Joy, for me, is more than just being happy – it’s a much deeper emotion and I can honestly say that some of my most joyful moments have been during the most difficult times of my life.
My pregnancy with Jessica was an incredibly joyous time. This might sound strange given that we found out about her heart condition at 20 weeks and were told that the chances of her survival were extremely low, but despite all the heartache we experienced during that time, there was also joy. The future was too scary to look at so we lived in the moment and we enjoyed the moment. Every little kick, every wriggle was doubly precious. We treasured every one of them, made the most of our time with Jessica whilst she was still in the womb because we didn’t know whether that would be all we had. And we drew comfort and strength from our faith, from the love and support of those around us and clung to the hope of a miracle.
Going for in-utero surgery at 28 weeks’ gestation to give Jessica a chance of survival was scary. I was so grateful that I would be awake throughout the procedure – the thought of being put to sleep feeling Jessica’s movements inside me and being woken to bad news was my worst nightmare. The overwhelming feeling of joy and gratitude when that surgery was successful was amazing. We had been given hope and it was the greatest gift we could have been given at that time. I remember waking in the night, feeling Jessica hiccupping as she woke from the anaesthetic and thanking God fervently for giving us the miracle we had prayed for, for giving us hope. It was an incredibly joyous moment.
The moment when Jessica was born and we heard her cry for the first time is still possibly the most joyful moment of my whole life. The overwhelming relief that Jessica was alive, that she looked reasonably pink, that she was crying and appeared to be so much more well than we’d ever dared hope she’d be – our precious, beautiful girl – and then having her placed on my chest, a brief but oh so precious cuddle, breathing that wonderful newborn baby smell and feeling her nuzzle against me filled me with overflowing joy that could only find expression in tears.
Sophie’s arrival too was a joyous moment but not quite as overwhelming – it was calmer, more serene – a peaceful arrival in a birthing pool at home. Beautiful and thankfully much less dramatic than her sister’s arrival and much less of a whirlpool of emotions. Those beautiful serene moments of snuggling my newborn baby next to me in the pool with my big girl standing there, so excited to meet her baby sister for the first time are just wonderful memories.
And now, my biggest joy is watching my two beautiful girls together; seeing them grow and develop and learn more about the world around them. We still live in the moment; the future is still uncertain but to be here now is a blessing.
Linking in with mumturnedmom for this week’s Prompt – “Joy”