Babies are miracles.
I don't care how you spin it...they are absolute miracles. I realize that now more than ever. And my new niece is no exception.
I was nervous to go visit the hospital on the day she was born for fear I might cry or kidnap her. You see, when my brother and sister-in-law announced the pregnancy last spring, that is exactly what I did. I locked myself in their bathroom and I bawled while everyone picnicked on the patio. I was being selfish...I felt like it was my turn for a baby...they already had one, my big sister had just had one a couple months prior, and I should be next!
I was so MAD at myself for reacting that way. It was the first tearful reaction I have had on this journey that completely caught me off-guard and left me feeling ashamed. I've cried at the sight of pregnant women I don't know. I've cried watching kids at play. I've cried hearing a nurse tell some woman over the phone that she should go buy a pregnancy test because her progesterone levels looked promising. I've cried listening to the way parents talk about their kids (good or bad).
I no longer trust myself to have socially appropriate responses, especially when little miracles are involved.
So, I wasn't sure how the hospital visit would go.
But I am happy to report that I ONLY felt joy with that little one in my arms. She is beautifully perfect. I felt joy when I saw my brother and sister-in-law's tired smiles. I felt joy that everyone was healthy!! (Their road to a family of four was no walk-in-the-park...a tragic 21 week infant loss and an extremely high-risk pregnancy that resulted in my nephew).
Later, looking back on the visit, I realized that for the first time this holiday season, I felt Christmas-y.
I was humbled. Awe-struck. Captivated. Joy-filled by the mere presence of a baby...
Isn't that what Christmas is all about? Not presents, but the presence of a miraculous baby in our midst. A baby who was an entirely different magnitude of miracle?
I may not be holding my baby this Christmas, but I will be seeking and relishing that joy that is found in the miracles that surround me...for we were all once babies.