It was 11pm on a Thursday night. Brett and I tip-toed into Everett's room, just like we do every night before crawling into bed ourselves. We peered over the crib carefully and I grabbed the edge of the blue blanket, replacing it over his exposed toes. He stirred, as Brett and I both held our breath. He rolled over and raised his head, looking at us curiously. We froze like deer caught in headlights, crossing our fingers he would fall back asleep.
Without so much as a single sound, he stood up in the crib with his arms stretched toward me. Not able to resist the sweetness of that simple gesture, I picked him up and carried him to the rocking chair, his blue blanket tucked between us. As I sat down his tiny body melted against my chest in a rhythm of steady breaths---the same breaths I have listened to, counted, and prayed for hundreds of times.
As I sat there rocking him, I felt God in the room, just like I always do when it's that quiet.
Just me, Everett, and God.
And the other baby growing in my belly.
That realization struck me and suddenly the room felt fuller than it had just a moment before. Shadows bounced around the walls as the nightlight tint changed from green to red to blue. And we rocked and we rocked to the familiar hum of white noise streaming through the sound machine.
One. Two. Three.
Three heartbeats in one rocking chair.
I had never been so grateful.