. I relied on her bouncy spirit to keep me buoyant most days. I really wanted her to have the great wish of her heart.

But now Lord? Now?

When it was official, and the growing embryo was given a spring due date, we went ahead with our hoping. There was never a prayer said (food or "please help me find my other shoe") that didn't include our plead, "Please bless Lucy's baby." And indeed an impending baby gave us other perspectives, other prospects. We'd talk about the day when the children would have their parents, and Lucy would have her baby.

As the weeks crawled by Lucy continued to show up every day as promised. Most days all she could do was collapse on the couch and spend the afternoon trying not to throw up. But she was there, and kept on like a gestational solider in the first trimester war. Even more amazing, Gigs was always well-fed, well-dressed and adored. She always had enough patience for this little gift of a boy who responded by treating her with sweetness.

There is so much unknown in the Lord's timing. What I thought would be my downfall, turned out to be my blessing. Watching one sister recover, while another sister bloomed became an interesting lesson in the power of a woman's body. But even more, I was given another reason to never doubt the Lord--His timing or his love, because both are always right.

On a warm spring evening in May, my sister gave birth to this anticipated baby. I first saw Betsy naked and squirming in her mother's arms. Having witnessed Lucy lovingly care for Gigs, my first thought was how lucky this baby girl was to have such a mother.

My second thought . . .we made it.