“How can that be?” was the first thing that popped in to my mind as the physician continued her examination. “Wait a minute here! My appointment was just for an annual check and pap! You’re telling me that I’m pregnant? Holy Cow!”
“Does that cost extra?!”
“Well, let’s just see.” She tells me as she is performing the uncomfortable and awkward exam we women face annually. I’m thinking, “What? Can she see something in there? Hello!? How does she know that?” Again, I ask “How can that be?”
After a giggle, she explains that the appearance of my cervix indicated a possible pregnancy. I’m thinking, “Wait a minute! How did you do that? Does she see a baby in there?! How could I be pregnant?!” Well… let’s just say she giggled – again! In the meantime, she proceeds to instruct me to take a little cup in to the bathroom and provide the ever friendly urine sample.
“Yes! You’re pregnant! Since you’re already here, why don’t we go ahead and confirm this with a quick blood test. And we’ll go from there.”
It was June 12, 1989. I was 23 years old and barely married one year.
Eight weeks prior I had my wisdom teeth extracted and felt nauseous from what I thought was the pain medication. Like they say, it only takes one time and, well, you just heard the rest! You should have heard my mom when I called her from Chicago and told her, “Mom, I’m not sure how it happened; but you’re going to be a Grandma!”
Sometime later, on a January 17, 1990, I gave birth by emergency cesarean section to a beautiful 6 pound 4 ounce baby girl! She had a mop top of curly brown hair and I named her Caitlin Renee (my middle name too)! A baby!
My baby! You see, I was completely unprepared for the experience of motherhood. I was completely separated from family in an enormous city hundreds of miles from home. And I was completely scared. As the time passed until Caity’s birth, I was completely unsure exactly what I would do with a baby, of all things!
Until she arrived! When she finally got here (which was actually a month early in the midst of a Chicago winter), the nurse handed this tiny bundle over to me, and she was beautiful and completely mine! I was overwhelmed with the miracle of pregnancy and birth! All worries melted away as she placed this precious little angel in my arms.
My arms…. Here, in my arms was my daughter, so small, so cute, and sooooo tiny. I unwrapped her from that hospital blanket so that I could see everything. And I mean everything! Yes, she’s a girl alright! Ewe… she peed on me, already! Look at those tiny toes and fingers. I remember on our first introduction, I cuddled Caity close and saw that her arm was only as long as my finger. My pointer finger, to be exact. That’s it. How could someone have such small arms? I just measured, and that is a whopping 2 ½ inches. An arm! Just 2 ½ inches!
Now, nearly 21 years later, that same tiny arm has traveled on mission trips to Trinidad and Mexico; studied in Italy with college; traveled to New Orleans to build houses for Katrina victims; scooped lots of ice cream at a shop in town; played clarinet in high school and college concert bands; participated on the tennis team; held numerous books; and now, holds the hand of a young man named Brian from Elkins, West Virginia.
You see, this same tiny hand I unwrapped the day she was born, now bears a diamond ring! Just this Thanksgiving holiday, Brian came and asked for our blessing to give Caity an engagement ring for Christmas. Talk about a hard secret to keep for a month!!
And, just a few days from now, Caity will turn 21. I find it hard to believe that time has passed so quickly. But, before she walks down the aisle to add a wedding band to the end of that tiny arm, she’ll graduate from college with both a Bachelors and MBA. As I sit here looking out my kitchen window, I find much the same emotions as the day I drove away from Widmeyer Elementary on Levi’s adventure to first grade (see School Runs and Baby Jesus). Sounds crazy, right!? Do I worry? Yes. Am I scared?
Yet, I am so excited to see just what God has in store for Caity. I remember the first time she traveled half way around the world to work at the orphanage in Trinidad and I panicked so that my knees quivered and I literally felt sick. It’s hard when one’s children go away from home, whether it is to the mailbox or to another country!
Then God responded, again. He told me that Caity is doing His work and I need not worry. He will take care of her. “Promise?” I asked. “Promise!”
What more could a mom ask for? Our baby girl has a true heart for Jesus and the one thing I know for sure that will be found in her adult hands, now with a ring on it, is His Holy Bible. As a mom, I find such tremendous comfort in God’s promise. I will, however, pray the “mom” prayer again. I’ll ask God to shadow my baby girl, to follow her through life, and to let my Caity feel His gentle touch for comfort no matter how far away from home life takes her. Again, “ I prayed that I really could ‘invisibly’ be with each of my babies, whether they are only 5 or 55, as they each meet struggles. No matter how old they get, they will always be my babies, right?”
Then I realized something. In a way, I was wrong… because, I am just a steward of our Father God and these children are but mine for a short time to love and care for. And when I fret about her future, I remember this:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Happy 21st Birthday Caity!
Copyright © Angie Hott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved