What collateral beauty means.

Apr 13, 2018

Yesterday I was sitting in the hospital with my brand new baby and I was thinking of the joy and bliss that it is to have this moment in my life. I keep on thinking of all her tiny limbs and that wonderful newborn smell. Newborn’s skin is always so soft. When they first come out, I was telling David that they almost smell like wood a little bit. They are as warm as a hot tub almost. They always hand me the baby first while my husband cuts the umbilical cord.

This time around they waited to give the baby a bath until the next day. They cleaned her off but I liked that she able to retain that new born smell for a little longer.

Their skin, when they come out is so perfect. They have been protected and in fluid for so long that they are just whole and perfect.

Babies are so little at first that I almost didn’t know how to hold her the right way.

I love that moment when they hand me the baby because I forget all about the pain and I finally get to enjoy all the rewards of the labor part.

I loved seeing my daughter’s hands at first. When she was being first held by the doctor on her back, her arms and hands were wide open. Her face when she was just come out was priceless. All my babies at first seem almost confused and bothered from having been taken out of their peaceful and comfortable place.

In the middle of all this I was also thinking as to how there is no perfect timing or moment for anything. There is no baby without having to go through a little bit of the labor pains. After having the baby, it is just a precious time, but I also get so many aches and cramps.

I used to say that I wished someone could hand me a brand new baby when I am wide awake and in awesome shape and all clean and strong. But isn’t that kind of life works? We are often handed opportunities and beautiful moments, but there is always some other down side to it. We often have to look past all those other moments and just enjoy what is good in that moment. Like snuggling my baby even while I am having huge cramps at the hospital. And just finding joy in that beautiful perfect moment that is very unique and precious!

The secret is to learn to recognize what collateral beauty means.

I find that a lot of things in my life are thrown at me sooner than I expect it, and when that happens I tend to doubt myself or feel so nervous. I like to plan things very well. I also like to set goals and map out my life. I love to accomplish my goals. Some of them though require other specific things to happen first. And sometimes things happen sooner. This baby was my first baby to come early on her own. She was only 4 days early, but it was so strange to me. I felt like I was in denial that it was happening even after the epidural. Ikept on thinking that my contractions were going to stop any second and I was going to go home for the week to finish my pregnancy.

I think the biggest thing I have had a hard time accepting in life IS that a lot of opportunities, a lot of events, will not happen at the perfect moment when everything is planned to perfection. It can, but a lot of opportunities will come when you least expect them or when you did not quite feel 100% ready for them.

I have seen this happen in my life so much, especially since I started life on my own. When David and I got married we could have postponed our wedding by 8 months. We could have taken the time to plan everything to perfection, but we felt that the timing had to be sooner and a lot different.

Same thing with my first son. We were both in school and did not have our bank accounts stocked up with the hospital bill already covered. Yet we decided to have full faith and start a family.

I also remember when my husband decided to start his current career in Real Estate that it came in the middle of the summer while we were living in Nebraska for his job. We had just graduated, and had our second child Siena. We were supposed to finally be able to focus on his current job now that he had graduated. Yet that summer everything pointed in a different direction. We ended up having to call the summer sooner. We drove back to Utah and he started studying to become a Realtor.

Even when we bought our first home. We got a lot pf push back from people telling us it was too soon. Yet everything worked out and it was one of the best investments we have ever made.

I felt the same way a little bit with this baby. I was telling my husband last night how I wasn’t ready for her to come out. But he reminded me that she was and it was her timing. And now she is here and all I have is to enjoy the present and enjoy each moment with  her and hold her.

That is what collateral beauty means. Finding the good in life despite the perfect moment not being there. It’s about recognizing that all we have is the present and even if there are a lot of things we wish we could change right now to avoid pain in other aspects, yet we need to look at what is good right in front of us and love that. Be grateful for that. Appreciate it. Commemorate it and thank life and God for it. I don’t know why we can’t all have perfect moments with everything going our way. Perhaps is answer is because it’s how we grow and learn to become softer, kinder, more compassionate, and better people.

Now it’s my time to put on my sling and walk around the house with her on my chest. Now is the time to stare at her while she sleeps. Study her face and personality. Bond and enjoy this stage of her life that only happens once in a lifetime and that I have been envisioning for the past 9 months!


December 6,2017

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Serena Essuman


Serena Essuman

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