I don’t even know where to begin.  There is just so much.  So much I want to say about the happenings of the last four days.  I anticipate that I will have trouble putting my thoughts into any semblance of cohesive words.  As I lover of words, I suspect there is no way any compilation of words can fully capture the beauty, emotion, and wonder I feel at the birth of our new little girl. 

But still. . . I shall try. 

I will warn you. . . this might get long.  I apologize in advance for that.  I can’t help it.  No matter how long it gets, though, I’m certain it could be longer.  Maybe you don’t want to read this now.  Or maybe you will want to grab a cup a coffee and a bathroom break before you start in.  Just know that I am doing my best to keep it concise without leaving too much out. 

I want to start by saying a big thank you for all that commented and embraced Chad’s guest post.  He was a bit hesitant when I initially asked him to do it, but he dove in anyway.  I’m glad that so many got a glimpse of the good guy that I’ve often spoke about here.  Now you know I’m not lying. . . he really is that much of a Good Guy. 

Now it is my turn and I will do my best not to duplicate this thoughts. 

November 17th, 2011 we were scheduled for an induction.  I must admit that since this was the third time we had done this, I thought the process might be a bit anti-climactic.  “Old hat”, shall we say?  Oh, I knew it would be cool, but I thought it might be a familiar experience and lacking the excitement and anticipation that were so present at the births of Charlie and Chanelle. 

Oh my, was I ever wrong. 

When we got to the hospital we had just one goal. . .

Have a baby.

The goal remained the same until the hours continued to tick by one after another without any progress.  At that point, Chad amended the goal. . .

Have a baby so an early super can be enjoyed.  

Once his goal was adjusted, the process flipped into high gear.  The final moments before she was born happened so quickly and were in stark contrast to the way we spent much of the day waiting.   In a matter of 45 minutes I went from 4 cm. to 10 cm. and was cautioned not to push until my doctor arrived.  Quickly, we put on the song that was playing at the birth of each one of our children (Welcome to Our World) and everyone got into place.  My doctor swept into the room, was masked and gowned and with just a couple of breathtaking pushes the wails of our baby echoed throughout the room.  Tears streamed down my face as I sat up in antipation until I heard the words I had waited so long to hear . . It’s a Girl!

Sweet Meadow was welcomed into our world by the ear to ear smiles of Chad and I, as well as tears of joy that were impossible to stop.  This moment is one I will never, ever forget.  As Meadow was laid on my chest, I looked over at my sister who was also shedding tears of joy and at the same time we said it. . . Mom would be so happy right now.  She looked at her niece and I looked at my daughter and we both knew that our Mom would be proud of this moment we shared. 

The night before we were to go to the hospital I received the following words in an email from a friend: “This sweet Baby K came into your life, into your body, for a reason… for a distinctive reason. Perhaps you will heal even more from your unbelievable loss with the gain of this new baby.

Something in these words struck me.  Something in these words rang true.  And even though I am unable to pinpoint it right now, I believe that healing is and will continue to come though this birth.  My friends words continued. . .

This time, when we bring new life into the world, is full of so much emotion. It’s impossible NOT to think of our mothers… to want to right what has been wronged with our relationships… to attempt to understand them in ways that we never before could. Just having them near when a new baby comes home with us provides more comfort than any one else can understand.”

Her words are so true and yet I’m learning that confronting them, feeling them, and simply walking through them brings comfort.  As I stared at my new little girl, flanked by Chad and my sister, my Mom’s absence was blaring.  In moments, though, the room filled with open hearts that were ready to receive this new little life and my heart knew that all will be okay, in spite of it all.

That evening after friends and family left, Chad and I sat in the darkened hospital room and awed at all that had taken place that day.  I stared at Meadow and was overcome with this most precious gift. For hours I sat with only a dim light shadowing her face and I stared in wonder.  I stared at the stranger whom we had only met a few hours earlier and marveled that I was already totally and utterly in love with her.

The reality nearly takes my breath away.

While I thought that having my third baby might be less exciting than the first two, it turns out that it has been even more incredible.  In the last couple days, I have experienced a depth of emotions that feel new to me.  Whereas with Charlie and Chanelle I felt as though I was simply surviving each day, this time I find myself slowing down and taking in each moment.  I sit and I stare for hours.

I have memorized  her face.  Each wrinkle, crevice, and all the silly faces she makes while she sleeps. . . I’ve etched them all in my mind.

I run my hand over her dark hair that is wet from my tears and I say prayers of thanks for the gift we’ve been given.  I’m not rushing these moments, but fully taking them in.

More than once, I’ve said to Chad, I was born to do this.  To be her Mom.  To be their Mom.  Throughout these last few days the weight of the responsibility has hit me.  These little ones are mine, for a time, to love, train up, and guide through these days. 

I can’t imagine a greater call.

It’s true, this time has been different.  I’m not sure if it’s because we know this is our last. . . the completion of our family.  Or if it is because of the ways that I have changed over the last few years.  What I know now that I didn’t really know when Charlie and Chanelle were born is that life is so very precious.  What I understand now that I didn’t understand then is that the hours, weeks, months and years go by so quickly and I will never regret slowing down, but I will always regret going too fast. 

 And so I slow down and see this precious life for what it is. . .a gift.  I breathe in her scent and I watch with joy as Charlie and Chanelle wonder at the baby that was in Mommy’s belly.

 Some moments I laugh and other moments cry. In every moment, though, I am thankful that our family has grown and Meadow is now one of us. 

