Monday, December 9, 2019

Times I've Cried

It is either very early, or very late, depending on your perspective.  I am pretty tired, but also can't sleep.  I did fall asleep a couple hours ago but coughing from nearby and crying from another room woke me up.  So here we are.  It's 3:21 a.m.

I have an idea in my head of what I want to convey, but how to do so is where I'm stumbling.  Perhaps it is the lack of sleep.

Let's start here:
November 9, 2017
I'd had several appointments with little to no description, which is unusual, on a shared calendar we all use at work.  On November 9, 2017, I went to work with news following an appointment.  In my office were five people, plus me.  When the phones went quiet for a moment, which is not often, I revealed to everyone the reason for secrecy.  Katie was pregnant.  I held up the sonogram picture and told everyone that we were going to have a baby the following June.  I didn't realize until it was happening, but I had begun to cry and apparently could no longer speak.  In 2016 we had the unfortunate experience of a miscarriage.  As anyone who has been through this can attest, it is emotionally straining.  This time around we were a lot more cautious in our optimism; we did not want our hearts broken again.  After multiple visits with the ultrasound tech, we were convinced that our little nugget was growing.  Everyone in my office was overjoyed for Katie and me, which I thoroughly appreciated.

June 23, 2018
Chelsea was born at 3:36 a.m. and Katie and I (mostly Katie) had a very long night and were pretty exhausted by sunrise on the 23rd.  The nurses in the hospital wanted Chelsea's body temperature to raise and they suggested that Katie and I lay her on our bare chest and use our body heat to warm her.  Some time in the middle of the day I had Chelsea on my chest while Katie napped.  For some reason I began to cry.  Katie, who had apparently woken up, looked over at me, clearly concerned that something was wrong.  I told her that nothing was wrong.  In fact, it was perfect.  I was so overjoyed that our little bundle of joy was here and was healthy.  We had prayed and God heard.

November 4, 2018
Katie left Chelsea and me at home one day to play while she went to church.  I was having some cold symptoms and Chelsea was getting over a cold so it seemed like an easy way for Mom to get out of the house.  Unfortunately, later in the day my symptoms became much more severe and I gained a fever.  For several days I was basically quarantined on our couch because we certainly did not want whatever I had to pass onto Chelsea, or send it into my office.  I look forward each day to coming home from work and giving Chelsea a kiss and playing with whatever toys interest her that day (they vary regularly).  Katie brought Chelsea near me one day to say goodnight but I couldn't hold her, kiss her, hug her, etc.  She was right there in front of me and it was as if the Berlin Wall were between us.  I could tell that Chelsea wanted me but there was nothing I could do.  That was the worst feeling in the world and I began to cry.  I got over the cold so happy ending.

August 14, 2019
There are occasions when Katie or I will need to spend a weekday with Chelsea due to gaps in our childcare calendar.  It was my turn and the weather looked decent enough for a day trip into the mountains to go hiking.  I was excited; there are not many Wednesdays I get to spend hiking.  I packed the car with the child carrier backpack and Chelsea and I headed for Grandfather Mountain.  This particular backpack is special.  It is the first thing I bought when Katie and I found out we were going to have Chelsea.  Putting it to use is a joy.  I drove to the parking lot just below the peak of Grandfather Mountain and Chelsea and I hiked the rest of the way up.  It is not too far and the switchbacks on this trail make it pretty easy despite gaining altitude.  We made it to the swinging bridge, took some pictures, and headed back down.  Chelsea was having a ball.  She was playing with my hair and hat, and talking non-stop about whatever it is babies talk about.  We continued toward the car and I began to think about how much of a joy it was to share a passion of mine with my daughter.  Clearly she was enjoying it and it made my heart soar.  I began to cry more happy tears.  I cried while Chelsea laughed, talked, and pulled my hair.  It was a great day.

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