I love my spunky Gracie Lu, but there was a time I struggled with her. She was such a colicky baby. Crying on average 6-8 hours a day. The quietest she would get was if I held her, even then she fussed quite a bit. Unfortunately, I was in a new state without family and I hadn't put myself out there enough to make friends and I was so lonely. Sidebar: Ladies, please, please make friends. Step outside your comfort zone and find those gems who will have your back and save you when family isn't available or you're in a new place. I honestly believe I could have done so much better if I had just had more courage.
Anyways, I know now, I developed postpartum depression during this time. Throughout my pregnancy everyone said, "Oh, three is the hardest so having your fourth will be easy!" HA! The fourth was my hardest. Everyone's different. Gracie had jaundice too which meant light therapy for hours where I couldn't hold her the first week of her life. When she was 4 weeks and 5 days old, I got a text from my Dad that my grandpa had passed away. I was devastated. I love that man like a second father and I had prayed and prayed he would live until I could see him one last time in just 2 more weeks. So, Gracie and I got on a plane to his funeral when she was 7 weeks old. The whole trip she was fussy if I didn't hold her or wasn't sleeping. I heard what people said about her and what a difficult baby she was. And I felt like a failure. I was her mother and couldn't comfort her. Failure. The flight home, we made a stop in a tiny town for a quick layover, only to be told we hit a freaking bird and they had to have a mechanic come inspect before we could take off again. We were told to leave everything on the plane, that it wouldn't be too long. *Face PALM!* We were in a tiny airport. One bathroom. For over two hours. Gracie screamed the entire time. Had a blow out. And was inconsolable. I timidly begged a diaper and wipes off a kind couple with a baby about 4 months old. She was so sweet and reassured me, she wasn't as loud as I thought. Those words were a balm. I thanked them and got Gracie changed, and hid back in my corner. I fed her, burped her, swaddled her. Everything I could think of. Two sweet ladies came over and took turns holding her just so I could go to the bathroom (where I may have cried), and another incredible woman bought me some Doritos and a water and brought them to me. I can never see Doritos without thinking of these incredible strangers. Gracie never stopped crying, but they never stopped smiling and encouraging me. Finally, they announced that we had to go grab our carry-ons because they had flown a new plane in for us to ride home. As I was holding her and waiting to carry her out, once again I was saved when another woman stepped toward me arms outstretched and said, "I'm a NICU nurse in Alaska. Let me take her while you grab your things." When I got back, Gracie was sleeping in this woman's arms. I couldn't believe it. She slept the whole way home after that. I'm crying just typing this.
We need each other. These people, these women who were so kind, compassionate, and empathetic towards me and my situation, saved my life. When I stepped into that little airport, I was at one of the lowest points of my life. The loss of my grandfather, feeling like I couldn't handle being Gracie's mother, and just feeling as if I weren't great at life period, had me in a deep hole. And even though those two hours were hell, by the end, I felt this little spark in my chest. This familiar nudge that I know was from my Savior. He knew my situation, my state of mind and well being, and He sent His earthly angels to comfort and assist His daughter who desperately needed to feel looked after and comforted. A daughter who was doubting her very significance. He saved His child. He saved me by sending them.
Things didn't get better over night. Gracie still cried. But I grabbed onto that nudge and that spark and held on for dear life. I never felt as alone. I knew He was there and that He loved me and had faith in me and my abilities.
Lastly, if I could go back to the Heidi then, I would tell myself this: Remember it's okay not to be okay sometimes. Allow yourself the space and time you need to heal yourself become well within your very soul. On the days that you just can't take another step, allow the Savior to carry you. Because He will. Without hesitation. Fall to your knees and pray for the strength and the reassurance to carry on. And when you have the days where you may not feel one ounce of hope or faith in yourself, rely on His love and faith in you, because He has more than enough to get to another day. And turn on the Celtic Pandora channel. =) (For reals though, I LOVE Celtic music! Bet you didn't know that about me.) So, yes, life is a journey, and it isn't always pretty, but we can make it prettier by being His hands for others. I love you my dear, dear friends and I will always be here to cheer you on! XOXO