Today was a very bittersweet day….but mostly sweet. We had a friend flying into Chicago and also needed to take care of some birth certificate business at the Cook County Vital Records Office, so we just decided to make a day of it in the Windy City.
Kade and I have very different feelings about Chicago on many levels. He’s not much on the city life in general, but now he has very strong negative emotions tied to what was once just the home of his favorite sports teams. I, on the other hand, find the city streets to be invigorating. I’ve always easily transitioned between my love for country living and lust for the city life. And when I think of Chicago now, I feel more comfort than sadness. Our time there, while difficult, was full of wonderful memories for me. I was carrying both of our baby girls, listening to their heartbeats and feeling their kicks every day, and learning what it means to persevere through a difficult season in life with my husband by my side. It taught me so much about myself, strengthened my marriage and ignited my faith. Chicago made me a better human, and I love it for that.
One of the things we did today was go back to visit the hospital campus. I was irrationally excited all morning to see some familiar faces and give some well deserved hugs to people who did so much for us. But walking across the skybridge into Lurie Children’s Hospital…seeing the front desk where we checked our family in to go up and meet Emalynn for the first time and in the same breath tell her goodbye…it nearly took my breath away. I wasn’t prepared for the way it made my heart ache for her. I had to will my legs to keep walking. It was as raw of an emotion I’ve felt in a while.
But the joy…the honor of hand-delivering birth announcements to the nurses, doctors, social workers and staff who became such an intimate part of our story…it was well worth the heart ache. Kade even stopped to give an announcement to the women who works at the front desk handing out day passes to visitors. She got to know his face well during our time there, and after a few weeks when she’d see him each morning she would tell him she was praying for us. People are so good.
We spent some time talking to Little Bit about her sister, as we often do. I hope and pray that Emmy is always a name on our lips, and that Lexi grows up with a love and reverence for the sister she got to share a womb with for 8 months. That is so, so important to me.
We plan to continue trips to Chicago, making it a priority to spend special time there as a family. It is good for us to remember – to cherish our memories there and to make new ones as well. It will always be a city of bittersweet emotions for us…but mostly sweet.