WE LOVE BIRTHDAYS
A one year old can never have too many birthday parties!
Except, I didn’t feel relief.
I felt the pain all over again remembering the events that soon followed Maddox’s birth. Her cold blue feet, the nurses taking her away, the doctors reviewing our family history, Maddox getting put in the NICU, the mention of down syndrome, the silence of the halls in the hospital that were only hours before filled with joy, the darkness of the evening that quickly fell upon us, and last but not least…. The infamous conversation that Scott and I had in the corner of the hospital room that night while I completely and utterly shattered to a trillion pieces in my husband’s arms.
I hope these feelings fade over time and I can learn to celebrate this day. I have thought really hard about how to help other’s begin to understand what this day feels like.
Think about the best thing that has ever happened to you in your entire life and how you felt. Think about the worst thing that has ever happened to you in your entire life and how you felt.
Place those two events minutes apart from each other. You won’t know whether to laugh or cry huh?
And because I love analogies, here’s my best shot!
You go to elementary school to learn the foundations of being a good student, you go to middle school to figure out what you are good at. You go to high school to narrow down your career path and go to college to fulfill your career path. During all of these years your parents are your biggest fans, encouraging and guiding you every step of the way. And truly, without them, you would not have been able to stay on the right track to complete the goal you set out for which in this case is to become a pediatrician. Now fast forward to graduation day. Today you receive high honors recognizing what you have so diligently worked your entire life for. When you step on stage to receive your diploma you glance over at your parents. Only, their seats are empty. Your heart races, you imagine the worst, and as you step off the stage you receive news of the worst. Your biggest fans were in an accident on the way to your graduation.
Sounds extreme I know, but hear me out.
You now have a job working at a local pediatric clinic, this was your life dream and should be thrilled with your accomplishments. Only, every time you sign MD behind your name you are taken back to the dreadful graduation day.
The moral of my story comes next.
You don’t know whether to be excited that you accomplished everything you set out for or be devastated thinking about the loss you suffered on that same day. One minute you smile, the next minute you cry. There is good with bad and bad with good, pretty much you are stuck between a rock and a hard spot. I am telling ya, this is a difficult position to be in, and a way more difficult position to get out of.
How does one begin to find the good in one of the most tragic unexpected events of their life? Without further ado, I give you Maddox’s birthday party.
Surrounding yourself with friends and family is what you do. The exact same group that visited Maddox in the hospital when she was born on day one is the exact same group of people that came together tonight to celebrate Maddox’s 365th day of life. Thank you my friends, thank you a million times over again for opening your hearts to a whole new world. Without these people, I wouldn’t have moments like these....
The good is all around me. I just have to stop and smell the roses once in a while. Maddox is loved by so many people. In the 365 days here on this earth, she is already changing lives. In one year she has taught many people how to pray harder, laugh more, and rejoice in the moment.
Here are a few examples of me smelling the roses. I received a text message on Maddox’s birthday with this photo. How can you not say, “Awwwww....”
Another rose moment was when I opened my Facebook and never imagined to read so many incredible messages of support on Maddox’s birthday but things really started to sink in when I saw that Facebook changed Maddox’s age from months to 1 year. Yes I made it. I look at my status updates from one year ago and I am in a much better place now (on most days during most moments).
My last smell the rose moment is something I have not done in a year…..
I have one more rose smelling stop to make. My next goal is to read a book again. A real book. One which I need to use my imagination to dream up a storyline and maybe put down the down syndrome research for a while which is what my library consists of these days.
A few other random thoughts I want to share....
This year I planned on starting a new birthday tradition. For Christmas Maddox received all kinds of gifts but I also want to teach her more about giving instead of receiving. We decided instead of buying her birthday gifts that we would take a collection of donations and take items to the local baby pantry. This was so amazing and I would like to continue this tradition for years to come.
Maddox helping others less fortunate than her....Who would have thought?
Finally, I want to end with the greatest news of all. Maddox did not receive the best gift this season from Scoot and I, it was the other way around. We received the best gift from Maddox... The gift of communication.
Maddox can now bring both hands together and independently sign “More” - YAHOO
Signing time with Maddox will be AVAILABLE ON HOME VIDEO JANUARY 17TH
(In other words, check back soon, I have been too excited to catch this on video but I plan to get it this week for you)
That’s all I have time for tonight, back to mommyhood I go...