In the days and weeks just after I had the baby last year, I found that there were lots of things I wanted to write about that never got written. Even with the extra help (my mom stayed for three weeks) I just couldn't pull myself together enough to sit for an hour and do it. Sure, it had a lot to do with the sweet, hungry baby who now lived under my roof, but mostly it was because of the way I felt. My c-section recovery was difficult and I really didn't feel remotely normal for probably the full six weeks. Because of all of that and all of the doctor's visits and running around I had to do when all I wanted was be home with my newborn, blogging was one thing I couldn't seem to get done in the rare, quieter moments.
It's still a struggle even though I think about at least once a day. It's hard to take the time to sit still and write out what's on my mind in any form that's longer than a facebook status (and, trust me, I'm not one of those who "puts it all out there" on facebook). And so today since my daughter, who prefers to be held and rocked for her entire nap time -- which I don't mind, by the way -- is actually napping in her bed, I want to share one of the stories that almost got lost in those early postpartum days last September.
A couple of years ago I wrote about a little figurine that I have, a keepsake from my childhood that my mother bought for me. It's a sweet porcelain girl in a yellow dress with January, my birth month, written across the front of the skirt. I'm not one of those people who has every toy she ever played with as a child or boxes and boxes full of fond memories from my childhood. There are just a few things I've managed to save, and January Girl is one that I truly treasure. I'm sure she wasn't very expensive, but we didn't have much when I was a child. Feeling nostalgic, since I first wrote about her I've been searching the Internet for the eleven others in the same line of Lefton china figurines. I can usually find them for around $15, and that's 30 years or so after they were made.
In the past two years I've collected nine in addition to the one I've had for as long as I can remember. They're not super easy to find, so it's been fun to search for them every few months when the thought crosses my mind and try to snatch one up when I see it on an eBay auction. This isn't something I'm proficient in, by the way. I'm not a big collector of things in general. I usually have my husband do my bidding (literally) since he's the one with the eBay and PayPal accounts in the first place. To date I lack only February and March and then my sentimental little collection will be complete.
Now, back to the story...
Almost a year ago I went in for my scheduled c-section early on the morning of September 21st. If you're reading this you probably know my story. We'd been praying for and hoping for the baby we were about to meet for nearly nine years. Seeing her face for the first time in that ice-cold operating room at 12:27 PM was a dream come true, my longing fulfilled.
Later that evening when we were finally alone, just the three of us, and still feeling swept up in the emotions of the day, my husband gave me a precious card and a small box. I couldn't imagine how he'd had the presence of mind to get me a gift in the midst of all of our preparations for the baby, but I wasn't really surprised. It's completely in his character to do such a thing. I opened the package and inside was the sweet little September Girl figurine, with a yellow dress just like my January Girl. He had searched and searched for her and paid more than three times what I normally pay after finding himself in a bidding war with another prospective buyer. He did it because this one, the September one, was important to me and he knew it was. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts he has ever given me.
I know that ultimately it's just a knickknack, but I love that he knew it would be special to have our daughter's birth month. And somehow he knew that sharing that simple childhood memory with her meant something to me. Lily will grow up seeing the same figurine on her dresser that was always on mine, and it's those kinds of things that work together to gradually fill the hole that recurrent miscarriage left in my heart during all those years of waiting, wondering, and loss.
I love seeing our matching January and September girls together at last. Each year as summer turns to fall, she'll have a place of honor in our home as we celebrate the birth of our real-live September girl.