Sunday, March 11, 2012

Malachi and More

I am holding a miracle. When I look at Malachi, I see grace staring back at me. I see Hope times two. I see the reflection of what God has done in me, and I think of how grateful I am that Mali made it here. That after all we went through postpartum with Izzy,God's courage held my hand and carried me through the decision to take the risk. To try one more time. To carry life and to trust God with mine. Speaking of courage, I have not until this moment felt ready to re-join the journey of this blog, but it has already been more than a year since the birth of our beloved second son. Time to get back on the road! I know I don't travel alone, And there is healing in every honest word we write.

Malachi Jude Goodman was born around 4:00pm on February 2, 2011. our little groundhog!
The labor and delivery process was much easier...thanks to a powerful little thing called
an epidural! And, true to form, (His personality continues to differ a lot from his super-strong-willed brother) he was very calm and cooperative coming out. I pushed for only about 15-20 minutes, wrapping up my 16 hours of labor, start to finish.
(Izzy took about 21 hours to make his arrival, and was very stubborn towards the end, causing 2 hours of pushing and a fight to the finish: Ready for this? After "crowning," didn't push all the way out for close to 30 minutes! No drugs...OUCH!!) And so it goes. So far, Mali is more mellow,
likes to sleep in and is okay with not talking or making sounds for record amounts of time! He is slower, less defiant and wanders off at the park looking for personal adventure, while Izzy bursts onto the scene ready to socialize. Less of a leader, more of a follower. He is sweet and affectionate and loves his big brother so naturally.
Amazingly, the start of my labor with Mal was almost identical to Izzy (water broke at home again, around the same time-11:00pm) but things quickly changed into quite a different experience in bringing a much different little boy into the world! Mali, we welcome you-just the way you are!

So the big question? Drumroll...Did I go through PPD again? The answer is: Yes and No.
A few days into recovery I started to have signs and symptoms of PPD, biggest ones being inability to sleep (at all) the first night we brought him home, accompanied with anxiety that I could physically feel. Luckily, I knew this monster's face and could recognize it. I will spare most of the details this time around, but just know that I did struggle, I did have to get a lot of help from family and friends and I did seek medical help immediately. The good news? It was less severe and didn't last as long. Things were also blurred and compounded by some un-related stress we were going through. All-in-all, "PPD" dealt a much lighter blow and was accompanied by a precious reward! I LOVE my Malachi! I love my boys. They are gifts from God. And through them, I am learning to love the Giver in new ways.
Worship is shared by many stages: playing, singing, cooking, cleaning, bathing, teaching, reading, washing, praying, disciplining, forgiving, coloring, dancing...God weaves into being another piece of this colorful cloth of pure love when we offer up any or all of these gifts back to the Giver. Life lived. What a gift! What praise! I can think of no greater compliment to Him, than to find true meaning in every part of life and live that meaning. One resource that greatly enhanced my perspective on this was the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. (Check out her book and blog if you haven't already.) It could not have been more timely. Gratefulness (gift-counting) became a powerful tool in my belt of truth! Mothering is so eye-opening. I see the good and bad more clearly. I see God in places I never even knew to look before. I depend on him for the little things more often than the big. And I see his grace. It covers my many mistakes as a parent, and beams through the slightest crack in every dark cloud. He finds me. He is with me. I am not "perfect" but I am stronger than I used to be... stronger than I ever thought I could be.
This month, my firstborn will be Four years old! I can't believe it. Any of it! That he's so big. That I made it through so much. That Izzy has a little brother now! We have many reasons to celebrate. Party Time!

"Oh the Joys of those who trust the Lord..." Psalm 40:4