Special occasions and holidays usually leave me in a reflective mood, and my daughter’s birthday yesterday definitely gave me a very sweet reason to reflect on the past ten years of her life. Like my first-born daughter, she is simply extraordinary, and she is a living miracle. That said, despite the similarities with her older sister, she is her own person who has her own unique story.
On July 4, 2002, I was stunned when a home pregnancy test revealed that I was pregnant with my second child. Before you scoff at my surprise, please, allow me to explain that our first daughter was the result of a five-year infertility odyssey that culminated with a pregnancy from our fifth in vitro fertilization (IVF), and our reproductive endocrinologist (RE), who is one of the leading infertility experts in the world, informed us that we had less than a 0.5% chance of being able to conceive and carry a baby to term without medical intervention, such as IVF. As our daughter’s first birthday approached, I was overcome with the desire to have another child, and this strong feeling was accompanied by the even stronger feeling of guilt for wanting another child when I swore I would be content if I could just have one child at the end of our infertility treatment. I definitely was content and grateful for our daughter, but I felt like something, or rather someone, was missing. I had two frozen embryos from our fourth IVF cycle that were waiting for me in San Francisco, where we ended up doing treatment after two failed IVF cycles at a local infertility clinic, and I had just made plans to return to California for another frozen embryo transfer (FET) when I discovered that I was pregnant “naturally”. Apparently, my younger daughter had plans of her own, and mine were quickly shelved, much to my delight.
I had an uneventful pregnancy, other than having to undergo IVIg treatments to address my immunological issues that could have jeopardized my pregnancy if untreated, and I underwent a plethora of ultrasounds and had frequent obstetrical visits. Our first daughter was born five weeks prematurely, so, my obstetrician prepared us for another early delivery. My due date was March 10, 2003, and I planned for a delivery around Valentine’s Day. Once again, my younger daughter had different plans.
On January 12, 2003, I ran some errands to finalize preparations for the new baby, and when I came home, I announced to my husband, “That’s it. I am ready for the baby.” My daughter took my declaration to heart and was born two days later, 8 weeks prior to her due date. She weighed 4.1 lbs. and was 17 inches long, and despite being so small, she made a big entrance into the world and has left an even bigger impression on the lives of all those she touches. In the past ten years, my sweet, compassionate, wickedly funny, beautiful, and bright daughter has taught me so many priceless lessons, including the following:
- Odds and percentages are just numbers and are no match for the human spirit and faith.
- Great things come in small packages.
- A positive attitude really is everything.
- Miracles still happen.
- Dire predictions do not always lead to dire circumstances.
- There is a truly beautiful bond between sisters.
- Laughter and a sense of humor can heal almost anything.
- Compassion still exists in the world.
- There is nothing as heartbreaking as a child’s tears.
- Believing in yourself matters more than if others believe in you.
- The bigger the dream, the better life is.
- Being loving, generous, and kind are more important than almost every other characteristic and quality.
- Being a mom is something to be cherished, valued, and appreciated each and every single day.
- Each person matters in this world.
I cannot believe that my baby is now ten years old, as it seems like this decade passed in the blink of an eye. Life has not always been perfect, but my daughter is a perfect ten in every way.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story