After being an active participant on the internet for four years, I can tell you that there are many, many stories out there. True stories. Some are joyful stories of miracle babies who defied all odds. Babies born at 25 weeks who are here today, running around playing with their siblings. Stories that make you smile. Stories that make you realize that there's so much we don't understand.
Unfortunately, for every joyful story is a story of sadness and pain. You don't have to look very hard to find stories of babies lost forever. There are babies who were born too early to survive. Babies who died before taking a breath. Babies born with genetic conditions who fought to live. Their stories make you realize that there's so much we don't understand.
Abbey has a story.
Allie, Anna and Emily have a story.
For whatever reason, some of these stories stay with me. Mostly babies born sleeping. Especially those born around the same time as Abbey. In some cases, I have come to know the families online before their babies are gone and it is such heartache to read when another little one has left us. (JW, Annaleigh, Piper, Noah, Sydney and Carynne.)
On June 4th, Abbey's birthday, a day when I was struggling to figure out the world, I read an absolutely heartbreaking blog post. A few months ago, a reader named Jeremy started leaving nice comments here and there on my blog posts. I popped over to his blog and discovered that he and his wife were expecting triplets. His blog was well written and interesting to read and so I began following their story.
Three more angels now share Abbey's birthday with her.
I had an epiphany that weekend. Not that any of my feelings were new. I guess I had just never been able to pull them all together. To vocalize everything as one continuous stream.
I want to enjoy my kids all the time. I don't want the constant rush, rush, rush of everyday life. I don't want to worry about the laundry or whether or not we have enough milk or does someone have to run out to the store at an odd time to pick some up. I don't want to dole out awkward hugs in the morning while ensuring that I don't whack a little one in the head with my bag as I run out the door
I want to sew Rapunzel dresses and go for walks. I don't want to worry about mortgages and savings and retirement accounts. I want to pick my kids up from school and watch their gymnastics classes. I want to live for the moment. Not the future.
I think it is unfair for me to say that I appreciate my kids more because of Abbey or because they were such a high risk pregnancy. That implies that others may not appreciate their kids unless they were born under the same circumstances. I've been on the flip side of that statement as well so I know that it is unfair. Some parents may say that they appreciate their kids more because they went through infertility. Should that mean that those who became pregnant without any issues are less appreciative of their kids? No.
The reality of it is that we should appreciate them because they are here.