I made all of his bottles, fed him via g tube when needed, cared for the wound, and basically did there what I'll be doing here as soon as tomorrow night. That's right - James will be coming home sometime between Wednesday and Friday.
So how do I feel about this? Right now I'm feeling pretty good. I feel confident. I feel like I can do this. I feel supported. I feel prepared. Yesterday, I was terrified. I was depressed. I felt like God had set me up for failure (ummm.. didn't He remember I did not want to be a nurse?). I felt like this was going to be a slow burn followed by the initial crash.
Being with him, caring for him like I did Lydia and Bennet, definitely reminded me that a baby is a baby and gave me the confidence to bring him home, but it was all still a bit of an emotional teeter-totter. As Travis put it, sometimes in anger, sadness, self-pity, or despair I cry out, "Why did you let this happen?!" and sometimes, in peaceful anticipation I ask, "Why did you let this happen?"
And then I read this passage from Healing the Original Wound by Fr. Benedict Groeschel.
All sorts of things go wrong in the world that are not the will of God. There is an immense difference between the actual will of God which decrees events and the permissive will of God which allows them. The actual will of God caused the incarnation. The permissive will of God allowed the crucifixion to take place - the best and the worst of all human events. We need to recall that whatever happens, God goes with us. God was there at the crucifixion as much as he was there at the resurrection.
Fr. Benedict goes on to talk about praying, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" which is a prayer I have prayed many, many times recently. But he also quotes St. Augustine, "Flood our path with your light when the road is long and the way is weary and let us know of your presence."
It is ridiculous how often I have to come back to the beauty of the Cross and remind myself that suffering is evil; it is only in the world because of sin, but redemptive suffering, suffering united with Christ's passion, is beautiful. I went to confession the week I was due and my penance was to pray "thank you, Jesus," throughout the labor, the contractions, the pushing. I did. I offered up my pain and I thanked God for the gift of fertility and motherhood. It's understandable that I have not prayed "thank you, Jesus" during the suffering we've been going through lately, but it has definitely left me focusing on the dark instead of living in the joy and the beauty.
Redemptive suffering. Cross and Resurrection. We are an Easter people and Hallelujah is our song. James is coming home.