A journey of hope and healing after a decade of infertility and two maternal near-misses.

Fill Up Your Cup

This past Monday, we took advantage of the glorious 50 degree day by spending the afternoon outside. We walked and scooted for over three hours at the park near our home with many stops along the way to explore the riverbed. We dug in the sand. We threw rocks in the water. We had dirt under our fingernails and loved every second of it. We talked about erosion, the water cycle and the seasons. He's so curious about the world around him. I love how much he learns from our small adventures outside. His vocabulary continuously explodes in ways that astonish me and his interest in things like the three states of matter makes his scientist momma awfully proud. It's actually one of his favorite things to talk about.

"Momma, I love spending time with you."

And yes, my heart swoons every time his little voice says it. These moments with Nathan... I treasure them. He's my little side kick. It's such a precious phase of motherhood and I bask in it, fully know how fleeting it is. To see him grow up at all, there is so much privilege in that. The gratitude just can’t help itself. It bubbles up and overflows every time.

We wandered farther along the path and eventually arrived at the waterfall to eat our snack as the afternoon sun slipped behind the trees. It's the beginning of February but the warm breeze that swept across our faces made it feel like spring. Today felt different besides the weather too, like it was meant to be acknowledged somehow. Then, on the rock beach it dawned on me. I learned this precious child, my cute little side kick, was growing in my belly five years ago. I got the surprise of my life that day. I feel like I say it often: it's funny how subconsciously you remember these days and it takes the mind a bit to catch up. What a life changing day it was! Seeing and feeling how far we've come in five years, the battles we've emerged from... how along came this little miracle and no day was ever ordinary again... I couldn't help but breathe deep and whisper "thank you".

"Momma, are you sad?" 

(This boy has the profound ability to read me. I've never witnessed a young child this in tune with adult emotions without a word uttered.)  

"I'm not sad. I'm just really thankful to be here with you. God has shown us great mercy."

And with that, my mind immediately went to a passage I've known since I was a little girl. It's just taken me thirty years to feel the fullness of it.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23

And that's just it. After all we’ve been through, even with all the grief... He restores my soul and my cup runs over. 

The deep gratitude, it bubbles up and overflows every time.

Mood: Beyond grateful
Music: Oceans (Where Feet May Fall)- Bethel Music

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Related posts about maternal morbidity and survivorship:

Our Story Part 5: God Remembered Me

This Isn't How It's Supposed To Be
Buckle Up!

About the Author: Casey Cattell struggled with infertility for more than a decade before giving birth to her son in 2015. She is a two time maternal near-miss survivor writing to give hope to women in the midst of these hardships. She is a patient advocate, Heroes For Moms Ambassador, survivor support group leader and has shared her story with many organizations and media outlets, including the Empowered Health Podcast and the National Blood Clot Alliance. She is also a contributing chapter author to Nobody Told Me About That-The First Six Weeks, a book aimed at helping new families navigate the early weeks of postpartum. Casey and her husband live in the Northeast, USA and in their downtime they like to hike with their young son. If you liked this post or were encouraged by it, please consider sharing it. Find Casey on Instagram and Twitter.

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