Two weeks after Mollen was born, another young mama from my church lost her son. - He was full term & he got tangled in his umbilical cord. Suddenly what had already felt bleak, now felt black & dark... & my journal ~ that in previous pregnancies heard me whining about my postpartum body heard only desperate prayers.
i devoured my bible. i read the whole thing in 3 months & then flipped back to Genesis & started again. i sat at the piano with my bible open & prayed the psalms in song to God.
If i hinted to anyone that i was struggling, *i felt* that the response was, 'you brought this on yourself, you wanted all these 'blessings'... deal.'
My baby cried.
She cried like no other baby i had ever known. She cried all day & all night. She would scream for hours in the night... & i would hold her & whisper her middle name in her ear, "Solace, be comforted, be comforted..."
i took her to the doctor & they ran blood tests & found nothing. i tried changing my diet... She didn't seem to be gaining weight like my other babies did. We left any vacation early... exhausted with taking turns in a back room, holding a baby who bewildered us with her seeming suffering. i took her to the doctor again & again & they found nothing wrong with my little mite.
One Sunday at church, my friend who had lost her son came up to me & asked if she could hold her. i was just shaking - Mollen had been screaming all morning & Neil was at work - & i felt so grateful ~ nobody ever wanted to - or offered to hold her, not even Neil - because of her constant screaming. ~ She sat down with her & closed her eyes & just *breathed* my baby in. As i watched my friend hold my little one, i knew that in that moment, God was dealing tenderly with us both.
In our homeschool, the little ones made up songs - substituting each child's name like, 'Cairo, you're a blessing to this family, Cairo, we're so glad you're in this family, Cairo, you're a blessing to this family, Cairo Cairo, Caiiiirooo nananana..' (hehe, you have to hear it to get the whole effect)... or...
"The Beselt family loves each other, & we will never forget that... mommy, daddy & the siblings.... all love one another....God's love- everybody loves God's love - some people like to climb trees, but everybody loves God's love, everybody loves God's love."
'Rhythm dance' parties were held at any meal - 'i love bein' a kid... i love bein' a kid... etc... ' & then it was my turn.... 'i love bein' a mom, ya, i love bein' a mom!!' i'd shout them down any day. - (Hey, Neil wasn't around to get after us for excess noise!) i was grateful for our bible time. We read through, 'Leading Little Ones To God' & acted out bible stories. We learned to do our reading, writing & math, with the sound of wailing in the background. We all remember Mollen's first word because i was reading aloud & suddenly in her crying she shouted, "mama" ~ We all stopped what we were doing & congratulated her & tickled her & hugged her up... but she kept crying.
i hope that my little ones saw me clinging to Jesus.
But clinging was about all i was capable of. i remember distinctly one day taking my baby across the street to my neighbours house. Our children were friends & she is an amazing christian woman who i still admire. i had tears in my eyes & i said, "Colleen, please, just lay hands on her & pray for her to stop crying."
She did... but my baby kept crying.
i can't put exact dates on the parentheses around what we laughingly (or tearfully if i'm honest) call the Mollen years...
Over time after she was around 1 and a half things slowly began to improve. Not just with my little baby - who cried her babyhood away... but in those dark places in me, where Jesus met with me & healed me & spoke to me & tenderly walked with me.
Maybe there are logical words for what i went through... Maybe i was sad & lonely - & my baby had colic - but to me, it felt like spiritual growth.
i hope that Mollen would never be sad to read this little series of posts when she gets older. It wasn't her fault that she was a sad (& probably in pain) little baby. The *fruit* of the Mollen years is precious to me... The painful pruning produced a beautiful harvest. i am so grateful to God for those years & for the babyhood of the little one who brings them to my mind.