Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Anna Ruth

"It is no slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us." Charles Dickens

Six months ago today you were born. So many joys I have captured in my heart these past six months, Little One. It must be true that a Mother's love is never ending, ever able to embrace more, love more, for just as with your Papa and big brothers, I am able to love you with what seems like my whole heart. From the very beginning, you have been a most precious jewel, loved and doted on by all of us.

You are a sweet and gentle spirit, patient and kind, even as a little baby. Your name, Anna, is derived from the Hebrew name Hannah and means gracious and merciful. Ruth is also a Hebrew name meaning friendship. You were named after me and also your Grandpa B's cousin Ruth, a dear Christian woman who passed away the year before you were born. You have embodied the meaning of your name since birth.....gracious and merciful friendship, for you are the sweetest and most gentle baby imaginable....patient, rarely crying, frequent to smile with your sweet, joyful smile, sparkling big blue eyes, rosy pink cheeks, and long, curly eyelashes which you blink ever so slowly. You are happy for long periods of time, wherever we put you, and are content to entertain yourself...though you show great joy with a deliciously big sparkling smile every time anyone comes over to talk to you. You make it so easy to be your Mama.

You were born on November 7, 2009. The night before your birth, all of your grandparents and our close family and friends were at our house to celebrate your big brothers' 4th and 2nd birthdays. We had a lovely time and your brothers enjoyed having a special party just for them. It was as if you and God had it all planned...waiting until everyone was in town and letting your brothers have their special day before making your entrance. That's just the gentle, giving spirit you seem to have, even as a baby. I had been having mild contractions that day following my 41 week exam, where I was dilated to 4 cm. Just as the party was ending, my contractions seemed to be getting more regular. Papa and I went for a walk with Justin, Becca, Randy, and Allison over in the neighbors long driveway, and during the course of a 45 minute walk, my contractions became more regular. As our friends departed their ways, Papa and I headed to the hospital with Grandpa and Grandma B. Caleb and Emet stayed at home with Auntie Sharla, excitedly wearing their new Big Brother pajamas from Grandma B.
They checked me in for admission and I was 5-6 cm dilated and 90% effaced. I had decided to do a water labor instead of having an epidural as I had before. The water really helped the labor process and I wanted to listen to instrumental Christmas music (the Peaceful Christmas album) over and over and over. Your Papa is a very patient man! By 1:30am, I was at 8cm. By around 2:30am the pain was very intense. In fact, I might have said the pain was intolerable at the time! You were born at 3:31am, weighing 8lbs 15oz and 19.5 inches long with a 36cm head circumference (in other words - large, as 32 is average!) Giving birth to you was the most excruciatingly painful experience of my life thus far. I can still see the hospital bed handrail I was gripping so tightly as if it would somehow save my very life!

They laid you directly on my chest. I snuggled you close to me, but I was so tired and shaking with exhaustion that I couldn't even open my eyes for more than a second at a time to look at you. I remember trying over and over, but I couldn't stop shaking or open my eyes. So, I just nuzzled you close and as long as I patted you on the back, you didn't cry.

Our hospital stay was fairly short and quiet, because all of the hospitals in the area were worried about the spread of the H1N1 virus. All of your grandparents were allowed to come, but none of our friends, so we headed home on Sunday so that Auntie Sharla could see you before heading home and our friends and family could come and meet you!

Caleb and Emet were so excited when we pulled into the driveway. I can still see them jumping up and down in the window wearing the Big Brother shirts that Allie had bought them and peering excitedly into your car seat to see their new baby sister. Caleb wanted so badly to hold you, so that is one of the first things you did when you got home is to be held by your big brother Caleb, with Emet sitting right next to him, showing you his new toys he had received for his birthday.

I can't believe how quickly the past six months have gone bye, Anna Ruth. How I have wanted to forever capture so many precious moments within these walls of words. There are times in life of which we may forget the specifics, but I truly believe that each of those tender moments that are so poignant at the time must leave an indelible impression on our very soul, leaving us forever changed.

Some of the things I remember most vividly from the past six months I'll try to capture, but endless pages could not capture all of the precious moments I have marked on my heart...

