We've moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cop Out Corrected

To be perfectly honest, I copped out on writing a post for Charlotte's first birthday. I'm trying to correct that. I thought about writing something full of angst, thought about writing something full of hope, thought about writing something full of denial, fear, and/or optimism.

But it didn't feel quite right.

Mostly because I wasn't sure how I felt about her birthday. Was it really something to celebrate? The day of Charlotte's birth is easily in the top three most terrifying days of my life-- did I really want to celebrate that? The day that Charlotte was literally cut from my body, statistically too early to survive, I was to celebrate?

Yet, how could I not? Charlotte didn't just survive this past year, she thrived. She took the past year and kicked its trash. How could I not celebrate that?

I can't say that even now I am certain how I feel about it. Would I change that day if given the option? Of course. Without even thinking. I would carry that child until 42 weeks gestation or longer if I could change it. I would do it without complaining, {which would have been a severe departure from my previous attitude regarding pregnancy} without a second thought. I would throw up forty times a day to erase the past year. Give me a PICC line, TPN, and Zofran. Or don't. I would do it even without the medication. I would do anything to have that pregnancy last one more day, week, month or trimester.

But I would miss what this past year has taught me. No, the experience of a micropreemie isn't "worth" the knowledge gained, but I cannot deny that I have grown, have become a different person because of it. I've noticed more. I've been grateful for the smallest things. I've loved without expecting anything in return. I've had to talked about funerals, but I've planned parties and I've witnessed miracles.

In the past year, I've experienced anger; real, true, gut wrenching anger at a God in whom I firmly and truly believe. I've also experienced all encompassing peace, a peace that comes, not with certainty, but with hope. I've placed my daughter's life in the hands of neonatologists, surgeons, and specialists and then relied on their skills and knowledge, as well as faith of others to get her through procedure after procedure, day after day. I've asked more nurses about how my daughter is doing than anyone should ever have to ask. As I mother, I should know how my child is, I shouldn't have to ask. And yet, I did.

I've learned humility. I've learned that no matter how hard my life seems, there is always someone who is in need of my love, support and compassion. I've learned that trials in life cannot be compared.  I've learned that trials are more manageable when shared.

So no. I don't really want to celebrate Charlotte's birthday. Because "celebration" implies something so much more trivial than what that day represents. Instead, I choose to honor her birth. I honor the lessons I have been taught, and I humbly submit to the journey we are taking. I will not allow that day to define me, my family or my daughter. But I will not dismiss its teachings, or forget its implication.

I will celebrate my daughter. I will celebrate her milestones, rejoice in her successes, and I will never forget to pay respect to the bittersweet day that made it all possible.


  1. This was powerful!! Beautifully conflicted emotions described so poignantly well. I have not a lick of what you've experienced in this last year, Amanda K, but I can only imagine that in the years to come, the blessings/lessons that come out of it will blow your mind (in a good way!:))...

    And Charlotte is gorgeous. Really. No surprise.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Beautifully written! You are amazing! I will save this post and come back and re-read it when my Lucy turns 1. It is unreal the feelings of having a micro-preemie and I commend you on pin pointing them so well.