feeling peace on her birthday eve

Is there a better word for bittersweet than bittersweet? I'm rusty. My brain isn't in "compose/write" mode anymore. I think in captions now. So, for lack of something more creative, I'm going with bittersweet. That's how I feel when I look at these photos from her newborn shoot. 

When I see these photos I remember how depressed I was while I was taking them, how depressed I had been my whole pregnancy and the year prior to getting pregnant. I remember the painful transitions that were happening in my life that felt so huge. I remember how my homebirth was hampered by moving (yet again...for my hot husband's career) and the pure hell of battling bedbugs.  And I can almost feel the pain and exhaustion of her birth when I look at these photos. 

But it's those hard times in life that define us and help us remember the most important things, right?   Quoting David Brooks from his NYTimes article I've read over and over "The right response to this sort of pain is not pleasure. It’s holiness. I don’t even mean that in a purely religious sense. It means seeing life as a moral drama, placing the hard experiences in a moral context and trying to redeem something bad by turning it into something sacred." 

I've decided my life goal isn't happiness, although I'm feeling happy more and more these days (a great success! (thanks therapy!)). My new goal is peace. And what I'm feeling now is peace. Peace because giving life to my sweet Ivy Yorke was a sacred thing. Sacred in a different way than with my other babies. Her birth has done something transformative to my life, not just to my motherhood but to my whole person. I don't even know how to explain it other than she's made it more holy. She's shown me that when I feel broken, incapable, and uncertain; I can still love deeply and be loved. I can feel peace.

Ivy Yorke, thank you for coming to me. Thank you for loving me and changing me. Thank you for being with me every single day for the last year & 9 months. I love you. So very much.  


  1. That's so beautiful, Abbie. I remember having conversations about the power/purpose of pain, and how it moves us and can sanctify us. I miss you.

    1. Liz, I love you too. And miss you. More than you know.

  2. I love this post! I miss you so much. You really are such an incredible, inspiring, raw, beautiful person! Xoxo ps I think in captions now too... Ugh

  3. Abbie, this is beautiful and you are so amazing and inspiring. I needed to hear this. You give me hope. Each day has been a constant battle and I find myself thinking I just can't do this. I hope the birth of my baby girl will help to bring me some of that same peace you found in yours. xoxo

  4. Oh boy Abbie. That could not have been more perfectly said. And something I think we all need to hear and remember, at least I do!