|Ivy holding Lily|
This past week both of our cats had kittens, Dina had two and Baby had four. We got the cats for the girls two Decembers ago, two months after we bought our first home. The original purpose for getting them was to help ween Ivy from nursing, and it worked. She is a very strong willed child and it takes a lot to distract her from something she has her mind set on, A LOT! She has gotten much better, Praise God, but she definitely needed something to focus her attention on, besides me. She was attached to me for the first two years of her life, she didn't even know she had a daddy that loved her as much as I did, and when she discovered that I was more than thrilled! I needed my sanity! We went to get one kitten for the girls and came home with two, and it worked out wonderfully. We got a lot done around the house while they played (tortured) their new friends. Baby and Dina handled it well. After Ella was born the girls were crazy about her! They had waited so very patiently for her arrival, and another week just to have her home. Once she was in our home they were with her 100% of the time. Ivy showed her love by kissing and licking, Nadia by holding and carrying, which she was only allowed to do when Ivy was no where around. They both loved Ella so much and loved to show Ella that they loved her. They drew pictures for her to put on her hospital bed, and when she was home they still drew pictures for her and taped them to her changing table. They are hanging in our dining room to this day. After Ella passed I know that the girls still longed to fill their arms with our precious baby, I knew oh so well because my arms long to hold her to this day. The night Ella passed, after her body was taken away, Nadia immediately took her baby dolls and gave one to myself, Drew, Ivy and my sister Ana and her words were "this is so you wont be sad and miss baby Ella." The first couple of times we were with babies I saw my girls rush to their sides and want to show them the same kind of love they showed Ella, but were quickly shot down by parents who didn't think licking, touching, or being in their children's face was OK. I literally watched as Nadia closed that door within herself and hasn't opened it yet, part of me died as I watched that happen. Ivy, my determined one, kept trying and trying to show that kind of sisterly love to another baby and she soon found one, our friend Lily. Lily was born just three days after Ella and I can honestly say that the first couple of times that I seen her was really hard for me. However I stuck it out and put one foot in front of the other and when her mommy asked me if I wanted to hold her just weeks after Ella passed I think my heart skipped a beat, I said yes. It was indescribable what I felt on the inside, not too sure how I looked on the outside. Drew witnessed it and he had to turn away, it was too soon for him to see me holding another newborn. Ivy held her, and still does, every chance she gets, even though she's almost her size now! I had only been friends with Lily's mom for a couple months at this point, and I told her right away how grateful I was that she let me, and especially Ivy, hold and treat Lily as if she were her own sister. She said telling her this made her day :) Thankfully we see Lily and her big sister and mom often, so Ivy and I can get our baby fix until our next child is born. The morning the first set of kittens were born, I woke Nadia to tell her the good news and she jumped up, very wide eyed and said "mom I prayed last night that all three of you would have your babies and not say ouch! mom I prayed it wouldn't hurt!" then she proceeded to find the kittens. She was so excited to tell me that. I can honestly say that watching the way our cats have cared for their newborns is seen through a whole new set of eyes since Ella. They are just as proud as can be and very protective over their babies, and those kittens have been 100% reliant on their mother's for everything since the second they came into this world. As human mommies aren't we also created to protect, nourish, provide everything and be proud of our newborns? After all we are created in His image, Gen 1:27, we are the crown of His creation, He chose to dwell inside of us, He chose to have a relationship with us! How awesome! How much greater is our capacity to love our babies? I am grateful, however, that I do not have four children at a time, and have their father to share the load and same love for them that I do. The girls have learned that the mommy kitty's are very protective and loving to their babies, and I think they are learning to respect that. And not only are watching the little kittens a learning and fun experience, I appreciate that the girls are able to love, handle, kiss, lick, and carry them at any time until they are able to fill that once full, now empty space inside of them. They have been a blessing to our family, that is for sure.