On the 16th of this month Leah will be gone from this earth 9 months – approximately the same length of time that I carried her in my womb. In some ways being pregnant doesn’t even seem that long ago.
I worked part-time in Strabane during Leah’s pregnancy, and my sister in law looked after Rachel. My bump was so big before I left work that my work colleagues joked about me going into labour at work.
On my days off I enjoyed time with Rachel and I took her to and from Ebrington Nursery. I was constantly too warm during Leah’s pregnancy so I loved heading across the school playground without a coat on the frosty mornings.
I prayed and prayed that I wouldn’t go into labour over Christmas, as I desperately wanted to spend Christmas Day with Horace and Rachel. I really wanted to be there to see Rachel open her presents. I used to be just as excited as the children on Christmas morning.
My mum was staying with us to be there for Rachel whenever the time came for me to go into hospital. Thankfully Mum lived long enough to meet and enjoy all her grandchildren.
Early on New Year’s Eve morning the labour pains started. I quietly slipped out of bed so as not to disturb Horace. I ran a warm bath and I sat in it doing my breathing exercises. When the contractions were getting closer together, I woke my husband and my mum.
I then had to wait while Horace ate his breakfast. By now labour was in full swing and my mother was seriously worried that she was going to be delivering this baby. At 7.30am I slipped a note through my neighbour’s letterbox to let her know that I was away to the hospital – we were very good friends. At 8.25am I gave birth to Leah Alanna weighing 9lbs 3oz. It was the happiest New Year’s Eve of my life.
The song “You Are Stronger” by Hillsong caught my attention at church on Sunday and I’ve been listening to it on repeat ever since. I feel so incredibly weak, I take great comfort from drawing on God’s strength.
YOU ARE STRONGER
There is love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner’s cross
You broke my shame and sinfulness
You rose again victorious
Faithfulness none can deny
Through the storm and through the fire
There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me
You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me
It is written, Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all
No beginning and no end
You’re my hope and my defense
You came to seek and save the lost
You paid it all upon the cross