Thursday, September 6, 2012

9 Months to Exit 44

I'm not sure why 9 months seems to be such an emotional milestone for me.  Rachel's 9 month birthday last September was REALLY hard and Asa's 9 month birthday was too. Even this September 3 (the anniversary of her 9 months??) was really hard on me.  Maybe because it's all the time I had with her - and because babies tend to be super cute and cuddly at that age.  I don't know, I miss her so much.

It just so happened that on Asa's 9 month birthday (August 15), we had planned a trip to Maine to go to the Children's Museum with Kim and her son. (She's the nurse who helped deliver Rachel and took SUPER good care of me & my girl while we were at the hospital - and then helped deliver Asa too and we are now friends)

I can't help but play back the dozens of hour long trips I made to that city.  Many with Matt, some with my mom or sister and many just with my girl.  I could drive there on auto-pilot and often do now.  I remember driving up to get her second opinion and then to have her like it was yesterday.  But for as many of times as I have driven that route, I have never noticed one thing....

There is no exit 43.

I guess back then I didn't know that 43 would come to mean so much, so why would I notice.  But why never when I traveled the route for Asa's pregnancy and birth??

I was watching for it that day because lately I had been noticing that on many roads, where #43 should be, it ends up being a big field and skips that number.  I always have pictured Rachel dancing through fields of flowers in heaven and so as I started to notice the jumps in numbers everywhere, I felt God whispering she's dancing.....

 I saw exit 42 and I knew we needed to take 44.  I just wanted to know where 43 went to.  But it wasn't there.  Just the forest as far as I could see.... but maybe somewhere behind the tree line there is a field...

I started to tear up and I could feel the emotions of the drive hitting me harder than usual.  The song on the radio played....

"My hope is in You Lord, all the day long.  I won't be shaken by drought or storm.  A peace that passes understanding is my song - and I sing.  My hope is in You Lord."

I started to cry and then I saw it...  The only place she ever lived outside of my belly.  And the top floor of the parking garage that I was wheeled out to leave without her.
Des noticed the song and said "Hey, this is a perfect song for going past Rachel's Hospital!"

I can't remember if I blogged about it or just thought about it, but my outlook on the #44 had recently gone from one of 'when I lost her'  to one of 'when she went to live eternally'.  From one of 'death' to one of 'life'.  And there it was...exit 42...  no exit 43... but, exit 44... that's where she LIVED.

We went to the museum and I had some pretty serious laughs watching my boys - mostly Isaiah -play.  He was sweating he was so serious about having a good time :o)  I took a picture of Kim holding Asa.... See how he has changed in the past 9 months...and of course, I had the kids representing, wearing their Baby Rachel's Legacy shirts ♥
8 lbs 15 oz!
I have no idea what he weighs now... bad Mama... He's heavy!
Sam didn't want to be in this picture, as you can tell :o)
Asa hung out on my back the whole time, even took a little snooze. You can see I have a piece of Rachel's blanket tied around my tank top strap.  She comes with us everywhere ♥ 
I'm thankful for 9 months in my belly and 9 months outside my belly with my sweet baby Asa Francisco.  I can't help but think of all I'm missing with Rachel as I watch him grow, but that only causes me to love him more deeply and relish each and every moment.  I have no desire for him to grow up fast, I'm loving every second of his life.  And so far, he's the only one other than me that has shared the same sacred space that she lived and danced in for those 9 months - so in a strange way, I feel like we have a special understanding of who she is that nobody else quite gets. I was telling Matt the other day, everyone thinks I worked hard for Rachel and says how difficult that must have been - and it was... but Asa... he was the tough one.  Pregnant twice in a row, scared to lose another baby, grieving deeply, judgement and everyone wondering why I would do this to myself again, waiting on every ultrasound with fear that I would find out something was wrong and it would be all my fault.... I worked hard for this baby - and just like Rachel, he has proven to be more than worth it all. 
Thank you Lord for all my precious children.  And thank You that through these trials, I have learned to not take them for granted.

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