This may have been the first photo taken of Lily, literally right after she was born. The time stamped on it may very well be 4:24 p.m.
The moment is so clearly etched forever in my memory, when her perfectly formed body was delivered into this world, no longer a part of my body, after all those months with her as my constant companion, my budding flower.
Here's this moment we dream of all our lives, we who since diapers ourselves were caring for our baby dolls with a desire to one day have a real baby of our own nestled in our hearts.
Those dreams never consist of how March 16, 2010 unfolded for me. How in that miraculous moment when a new life emerges from the womb, that instead of being greeted by shouts of delight and celebration over sweet newborn cries and a scrunched-up face and curled-up body, we see our loved child, who we also have imagined meeting for months, once so full of life within us, now lifeless, limp, and silent. That somehow deafening silence that pierces your heart. All you hear are your own wails and pleads to God to please make this all be just a bad nightmare that you'll eventually wake up from.
When Lily was born, they held up her perfect little body and I gasped in adoration and heartbreak all at once. And the tears seemed they'd never cease.
The love overshadowed the pain in that moment when they placed her on my chest, right around the time this picture was taken. I gentle cradles her delicate form and held her little hand in mine, almost like I'd hurt her if I wasn't careful. But it was only my heart that was hurting. And she would never be hurt by anything in this world.
I held her and I reveled in the beauty of her most angelic features and how she looked like my mini. I rejoiced that I was given the gift of her life and the joy of the adventure of carrying her for nearly 4 seasons. I sobbed. I clung to Jesus, and find myself still clinging because I know He is the only One who has carried me for the 7 years without that hand wrapped around mine. He is a good, good Father, who gave me the gift of a baby, my baby who changed everything. ❤️