This year August feels a little different for me. Of course I am excited because it's my birthday month. And even more excited because it also happens to be Morgan Kate's birthday month. But every day I find myself playing out each day from last August. I think about what we were doing last year on each day of August. I think about how I was preparing for the new school year. I think about how I was dreading the summer being over. I also think about how little I knew in the early days of last August. I had no idea that in just a few short weeks I would begin to dilate. Or be put on bed rest. Have my water break. Be hospitalized. And I especially had no idea that my baby girl would arrive so very early.
While pregnant I kept a journal in which I would write letters to Morgan Kate. I started the letters very early on - only four days after finding out that we were even pregnant. I would write about our appointments and ultrasounds. I would write about different names and nursery ideas. I also wrote about my excitement and my worries. An excerpt from August 7, 2008 reads:
I have been quite busy preparing for the new school year. We start back in exactly one week. I dread the summer being over, but know that the start of school means your birth day is even closer...Yesterday we went for our 23 week visit and you were moving all around...Your heartbeat was 150 and it was hard to hear at times because you kept kicking...Every day I get more and more anxious to see you and hold you. My prayer continues to be that you keep thriving and growing and arrive late November, early December, a healthy, happy baby.
Just ten days later I write:
Well baby girl, these last few days have been quite eventful...After a four hour appointment I called your Dad to tell him that I was 1 cm dilated, over 50% effaced and on complete bed rest...I am trying to keep my mind busy, but it keeps thinking of you. I am just hoping and praying that you stay in there and grow for a little longer. I already love you so much and I don't want anything to go wrong. Dr. R would like for you to stay put for at least ten more weeks. I know that God won't give us more than we can handle.
The very next day my water broke. And seven days after that Morgan Kate arrived.
Today Morgan Kate is doing exceptionally well. She is doing things that at one time we weren't sure she would ever do. Each day she grows and amazes us. This August she is sitting up and on the verge of crawling. She is eating new foods and moving all over the place. We have been so, so incredibly blessed. But I don't think August will ever be the same for me. I will always think back to August of 2008. I will always play those events over in my mind. I will always remember how little I knew and how scared I was. I will always remember how early she was and what a true miracle she is. The March of Dimes website reads:
The earlier a baby is born, the more likely he is to die. About 20 to 35 percent of babies born at 23 weeks of pregnancy survive, while about 50 to 70 percent of babies born at 24 to 25 weeks, and more than 90 percent born at 26 to 27 weeks, survive .
I know we/are were a statistic. I know things could have taken a completely different turn. And I will be forever grateful that they didn't.
So yes, August was one of my favorite months. And it will continue to be one of my favorites. Not only because it's my birthday and Morgan Kate's birthday and because it happens to fall in the summer, but because last August I witnessed a true and absolute miracle and each day I get to see and touch and hold and love that miracle.