My heart is filled with excitement to see who she will become and what plans are laid out for her.  What I know for sure, as my friend said, is that she has come at this time and in this way for a specific purpose and already I am seeing and believing that. 

When we walked into the hospital last week, I really had no idea what to expect.  What I found out, though, is that upon leaving. . .

. . . my heart would be completely wrecked. . .

Need I say it?  We adore our newest family member. 

Welcome to the world Meadow!

  • Anonymous - November 22, 2011 - 1:18 pm

    had my coffee ready to go! and the kleenex : )

    i loved these thoughts, truly. it was beautiful to read. love you and miss you and can't wait to meet her.

    love, missReplyCancel

  • Stacy - November 22, 2011 - 1:27 pm

    I love this post. Thank you for sharing Summ! I LOVE her name. Can you make a post sometime on what made you pick it?ReplyCancel

  • MamaMimi - November 22, 2011 - 2:21 pm

    You write beautifully! Welcome to both your daughter and my grand daughter Alexandria…both on the same day, same hospital just a few rooms away from each other. One a morning birth, one later in the day. Double blessings!! I hope one day they can meet and swap birth stories! : ) Julia ProperReplyCancel

  • Adopted aunt - November 22, 2011 - 2:34 pm

    What to say but you have a beautiful family! She is precious just as Charlie and Chanelle are. You will be a wonderful family. Love is abounding in my heart along with the tears. Love you all. Hope to see you soon. Please give all kids hugs and kisses from me.ReplyCancel

  • Written Permission - November 22, 2011 - 4:56 pm

    Oh, friend. This was just incredibly beautiful and poignant and SO well-said and raw and emotional and…perfect. Do I even need to tell you I cried ALL the way through? 🙂

    What a gorgeous little girl, and what a perfect family she has joined.

    (For some reason that group picture in the hospital slayed me more than any other — just the way your dad is looking at you. Beautiful.)

    Love you, Sum. Thank you for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • mommathieszen - November 22, 2011 - 5:37 pm

    She is gorgeous, Summer…and so are you. Your words echo my own thoughts after giving birth to Quinn. There was something about his birth and infancy that was different than the other two–not rushed, not chaotic, not forgotten. I cherished those days more than I have ever cherished days. Maybe because we feel we missed out on Toby's-maybe because it was GOING to be our last, maybe because even though we are gaining another little girl, I will miss those days in her life and God knew I should just cherish them with Quinn. Whatever the reason, I am forever grateful for God allowing me to experience them that way. I am praying for you to never feel like you need to be doing anything other than what you are–simply being present and soaking up all the richness in the blessing of birth. It does go fast–I just took Quinn in for his 2 year pictures this morning…2 years old. It just can't be. I look forward to watching little Meadow as well as Chanelle and Charlie grow up through your eyes…and perhaps, just maybe, meeting them face-to-face one of these days so our kids can play and we can chat NOT over the computer, but face-to-face as well. Someday…

    I've said it before, but again, congratulations, friend, and bless you beyond measure in your motherhood.ReplyCancel

  • Sassytimes - November 22, 2011 - 5:45 pm

    She is absolutely beautiful. What a sweet post. I love all of your photos. Hope everything is going well for you as you adjust to having a new member of your family.

    (Our new member does not want to come out…he's cozy.) 😉ReplyCancel

  • Ky • - November 22, 2011 - 5:53 pm

    I don't know how you found the time to write this post! BUT I AM SO THANKFUL YOU DID.

    Friend, you know I love you.

    What an amazing post. A proper formal modern-day birth announcement via blog post. Love it.

    I have to tell you, I'm just so happy for you.

    I simply cannot WAIT to see all of the bajillion of photos you take of her. And I cannot wait to see how she just "fits" with Charlie and Chanelle. I'm on pins and needles waiting for a snapshot family portrait… with your new little brunette.


    So happy for you.

    THANK YOU for sharing this with all of us.

    P.S. I love her name.ReplyCancel

  • sara - November 22, 2011 - 7:51 pm

    WOW! You put into words exactly what I felt with my fourth and final. It is a beautiful thing. Thanks for thinking and placing the emotions all into words. What a joy to read and relate to!!ReplyCancel

  • lisa - November 22, 2011 - 8:17 pm

    absolutely sobbing!! 🙂

    i just am so over the moon for you! she is just beautiful…and please fill us in on the inspiration for her name…i love it!! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Abbe - November 23, 2011 - 12:17 am

    what a beautiful, lovely, heart-felt post. the photos are gorgeous, and i agree… the ones where the family is meeting meadow are priceless. so thrilled for you, and so blessed to be able to read and SEE your musings as you transition to 5. congrats again!!ReplyCancel

  • Adopted Aunt - November 23, 2011 - 2:39 am

    Summer. As I read again your post I get tears in my eyes and even think, hm I want a little girl but would need to adopt. Your words are beautiful and so full of love. I started today at the Berlin gift barn it was fun except for your previous children not there. I am in desperate need of their hugs and kisses and tussling. Your meadow is so precious. Your mom is happy! Enjoy Summer. Much love can't wait to get there.ReplyCancel

  • Summer - November 23, 2011 - 5:08 am

    Thank you to each one of you for celebrating with us. Your support and love mean the world to me.ReplyCancel

  • Charbelle - November 23, 2011 - 10:44 am

    Oh Summer, congratulations!!!! So beautifully written and Miss Meadow is so gorgeous!!! Sending hugs from Charlotte!!ReplyCancel

  • Adopted aunt - November 25, 2011 - 4:52 pm

    You know it puts the idea of adopting a sweet girl from china in my heart and mindReplyCancel

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