There have been so many things on my mind lately, it's hard to sort it all out. Having so many thoughts with free reign over my brain space has had me in creativity-overload. "Oh, sounds fun!" you might be thinking. The problem with creativity-overload, however, is that the thoughts can't get put into motion. The brain becomes so over-stimulated, that the body just shuts down. I can't sleep through the night like I was, I am not getting near as much done around the house as I (need to) thought, and the ideas are just swimming around, bumping in to each other, causing fights when priorities are vying for the shotgun seat. So I sit and think about a lot of things, and that is sometimes as far as I get.
This week has been a big one for personal reflection. Sunday night, our Women's Ministry team at church provided an amazingly powerful program in their spring kick-off event. I emceed, and if there was ever a time I felt completely under-qualified and out-of-sync, it was then. I'm just a goofball who loves to get up in front of people and speak because it mostly means I don't have to do uncomfortable one-on-one conversations (despite your recollection of me, I am certainly more an introvert in regard to personal relationships). Sunday, however, was just a huge dose of God's grace and might, and I cried in front of 120 people. Yes, I blamed the pregnancy hormones, but really they had nothing to do with it. I was so moved, and so touched, and so ...... overwhelmed with God's love, I just lost it right there at the microphone. Twice. And I'm not sure about you, but when I cry, it drains me of all energy and I need to sleep for three days to recover. Obviously that can't happen. I'm lucky to sleep for three hour chunks at this point. Let me tell you, though, God showed up BIG in that auditorium Sunday night, and I'm still trying to process all the answers to prayer I witnessed, and the many hearts I watched as they were freed from guilt and despair. I wasn't the only one shedding tears to be sure, I was just the only one doing it in front of everyone else.
Monday was another OB appointment, and I was in the hospital for four hours. Between the ultrasound, the labs, the non-stress test, and meeting with the doctor, I was inside those walls for half my day. The non-stress test has become, by far, the most stressful part of every appointment. Little Man likes to play a game called "withhold my heartbeat from the fetal monitor" and it's a struggle to find. Every. Single. Time. Even when I can feel him moving while they're trying to find his heart rate, I can't help but feel that bit of panic rise within me. Those sounds, the looks on the nurses faces - they all take me back to the night of April 9th, when we learned of Harlynn's death. Naturally, then, I'm not the only one who is stressed by these non-stress tests. Here the nurses and doctor are trying to keep me calm and relaxed, and they can't find the heartbeat. Since it does happen every single time, I've trained myself to be expectant of it, and to convince myself it is nothing to worry about. Eventually they'll find it. Of course, this is easy to do when I can feel him moving around at the same time they're searching for it. I will say these next 11 weeks, while they can't go fast enough, will simultaneously be a slow and agonizing wait. We just want to meet you, Little Man. We want to hold you and hear you cry and bring you home, and then you can be a turd every single day. I'll revel in your turd-i-ness. Just get here healthy. Don't give me reason to fret. Of course after the appointment, I had to pick Little Miss up from her play-date, which she was none too happy to leave. I was so completely drained of any and all energy by the time I got home, I conformed my tush to the cushions of the sofa, and I passed out. Brent took care of dinner, and I took care of nothing other than dozing in and out of consciousness.
Yesterday was an emotional day in its own rite. Last week I had the privilege of meeting with a pretty big deal here in town, to ask for some mentorship and help in getting Harlynn's Heart on the right track for the year and for going forward. This person didn't know me from Eve, is the CEO of a major financial institution in town, and then called me himself (not even asking his assistant to call me) to schedule a meeting. What?! I sat in his office and told our story, and what we were hoping to do, but how we didn't know how to do it. He listened and empathized, and it was all I could do not to throw my arms around his neck and cry tears of thanks and appreciation into his suited shoulder. He asked, "So what is your connection with us?" and I admitted I had none. Two years ago I sat in my 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership program, he was on the male panel we had as guest speakers that day, and I knew in about a quarter of a second, he was one of the most genuine, down-to-earth, compassionate souls that walked this ground. I was even seated next to someone who worked for his company and asked, "Is he as much a dream to work for as he seems?" and she testified he was. When I told him it was that encounter two years ago that brought him to the forefront of my mind to seek out now, he was greatly humbled. But he needn't be - he is the real deal. He told me he would contact someone at an organization here in town to give us the help and direction we needed, and he committed a sizable donation - that I didn't ask for, or expect. I was blown away. Blown away. So yesterday, I had a meeting with his contact - another big deal here in town. For an hour and twenty minutes I talked and brainstormed with this gentleman, and could not believe the support and encouragement he was providing. I kept telling myself I was going to get Michelle a shirt with the words "The Little Organization That Could." Folks, after meeting with him, I can tell you Harlynn's Heart is going to do big things, and help a lot of people. We're not fading away. Our emotional investment is here to stay, and it will be benefiting families far outside the boundaries of Fargo in months and years to come. I was just in total awe after yesterday's meeting. I could not believe that small potatoes like us, just doing what we think we can do, would garner such support from such big-wigs in such short order. I am so excited and encouraged thinking about where this will go, and who we have already helped and will continue to help now. Will you join us in praying about it?
I had to wait all day yesterday before being able to go to Michelle's house and tell her all about the meeting and how amazing it was, and how afterwards I just sat in my van and cried. To know that my little girl lives on through this little vision of Michelle's is just so powerful to me. I can't rightly put it in to words. But as she and I shed tears over it at her kitchen table last night, it wasn't out of sadness. It was out of hope and encouragement and just being moved to know that our little baby, our little Harlynn, brought two strangers together, who will combine efforts and talents to help a bazillion or more people in the coming months and years. Don't ever think you don't matter, or you're insignificant, or your ideas aren't worthwhile. Our little Harlynn, who never took a breath outside my womb, has changed the course of our metro and beyond. You are worthwhile. You are significant. There is hope for you.
Now, as I sip the last of my first cup of decaf this morning, my mind is starting to clutter again with the tasks I need to accomplish today, and the projects I need to organize, and the work I need to complete. It's only Wednesday, but I'm more than just halfway through a week; I'm headlong into our new normal.
Also, for your viewing pleasure, a picture of the cutest big sister in the universe, and a window into life from her perspective.