While He Sleeps

Believe it or not, I’ve written two blog posts in the last month that never made it to the publishing stage. Mark keeps me pretty busy most days, and I consider myself lucky on mornings afternoons that I get to shower. However, yesterday afternoon, as I sat listening to the rain while stranded in a broken car with a sleeping (Thank, God!) baby and dying cell phone, I decided that if I survived the afternoon, I would update my blog. So today I am rocking a baby with my foot, holding a pacifier with my left hand, and typing with my right.

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Our little linebacker, Mark, is growing like a weed. He weighed in at 15.5 pounds at his 2-month check up. I have no doubt that he is well over 16 pounds at this point. He is getting much better at holding his head up, loves smiling at his parents, and is now sleeping like a champ in his crib at night. Nap time is another story, but I will take what I can get.

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We all enjoyed spending his first Thanksgiving at our house with both sides of the family. It was a bit crazy but a lot of fun. I can’t believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve and am looking forward to spending the holiday with Matt’s side of the family. Mark has certainly brought joy to a season that was very challenging for us last year.

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I admit that along with the joy that comes with all of Mark’s many milestones, there is also a very distinct awareness that Isabelle never had the chance to achieve the same things. I firmly believe that Isabelle was with us for as long as God intended for her to be and that her brief life made a profound impact on so many people. However, my heart breaks when I think about never getting to see her hold up her head or smile for the first time.

A few weeks ago, I sat in the nursery glider staring at Mark sleeping in his crib for the first night. Part of me was overjoyed that the crib was finally being used, but my conflicted mind struggled with the idea of Isabelle never sleeping there. It was a crib given to us as a baby shower gift when I was pregnant with her. I therefore associated it with her even after Mark was born. I think a part of me felt that by letting Mark sleep there, I was letting go of a part of my daughter.

Each evening since then has gotten a little bit easier. I’ve tried to think of it as Mark using his sister’s crib the same way any younger sibling would. Although she never used the crib, it is as if a part of her is looking out for him while we are in the other room sleeping. I take comfort in thinking about that.

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As Mark continues to grow and hit milestone after milestone, and his sister remains frozen in time as a newborn, that is the idea to which I will cling – our sweet St. Isabelle looking over Mark as he sleeps.

I pray that you have a Merry Christmas and that your family is abundantly blessed in the New Year.

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