Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I miss my sister!

My sister wrote the following story for her ward's Chicken Soup for the Soul in Philly. I am so blessed to have a sister like her. I look up to her so much and can only hope that I am as good of a mom as she has been to my little buddy, Ayden. (Who I get to see in less than 3 weeks! YIPEE!) Thank you Charise, you are the best!

The Perfect Mother

Growing up I always dreamed of being a mother. I would picture myself as a young vibrant woman with at least three kids. I envisioned my children all dressed perfectly, my home as immaculate, and I was in the best shape of my life while always dressed with style and flair.

We now fast forward to me at 32. I’m giving birth to my first child which in fact didn’t fit with my vision or plan. In my plan I should have had my first child nine years ago.

The day that my baby boy was born was amazing as it is with all mothers. But that night my son decided that he was not going to go to sleep unless his mommy held him and I finally had to beg the nurses to take him so I could catch at least four hours of sleep. At that moment I knew that my life has changed drastically.

Since that day my world has been filled with self doubt and disappointment. I found myself more sleep deprived then I thought was humanly possible. I had either spit up or snot in my washed three days ago hair. I was not dressed in style or with any flair. In fact I was lucky to get out of the sweats that I had become fond of wearing. And I definitely did not have a perfectly clean home all of the time. I started to wonder every day if I really was meant to be a mother. I loved my son with all of my heart but I kept comparing my real life to the one that I had pictured when I was young and naive. It felt like I was in a competition with my expectations of what I should be… a perfect mother and it was obvious that I was loosing.

A year after my son was born something happened that changed my outlook on being a mother. My younger sister got pregnant after trying for two and a half years and finally investing in the In Vitro procedure. This procedure took all of her savings plus some but we all felt that it was well worth it. We were all thrilled!
She had the most difficult pregnancy that I have ever seen.. She was sick and uncomfortable most of the time but she didn’t complain.

The day that she was to find out the sex of the baby brought the worst news ever. Her baby girl had a lethal disorder that would end her life as soon as she was born. With this news they gave my sister the option to abort the pregnancy. She would not even think of doing such a thing to her daughter because of her faith and knowledge of the gospel. I found so much strength and respect for her because of her choice.

She pushed through the sickness and fatigue and the day that her daughter decided she was ready to be born two months early, my sister tried everything to keep her from coming. The medication they gave her to stop the labor made her have dangerously high blood pressure and swelling which kept her immobile but my sister would suffer to the fullest just to give her daughter a fighting chance to live… even if it was for only a few moments.

Despite trying to stop the labor, she soon gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl that I have ever seen. Being there with her while she gave birth and experiencing the sadness and loss that was felt when that baby’s lifeless body was handed to my sister overwhelmed me. I was in awe as I watched my sister talk to her daughter about how brave she is, how beautiful she is, and that she is so proud of her for fighting like she did. She told her that she would see her soon in heaven. The room that was filled with sadness and loss before was now filled with the spirit and we all felt peace and hope.

At that moment I realized that it doesn’t really matter how perfect my home is or how my clothes or my hair looks. It doesn’t matter if were always right on schedule or if we look good to others. What really matters is that I was blessed beyond measure to have a healthy child to hold and to love. What matters is that I never take my son for granted and love him with Christ like love. My sisters love for her daughter lives on everyday and it is an example to me of what being a “perfect mother” is.

This is dedicated to Candice and to our angel Avery.


Jeremy & Chaundra Strickland said...

Wow...this brought tears to my eyes.

Never forgetting Gregory said...

This is amazing. I'm crying over here. You both sound like amazing women and I'm glad you have each other.



Amy Jo said...

What a bond you two must have! That was so beautiful and a great tribute to both you and Avery. You both are blessed to have eachother.

diana said...

Dear Candi,
I am in tears, but I've been so almost every time I read you speaking of your beautiful, wonderful Avery. I need to tell you that you've taught me a few things in life, and for that I am grateful to you and to Avery. Once you said that roles reversed, your baby was to guide you to salvation, instead of the other way around. Candi, you've been one of the builders of my road to salvation.

Clare Dungey said...

Perfectly said. Beautiful and thoughtful.

Lightning Strikes said...

I just want to tell you that I love reading your blog. Your sister sounds like she is amazing, just like you! You always write such amazing blog entries! (By the way I'm Skeet's cousin, Meisha and I am glad that we have you in the family!)

Lane said...

Ugh, wow. That was powerful.

PS - I swear I drove next to your identical twin today.