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The days surrounding June 2nd 2010 were a total whirlwind of emotions; excitement, concern, love, thankfulness, pride, wonder, praise, more love, more concern and complete and total exhaustion.  My 20 year old was going to have a planned C-section on this blissful morning and I was blessed and honored to be in the room when precious little Addison Miller Clay graced us with her precious present with a joyful cry to the world. 

We were told months earlier that Princess Addison was going to be super special, she was to be born with spina bifida.  A disease that can cause a multitude of issues and complications, mostly concerning her ability to walk.  After a time of grief, accepting the fact that we were not going to be blessed with not a ‘normal’ child but a blessed special child, we faced what our new normal was to be head on, together as a family with God and His wisdom guiding us. 

The night before Addison was to bless us with her presence, of course I didn’t sleep at all with the exctiement and anticipation of the day to come.  I all ready knew full well it was going to be an incredibly busy day, but with God, my husband, my mom and good friends Audrey and Linette, I was ready to be the rock my little girl needed for me to be for her.  Of course, that was after we waited, and waited.  Savannah was scheduled to go in for her C-section I think at 7:30, but didn’t go into the operating room until 9:30, I believe.  And finally Addison made her presence at 10:13 AM.  We had all ready arranged that once Addison was out and she was to make her way to the NICU, I was to stay with her and when Savannah was stitched and stable she would join us. 

She was healthy and strong and almost a full pound bigger than they had estimated with the last ultrasound.  She also had the less severe form of spina bifida than previously predicted as well, which could meant possible more use of her legs.  I remember seeing the big sac on her back that looked like a bloated egg.  This bloated egg that in a few short hours they would be removing from her body and leaving a Y shaped battle scar on her back. 

About an hour later, they finally wheeled Savannah into the NICU to officially meet her precious girl and a multitude of emotions swept over her and as her mommy, I loved her and comforted her and reassured her as a mommy does in any situation.  The excitement of telling my husband that we had 5.5 pound miracle, chills rush over my body as I remember that precious moment. 

5 hours after Addison’s birth she was to be taken over to Children’s Hospital, which by ambulance from University is about a 2 minute drive.  But we had all ready arranged as a family that my husband would stay with Savannah and I would go with Addison, but I had to leave my baby behind, not be there to protect her and make sure the doctors and nurses are doing everything exactly perfect.  I had a different role today, I was the grandma that had to make sure all that was done with this new life.

We got to Children’s and of course there was a whirlwind of activity and constant monitoring.  But as I sat beside her and she held on for dear life onto my finger with her precious little hand, the noise, the whirldwind, it all faded away.  All I could see was here little chest rising, her precious little lips overwhelmed by a pacifier she was sucking on.  I could only hear the tiniest little noises she made, as if she was humming.  And as I sat there telling her how special she was and how proud I was of her and how strong she was, she looked at me as if she understood exactly what her grandma was saying.

12 hours after Addison was born, she went into surgery to repair and close the opening in her back.  I had the support of my mommy and my dear friend Audrey, but initially I felt so completely alone as I watched them wheel her away to face one of the biggest fights of her life.  I knew God was with her and He was holding me up as I was so exhausted and so much in love with this little girl.  I was supposed to be in there with her, fighting this fight for her, she shouldnt have to go through this without her grandma. 

A few hours later her neurosurgeon came out and told us the good news, Addison came through the surgery like a champ, it went better than expected and we could see her now.  I practically ran to see for myself she was doing okay.  But the sight that I saw…was far from what I expected.  Lying on her little bed was this little peanut of a thing, lying on her stomach, her incision uncovered for all the world to see.  She had the most horrendous bruises surrounding her incision, mostly on her upper buttcheeks from all the pulling of the muscles the doctor had to do for the repair.  I was horrified and I broke down and wept.  And at that time, I was so glad my little girl wasn’t there to see this ugliness on such a precious little life.  I wanted to protect my baby from seeing her baby like this.  Addison looked so helpless, hooked up to so many machines, tubes everywhere and her body seemingly lifeless as she slept in a drug induced sleep. 

Hours later, after my mom and friend had left and it was just me and Addison and the constant whirl of  nurses and doctors, I could barely keep my eyes open and finally gave in and went to get a few hours of sleep in one of the rooms they had set up for me.  I don’t think my head hit the pillow before I was out.

