Seven years ago today I was approaching way past due-that place some pregnant women get to go to learn a heavy dose of patience. We had expected her at Thanksgiving and here we were almost to Christmas. I walked into Kohl’s like I owned the place only to end up in the bathroom for an hour thinking I might just have her then and there. Rounded out the afternoon with photos at Lost River Cave with our good friend Susan, because-we hadn’t gotten the photos yet, so why not now? I had finally just figured on staying pregnant forever and slept well that night.We had a doctors appointment schedules for the next morning. Nathan was bold and spoke up for me in ways I wasn’t able to do for myself-and we went home to see if labor might start on it’s own. After a heavy meal, a few techniques I had picked up from my childbirth classes and prayer labor started. Three hours later nearly 9 pounds of Lilah was born-a mere 28 minutes after arriving at the hospital.
Lilah was a plump, happy, healthy baby for the first year. She fit into our family in such a way that each day was so much joy. She loved to be worn, snuggled, and nursed. She really didn’t show any interest in food until she was at least a year old.
That’s about the time everything changed. The Lilah we knew began to fade away. She rarely smiled, made eye contact, or even made effort to engage with anyone. She experienced full body rashes, constant ear infections, swelling, seizures, and later on hair and weight loss. At the time we really didn’t know how the story would go. There were many days that we were completely terrified and felt out of control. In it all we learned that we weren’t in control.
Thankfully, after much prayer and dedication of time, we developed a team of doctors and farmers who helped us make serious changes to Lilah’s diet, environment, and medical care. We followed the GAPS protocol for two years, we sought medical advice from doctors trained in a more holistic approach, we eliminated chemical cleaners and made our home as peaceful as possible. Slowly, over time, Lilah’s body began to heal.
Sweet Lilah Bug,
You are such a wise teacher. Thank you for reminding me that we are not defined by labels or behavior. There is no best way to engage with one another except for acceptance. You opened up the world to me in ways I may have never known had we not set aside time to take care of you. You helped me stop and think.You’ve taught me that kids aren’t created by parents for the approval and benefit of parents, but rather created by God for God to offer their rare gifts to the entire community. Thank you for not being willing to give up and fit in. When people choose to be their own unique self life looks so much different than what we plan and prepare for. The world was not prepared for you. That offered space for you to make the world a better place.
You helped me learn to stay at home more often. Really stay at home in order to get things done that seemed so unnecessary before. Sourcing pure local food, cooking healthy meals, choosing natural cleaners, encouraging a peaceful home environment all came to be because of you. The most important thing you nurtured in me was the desire to talk to others in a calm, thoughtful way. I got to practice that with you and you helped refine me even when it hurt.
All the things that you needed you were willing to demand. In this way you have helped make me the mama I was meant to be. I’ll forever be grateful.