Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Angel...

I couldn't fall asleep last night. My mind was filled with the memories of what was transpiring in my life exactly one year ago today. It is a day I have thought about often during this last year. A day that instantly conjures a deep well of a plethora of emotions. A day I can go back to in my mind when I need strength or renewed hope or a peaceful moment. I don't think most women would describe going through labor as a peaceful practice but I have never been so "at peace." There was of course the nervousness about experiencing something completely new to me and all that it encompassed but I knew, I KNEW I was not alone. I truly felt that a conduit to heaven had opened right up. I have only felt that connected to the spirit world a few other times in my life including the precious moments I lay beside Lexi as she took her last breaths. It makes sense that the veil would be especially thin as the heavens welcome home and send off choice spirits.

I spent the whole day in a very meditative state, I spoke only a handful of words during the entire process which began with my water breaking at about 6 am to Harrison's birth at about 6pm. All my energy was channeled into breathing calmly, visualizing fresh oxygen sustaining my lungs and my body for what was to come, communicating love to my soon-to-be born son and praying silently but fervently for continued faith to endure and to express my eternal gratitude for this miracle. The whole day is kind of a blissful blur now but there are a few specific things I will never forget:

There were hymns playing softly in the background of my consciousness. I don't know if that makes sense but it was a phenomenon I have never experienced. I wasn't consciously thinking of any specific hymn or humming them to myself, they were just there like a cooling salve. The sweet melodies and words of hymns like, "I Need Thee Every Hour" and "How Great Thou Art" were on a continuous repeating play cycle all day. I have always believed in the healing powers of music. I believe this was a special healing gift from above.

I remember Dax coming to the hospital. He didn't expect me to talk, he was just a powerful presence, a reminder of the strength I get from my family. My love for him and the fatherly/brotherly role he has played in my life gave me such a boost while I lay there meditating and visualizing. I hadn't asked him to come and I didn't know how much I wanted him there until he walked through my door and I was overwhelmed with gratitude that he was there.

My mom, my wonderful mom. She did not like the idea of me getting pregnant. When I expressed a desire to have a baby, she urged us to explore all the alternatives and explained simply that she was still my mom and I was "her baby" and she was afraid of the health risks involved. However, from the moment I told her I was pregnant she was behind me 100%. She counseled me to ignore any negativity from my doctors and reminded me of my faith. She supplied my maternity wardrobe and all manner of baby gifts! Her love and support was a huge strength to Ryan and I not only for the duration of my pregnancy but especially throughout that special day. She eased me through my contractions by guiding me in a kayak down the rivers in Kauai. I could smell the tropical rain forest smells and see the mountains blanketed with lush green carpet and feel the cool, clean water with my fingertips. I could feel the sun radiating through my skin and taste the salty sweat drip down my temples. As my contractions started we would start paddling and as they peaked, we would glide around a bend in the river until I could see the waterfalls flowing down the mountains ahead and then it would be over and I could sit and enjoy the stillness. It was a glorious distraction and a system that mercifully worked. She was my rock.

I will never forget Ryan dressed in his O.R. gear, his face flushed with a nervous excitement that melted my heart. Our lives are so intertwined with shared hopes, fears, dreams, and goals. He is an extension of myself and that is how he was throughout the whole day. It felt like I couldn't separate where my emotions ended and his started. I know we were each having our own individual experiences but we were one in our mutual love for each other and for our son. We were one in knowing our lives would never be the same as our existance as a couple was going through an evolution. Evolving into a deeper and infinitely more meaningful plane unifying us even more and humbling us to the core.

Finally, I will never forget, oh, I will never forget watching that bundle of heaven with his full head of matted, curly, blonde hair emerge from my body into my world. As I struggled to catch my breath, I was keenly aware that I was being attended to from both sides of the veil and I wept freely amid the chaos of the operating room. I was briefly handed my son before he was promptly taken to the NICCU and I had never felt so right in all of my life. My belief that I was supposed to be a mother was confirmed as I looked at Harrison's face and wordlessly communicated to him that God's grace was sufficient for us and we were both going to heal and be mother and son together for eternity.

This precious boy has opened my eyes and my heart and filled this year with memories that will be never be forgotten. I thought I loved life before but, oh my goodness, life has never been so WONDERFUL!! Happy Birthday Harrison, I am so looking forward to another year full of fun and joy!

Here is a progression of our little boy's year month by month...


dev said...

Shar...I am so happy for you. The words don't sound right... or powerful enough... but, I am so happy that you have experienced such wonderful and powerful things.

Harrison is a beautiful lucky little bug... I can feel your love for him through your words...

I too LOVE labor. People never understand it when I tell them... but there is something so sacred and special about those hours before that little baby enters your life. And there are very few times in your life when your meditation and connection with heaven is so strong.

I love you Shar... Happy 1st to your little man!!

jess said...

nothing like a good BAWL to start off the day!
your thoughts and words have left such an impression on me (as they always have!) as I said even before your little angel was born, I feel so blessed to be a witness of god's grace and miracles just by seeing His ever-present hand in your life. being your friend helps me to constantly be reminded that He knows me, loves me, and watches over me.
I always knew you were strong, but this feat has seemed super-human and I know as you do that your willingness to put your life in God's hands and have complete faith in Him made it so that He could make you strong where you are weak. What an amazing thing to have experienced that so literally!
Thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts and experiences, and for sharing little Harrison with all of us! We love him so much!!! Happy Birthday to him, and of course to you!

jaymalew said...

You're making me cry!

I'm glad we've somewhat "reconnected." I love reading your blogs and catching up on you, Ryan, and Harrison. This blog was heartwarming, thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

kellibelli said...

I am totally crying. What a sweet post. I come to your blog to be inspired and reminded of how amazing life really is. Harrison is so adorable and lucky to have you.

Stacy said...

Hi Shar,

I just checked in and am so happy to have read your beautiful post about Harrison's birth day. What a precious miracle he is as well as you are to everyone you know. Thank you for sharing your tender moments with us. Harrison is such a cutie! I can't believe how much he's changing. I hope to be able to see all of you before long.

Love you!

Emily said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARRISON! You are a miracle! You have a very special mommy and daddy!

Sharlie~ I loved your thoughts on remembering Harrison's birth. It is one of those experiences you will never forget!

Lauren said...

Hi Sharlie! I Found your blog off of Jessica's. I hope you don't mind me lurking. I just wanted to tell you that I think you are an amazing writer. You have a way of communicating so much emotion with your sweet words! Thanks for sharing and letting us feel of your spirit. Reading your post just made me feel so peaceful. You truly are amazing!

Holly said...

What a wonderful tribute to an incredible year...AND such a handsome little boy! I am so touched by you! I am constantly amazed by your strength, your faith, your love for our Savior, your love for your family, and your divine role as a mother! Thank you for sharing your most intimate thoughts and feelings with us! Happy Birthday Harrison!!! What a lucky little angel he is!

Nat's blog said...

I came across you blog through Leah and just read this post and bawled. Thank you for sharing such a spiritual moment in your life. I am so happy for you and Ryan and Harrison..what a beautiful and deserving family of the blessing that have come into your life. -Natalie Ek