  • Nursing you late at night, then sitting in front of a roaring fireplace with you snuggled in fetal position on my chest, so tiny and little. I would often sit there until the wee hours of the morning holding you close to me, feeling your breath on my chest and your little body rise and fall with sleep.

  • Papa sleeping on the couch and having you cuddled close on his chest. He so wanted to soak up every minute he could get with you once he came home from work as your big brothers often dominated his time until they were tucked into bed.

  • Caleb holding you with the nursing pillow propping you up to keep you safe and close to him on the couch. He loves to touch your little face with his, giving you gentle kisses and nuzzling you.

  • Allie's Gramps holding you days after you arrived from Heaven...and days before he went to Heaven, like two ships passing in the night

  • You playing baby Jesus in the Christmas play. You did so well! We were proud of you.

  • Emet glowing with pride and joy and excitement when you smile or coo at him

  • Emet pronouncing your name, "Anna Roof"

  • How the boys call you "Missy" and "Sissy"

  • Papa's call: Anna.....(everyone else says...."Roooooof")

  • How you stare at us with your enormous blue eyes, then ever so slowly bat your long, beautiful eyelashes

  • Your first smile on Christmas Eve!

  • Your first cooing noises in early January....and you have cooed and wooed us ever since!

  • How quickly you took off, growing and growing and growing...You're my big girl!

  • In mid February, you began laughing out loud. Your car seat in the middle row faces Caleb and Emet's in the back row. Caleb started trying to make you smile and you started chuckling at him. He was so proud to be the first to make you laugh!

  • In early March, you transitioned from sucking your fist, to finding your thumb...and that thumb has been your close friend ever since! You mostly suck your left thumb, and it's almost always when you are really tired or really hungry. Every time we lay you down for a nap, you immediately find your thumb and close your eyes - turning your head to the right and up in what looks to be a very uncomfortable position!

  • On your 5 month birthday, you had your first real tears streaming down your face when crying. How this broke your Mama's heart!

  • A week later at Grandma and Grandpa B's house, you rolled from your tummy to your back...and about a week later from your back to your tummy.

  • Every time we put you in your little mini crib to sleep now, you reach up and pull down both little white teddy bears that hang from the canopy.

  • When you wake from sleeping, you'll often just find your thumb and happily remain in your crib until someone comes to find you. What a blessing you are to a Mama of two busy little boys!

  • You love to look at books!! I have noticed this for a couple of months you seem to very intently look at the pictures of any stories we are reading. I think you'll love to read someday.

  • You're a great observer, slowly turning toys in your hands to look at them.

  • Storytime before nap time. I sit you in your baby bumbo seat in front of the wood stove in between Caleb and Emet, and the three of you face me as I read you stories - one for each of you. You seem so interested in the books! And each of your brothers scoots as close to you as possible.

  • When we give you a bath, your little rolls are everywhere! You are so cute! Then we dress you in warm, fuzzy pajamas, with little bunnies or teddy bears on them. Your sweet smelling skin and duck fluffy clean hair make you irresistible.

  • Calling you Ru, Ru-Bear, Tiny Bear, and Mama's Princess.

  • Your two bottom front teeth poking through as of a few days ago. So cute. You have barely even cried during this teething.

  • You look just like my baby pictures. You're Mama's little girl!! I love you!!

Sweet baby girl, here are a million special things I haven't captured in these words. However, one thing is for have stolen our hearts. We love you and look forward to so many more special memories as you grow into the beautiful little girl God has made you to be. Happy 1/2 birthday!

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, Ann and something I hope Anna Ruth will keep and cherish when she's older.
    Things I remember about Anna:
    -Getting "belly pictures" with her mama during our pregnancies with Anna and Austin.
    -Walking with her mama during labor and timing contractions.
    -Coming over the night she was taken home from the hospital and celebrating her arrival.
    -Pre-arranging her future marriage with Austin (how bless he would be if that REALLY happened someday). :)
    -Having Anna and Austin playing and watching them hold hands
    -Watching Austin's face LITERALLY light up when he see's her (who can blame him)?

    She's no doubt a blessing from God and a wonderful, charming little girl. Happy 1/2 Birthday, Anna Ruth!