Today is Jaxson’s original due date.
When we heard the news about a November birthday, I was excited – I thought it would be great to have a winter baby. It was going to be fun to show off my newborn at all the holiday parties!
I prepared for the transition to colder weather. The thought of how we would get to the hospital during a blizzard had crossed my mind. I bought fall maternity clothes the week before we left on vacation. They were on sale; they were the first and only maternity clothes I would ever buy.
I never got to wear them. They hung in the closet with the tags still on while I tried to wrap my head around the fact that I had a baby in the NICU who weighed barely more than a pound.
It wasn’t supposed to happen like that.
But it did.
And now that I have had two years to process the events of that day and of Jax’s hospital stay, I think I’m ok with that. The prematurity experience changed us; it made us stronger. While I would not wish prematurity or a NICU stay on any family, I can say with certainty that we’ve made the best of what we had. It’s been really, really hard. There were plenty of days that I didn’t think we would make it out in one piece.
And now I’m laughing as Jax sings the “Grumpy Spider” and gallops around the living room. He comes over to show me his piano. He gives me a hug and says “awww.” He gathers up all of his stuffed animals and plays hide and seek. He’s happy.
We should be celebrating Jax’s second birthday today. But it’s just as fun to celebrate how funny and curious and energetic and strong he is. Today, I will celebrate how amazing it is that I get to be his mama.
Happy 2nd (adjusted) birthday, kiddo. You’re my hero.