Lucy Lynn

Some may not believe me, it could be happenstance, coincidence or a mother’s intuition, 
but I must have known somehow.
Your older sister had a conversation with me on Saturday, out of the blue sitting together, 
she informed me that “Lucy was coming on Tuesday”.
And Tuesday is when you began your arrival.
Monday I walked long and hard with your cousins, stopping at the park where I lamented the aches and pains of carrying you, knowing the full worth.
Remembering Ellie’s prediction, I washed the sheets and folded the laundry when I returned, longing just as equally as I had complained, so fully ready to meet you, to hold your surrender weight, to trace, to memorize your face.

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That evening, I watched the sky and pillow top clouds were blue and gold-laced. 
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My heart knew this was the night before you would be born.
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I treated myself to something new and luxurious and tried an “induction massage” Tuesday morning. As she intentionally paused over pressure points, I prayed for you, my love.
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Hebrews 12:2 “...for the joy set before him”
 
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the joy
set
before
me
 
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You would arrive. You would be my joy, 
 
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you would be so worth it.
 
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Later that day, my midwife mentioned at our appointment she was on call that evening, perhaps she would be seeing me later.
 
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I called your daddy and let him know that I didn’t have any reason to believe her, 
 
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probably just wishful thinking, they were probably just kind words from one woman to another, 
 
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sympathetic to the last long days of pregnancy,
 
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but he decided to stay late to finish up his duties with a little extra finesse.
 
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I felt the tightness, the practicing of labor all afternoon, but was used to it, used to the weariness.
 
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I had told my midwife earlier in the day when she asked if I was having contractions that, really, every day was just one big contraction at this point.
 
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I sent a text to my mother letting her know that I wasn’t in labor, but had been really uncomfortable all day.
I’ll be praying, my darling, she said.
When your daddy walked through the door, the house was noisy as it is every evening.
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We’re so glad you’re going to make it noisier.
The floor rattles with the stampede greeting, the squeals seem to get louder each night. They hang on his every appendage. 
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You will too in time.
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I mentioned that a few recent contractions had been stronger and maybe a walk would help determine if they were going to do anything. 
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He laced up tennis shoes and zipped up jackets. I watched our little ducklings explore steps ahead of us, paused a few times in quiet to feel the warmth of the climbs. They were about ten minutes apart.
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Your daddy did bedtime, like he does most nights. Foamy teeth brushing, hushing the whole way, story-time and kisses, prayers to Jesus and a serenade, tuck-tuck of covers ‘round squirmy middles, and last sips of water in bed, more kisses, soft squeeze arms around our necks, and a quiet pull of the door knob. Three would be four in the morning light.
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And they didn’t even know.
At this point I was walking circles around your home. Three to seven minutes between needing to stop to breathe, your daddy was getting the first chance he’s had to engage in the nervous daddy-to-be routine. He had gone to work the morning your oldest sister arrived so needed to meet us at the hospital for full-on labor and missed the anticipation of the early hours. Your brothers were planned debuts.
But now, it was quiet, and he was nervous. I kept telling him to eat. That this was probably a false alarm.
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I didn’t want to tell anyone because I didn’t want to be embarrassed. Baby number four, I should know. Unlike me, my body loves being pregnant and holds on to babies until the last minute. I don’t get to be a week early with my babies.
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He replied he didn’t feel like delivering a baby on the highway.
I said, no, it was fine, I could still -pause for a contraction- work through the contractions, let’s -pause for a contraction- give it some time.
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He said, that’s it, we’re going.
Your auntie had been counting down to be called on. She smiled knowingly at me when she pulled up in the dark. Told me I looked beautiful. I told them it probably wasn’t it, and I was going to be so embarrassed if I came home without a baby.
She and your daddy whispered behind my back that this was it. Probably made fun of me and my grimace as I gingerly sat myself down in the car. She'd be relieved later by our dear friend, Stacey who would in turn greet eager joyful grandparents in the early morning hours.
I might have been a bit grumpy in the car. Told your dad to slow down and take it easy on the turns.
We parked but went back to the car a few times. Debated in the dark whether to bring the bags in or come and get them later. Left them in the car. Walked three steps and returned to get them.
It felt like a million questions later before we knew for sure that you would be joining us soon.
At a 4 and 10pm, calls were made, arrangements arranged, and I got ready to work for you.
 
The contractions were just minutes apart, but I was able to talk for the few between them. My mother, eyes full, held my hands for a bit. My sister asked me what I needed.
 
And your daddy, my love, was there. Not just there, but there.
There before I motioned, rubbed my back relentlessly
because all I needed was silence.
 
We played music with words we believe.
 
A few hours later, and you weren’t any closer to coming, I had passed the weary point, passed the tired point, anguish was settling. They broke my water and my eyes closed for the rest of the night. There was some whispering in the room and between the words I barely heard, phrases from our songs would float to me.
 
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours
and You are mine
 
Breathing was growing more difficult, and there was no relief between the heat, the pull. I was reaching desperation.
 
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Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed
and You won’t start now
 
At one point, I may have harshly hushed the nurses and midwife mid conversation. And then apologized profusely as soon as the warmth faded. It wasn’t my finest moment.
 
A couple more hours and I sent everyone out. It was just too much for me to handle. It wasn’t my plan, but the night was growing long, and I was fading.
 
No matter the setting, the audience, the story, mothers know the unique weariness that must be journeyed to hold their sweet blessing. And I was there. I knew myself, I knew much longer and there would be nothing preserved to hold you.
 
I waited for an epidural for much longer than they promised. I may have gathered my breath enough to punctuate the peaceful praise music with couple expletives. I’ve never reached that point when birthing a baby but I was so completely there this time and beyond. And, neither of these things were planned, but, oh, it was all so worth it.
 
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You are worth it.
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It didn’t get a chance to work, you were ready, my dear.
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And then, their hands were wrapped around you and handing you and I reached for you.
And you were warm and loud and heavy against me
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then you were quiet and snuggled and holding me back.
You were perfect.
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You are perfect.
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It’s such a picture of my faith,
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the faith I pray for you, my love,
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the mystery, the miracle of
childbirth.
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The agony and the reward.
The longing and love.
 
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There was nothing beautiful about me, but my Jesus, I’m His.
He doesn’t see my deviation, my inability, my mess.
His eyes are full of me; His scarred hands so very alive reach for me.
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He sees me as worth it
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each
and
every
day.
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It doesn’t matter what anyone else sees,
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We are His joy,
He adores, He sees me as perfect
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and
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oh, how He has loved,
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oh, how He loves.
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Photo credit for some of the most precious photos I will ever be gifted to 
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Lucy Lynn French
4-9-14
2:45am
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