About 4 or 5 hours I arose and lept out of bed, excited and nervous to see our little Addison.  I quickly changed and just wanted to brush my teeth…but my toothbrush was nowhere to be found.  My heart sank, I don’t know about you, but it just does not feel right to face anyone in any type of situation with stinky morning breath.  So I did the best I could with the toothpaste I had and my finger and a washcloth, at least I was a little better.

Anxiously preparing myself for what I was to see, I prayed to God for the strength in seeing Princess Addison as helpless and lifeless as she looked last night.  And the sight before me was one of God’s greatest gifts He has ever given me.  Even though she was still sleeping from all the drugs, somehow there was more lilfe in this body.  And those nasty black and purple bruises that covered her had slightly faded in the last hours.  I could believe it!  I cried with joy and I couldn’t wait to tell Savannah and Doug and the whole world how she looked and how incredibly strong she is!  I sat with her for a few hours and still in her sleep, she held onto my finger for dear life and I told her all the secrets of the world.  We prayed to God together and thanked Him for His amazing blessings and the infinite amount of strength He included in the forming of her life.

I finally decided it was time to pull myself away and go take a shower.  I needed to wash all the emotions, the raggedness feeling I had, rejuvenate my body and soul.  I turned on the water and began to cry as I felt the warm water pounding on my head and I thanked God for the gift of a shower.  I felt the strength rise within me with each drop.  I found my shampoo and once again thanked God for the preciousness that is shampoo.  Sometimes nothing feels better than a fresh clean head as if you can feel all the negativity rush down the drain.  I looked in my shower bag for my conditioner…and what was that?  No, really?  My toothbrush!!!!! With the precious clean water still beating down my head, I got down on my knees and thank my precious Lord for that toothbrush.  I had soooo much to be thankful for, a strong young woman of steel, a new mommy-my baby; I had a beautiful, strong granddaughter just like her mommy and now, now I had my toothbrush.  How amazing is My God, that throughout all of this, He would make sure I would be provided of the simplest of things, a toothbrush.  I wept, I rejoiced and thanked Him over and over for blessing me with so many amazing gifts, how could I deserve them?  I realized I had my toothpaste and covered my beautiful toothbrush and brushed my teeth for real this time.  With each brush, each tear I thanked Him again and told Him how much I loved Him and this rejuvenation of my soul, I knew as I embarked unto this new world He prepared for us, I had Him right beside me, even if I had to look a little, He would carry me, walk with me, hold my hand, be a reminder of His love in the most simplest of things. 

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As I’m making my way in this beautiful, blessed world, I find that I have many profound thoughts rattling around in my head…well profound to me anyway. If you are reading this you probably know me personally and know how crazy my life is, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. God has sent me on this wild and crazy ride, full of blessings and struggles that lead to blessings. Some of these struggles I’ve all ready realized are blessings and some I’m still waiting for that revelation.

I’m constantly reminded of the Lords’ infinite power, wisdom, grace and love and He has blessed me with in a physical example in the form of a 14 month old little princess. Of course I see it in my husbands’ eyes, my mother’s touch, x the roof over my head and such, all those things we all take for granted. But with Princess Addison I find it difficult to take what He has given me for granted…well most of the time anyway.

My ponderings, ramblings and general bibble babble is called Lines in the Clay. The title was given to me by my good friend Naomi, who is an incredible blessed pain in the butt and got me going on doing this. (Thanks Naomi).

And as I go about my life God has set before me, I feel as though with each step I’m crossing barriers and lines that I though I would never be able to cross. As I’m walking I’m creating a new path for hopefully Addison to follow in her own way, as if I’m drawing a map for her to discover for herself.

I pray that Addison will be able to read this some day and feel the incredible, unending love I have for her, being able to share her life with her and understand my love for her and her incredible spirit is an unbelievable blessing. She will discover the passion I hold for this great country, the men and women who fight and defend it and it’s freedoms it possesses. She will appreciate they respect I have for agriculture and the people who preserve the way of life they and I hold dear. And finally I pray she follows the path I stumble through and embrace the love I have for our Lord and find for herself her own love and passion and eternal life He holds for her.

And so I begin…

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Psalm 109:8

I saw a bumper sticker recently that read “Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8”  And the text reads: “May his days be few, may another take his job.” May we all sing praises when that blessed day arrives!