Three years ago this very day I was lying in a hospital bed visiting with family and friends. I pretended to smile to all who entered that room and put on my very best brave face for most of the day, all the while scared beyond measure of what might happen to my baby. I went to bed that night, with my mom by my side, not knowing that my entire world would change the very next day. Not knowing that my baby girl would make her grand entrance. Not knowing that she would arrive weighing only one pound and twelve ounces. Not knowing that it would be days before I could hold her or feed her. Not knowing that it would be months before I could take her home. Not knowing that once we got home we would be quarantined for months and that she would need OT, PT, speech and numerous doctor's appointments for a while after all of that.
It's a night and a day, an entire month for that matter, that will never, ever be erased from my mind. I went to bed that night hoping and praying that my body would cooperate. Hoping and praying that I could hold off labor until at least week 28 or better yet week 32 and maybe, just maybe week 40. A December baby. A winter baby. A full term baby. I think a lot about who I was that night and how I feel so differently today. I'm not the same person I was three years ago. Not at all. But, I'm okay with that. Three years later, on this side of things, I can even say I'm thankful not to be the same person.
My outlook on life is much, much different. I feel like I have a different perspective on things that I might not have otherwise had. I try to be more positive. I try to appreciate and soak in every single minute and every single milestone. I try not get caught up in the small stuff and there is so. much. small stuff. I try not to compare Morgan Kate to anyone other than herself. I try not to compare myself as a mother to anyone else. I try to look at every angle to every situation. I try to think before I speak. My heart is softer. Much softer. And it's all because of her. My Morgan Kate. And because of her daddy, the absolute love of my life. The two of them have made me such a better person.
No, I didn't ever imagine that my baby would be born premature. I never imagined wondering if my baby would live or die. I never imagined that she would weigh less than two pounds. I never imagined the worry and fear I would have for her precious little life. I never imagined all the appointments and therapies and medications. But I also never imagined that someone so small could change my life in such a big way. I am so, so thankful for her and all that she is. She is my little miracle.