Three years ago today, I fell asleep to the sensation of warm tears trickling down my face.
It was my son’s due date, but there had yet to be one sign that he was preparing to make his entrance into this world, into my arms.
My body was apparently not ready to give birth, and while he was presumably safe within his temporary home – my womb – I could not be sure of his condition until I saw for myself the rising and falling of his chest.
One week earlier, I had been sent home from the hospital after a failed induction – a process that was supposed to coax him out of my body a few days ahead of schedule in order to settle my heart and ease my mind. But it was a process that my son had proven to be much to stubborn for.
And although I was certain that he was safer outside of my body than inside, I was sent home to wait. Despite the knowledge that my womb was no stranger to death.
I was still carrying my baby, but I was still scared.
I hadn’t forgotten that some babies don’t make it out in time to open their eyes to the world that surrounds them. That some babies don’t cry. That some babies don’t go home.
I was afraid that my next visit to the hospital would result in me leaving both with an empty womb and empty arms.
Because I’d done it before, and there was no guarantee I wouldn’t have to do it again.
As his due date came and went, I begged God over and over to please allow my body to go into labor. I could no longer handle the non-stop questions that swirled through my mind surrounding my son’s well-being.
Was he okay? Alive still? Moving enough? Too much? Would he survive my womb? Would he be born alive? Would he meet Jesus before meeting me, his own mother?
I was desperate to see him. To hold him. To feel his breath against my skin. As time went on, I feared that waiting on the other side of this rainbow pregnancy was a pile of ashes instead of a pot of gold.
But eight days later, my son came into this world breathing, screaming, alive. And while he clearly was not happy about it, my heart rejoiced.
And now, while the days aren’t always tear-free, my heart still rejoices at the (almost) three years we’ve been given together. Instead of coaxing him to leave my body, I now have to coax him to return to it for the snuggles and hugs that so often interrupt the fast pace of his little life.
My pregnancy with him felt like the longest nine months in the history of the world. But these years? They’ve been oh, so short.
And sweeter than I could have ever imagined.