Once upon a time there was a couple who had everything going for them. They had good jobs, they lived in a nice big house in a good neighborhood, and they were in love. The only thing they were missing was children -- and they both wanted a child so much.
A few years after they were married their fondest wish was granted: she got pregnant. Everything seemed to be progressing well, the couple was in a daily state of gratefulness and excitement.
But five months and 20 days into the pregnancy, the baby had to be delivered by C-section. She weighed just one pound and six ounces at birth. The couple was in the hospital every day, talking to their baby, holding her as often as they could, singing to her. Being prematurely born, she had a few problems relating to respiration and fluid retention, but the doctors and nurses were all very positive, stating that the baby was doing very well for a preemie.
Wanting and loving the baby so much, the new mother and father were understandably distraught at every setback their child suffered. She found herself exhausted from crying and from the hospital stays. But their faith, hope and love sustained them.
Those days of tears and heartache are now past them, thankfully. They've brought their baby home and everything is going well.
This is a very recent photo of the baby in the story, with her lovely mommy (who is my sister-in-law, my older brother's wife). The little one now weighs nearly eight pounds and has no health problems. I am so glad smiles and laughter have replaced the tears that fell during the first weeks of my niece's life.
My best wishes to my sister-in-law across the miles on this special day, and happy thoughts to all mothers out there (including me, of course). Here's to all the laughter and tears that come with being a mom (or mum, depending on where you are). Happy Mother's Day!