WARNING...I'm a bit honest in this one....
As I sit in this hospital room day in and day out, there is so much time for reflection. Of course, I do spend a lot of time missing my kids and what was our normal, struggling to realize and accept our "normal" as it is now. I recognize this is temporary, just a season in life, however, that doesn't minimize the pain my heart feels as I watch my babies walk down the hall each day as I tell them good bye.
I am entering my third week in the hospital. Three weeks have gone by that I haven't kissed my children goodnight right before they closed their eyes, rocked my precious baby boy, prepared dinner for my family, snuggled next to my husband as we drifted off to sleep, or even simply listening to the ins and outs of our sweet home such as Amber singing with her earphones on, or William jabbering away with his toys. It is easy for one to tell me "this too shall pass", but for this mother of three, the passing drifts by so slow.
As with any mother, mother's are defined by the role they play in their children's lives and the legacy they leave. When I became a mother 15 years ago, as young as I was, I was determined to set an example for my daughter that she would forever carry with her. I wanted her to see in me my determination to succeed, the unconditional love I had for her, and most importantly the presence of God in me. For many years, it was just her, my precious Amber. So each day, I worked toward making sure she felt safe, secure, loved, and knew God. She was my rock, and in many ways, she taught me far more than I think I've taught her. She has taught me patience, grace, and how to truly deeply trust in God.
God saw fit to allow me to become a mother of two. Although so many years past between Amber and William, my role as a mother never changed. Except now, I took on this role alongside being a wife to my Husband. Once again, I stand amazed at what he, even at such a young age, has taught me. From the beginning, he taught us strength, patience, and most importantly the power of prayer and trusting God. As he laid so peacefully in the NICU, we struggled with our heavy hearts leaving him daily/nightly. However, we relied on God and prayer to carry us. Even today, our precious William teaches us to laugh at the small stuff, and even through struggles, there is an innocence in all of us.
Now, this day, I am a mother of three. Although our Elizabeth Grace is still growing in my womb, she is ours. As the days and weeks pass by, I struggle with trying to be a mother to three children at a time when one of those children so desperately relies on me. Time and time again doctors, nurses, friends, and family have told me I cannot sit here and "worry" or "think" about my children at home. How can anyone expect a mother of one, two, or three, to turn the switch to "off". As a mother, we instinctively live to provide for, nurture, and love our children despite life's obstacles or challenges that may stand in our way. I recognize my role in assuring Elizabeth Grace is born strong and healthy, but don't I still have that same role with Amber and William?
This journey has been and continues to be a roller coaster of emotions. I'll be honest, there are just some days, I don't want to face this "normal" or another day of riding a roller coaster trying to make it "all" work. However, even from this bed, miles away from my home and my children, I am a mother of three, and I will forever be a mother of three.