I brought home my first arts and crafts project from Ella today as a Valentine's Day gift. At daycare, they made each mom a little flower with a heart in the center that had their baby's footprints in it. They gave it to me when I went at lunch to feed her, and as I drove away, it occurred to me that this is just the first of many arts and crafts projects to come. I need to find a good keepsake box for all of them.
I got my construction paper heart this year, but it was around this time last year that I was anxiously awaiting my first ultrasound and praying that I would see a real heart. My appointment with the RE was scheduled for February 16th, and I may have even told my husband that all I wanted for Valentine's Day was to see a heartbeat. God answered my prayers, and I'll never forget the relief that came when I saw that little flicker of Ella's beating heart.
We all know that the heart has come to symbolize "love", but those of us who have survived losses recognize that the heart truly symbolizes "life". My heart broke time and time and time again with each loss, but God helped me to find the strength to piece it back together. And in doing so, I think that my own capacity to love and appreciate life grew. God is so good in giving me the desires of my heart. Even now, I am overwhelmed with emotion when I feel Ella's little heart beating or when I put my ear to her chest and listen to the tiny "thump-thump; thump-thump".
As for my blessing, it would be too cliche to say that my husband is my Valentine's Day blessing. Rather, a very sweet friend surprised me at work this afternoon to bring me a little bag of candy. It was very thoughtful, totally unexpected, and was really the highlight of my busy afternoon.