And, one.

21 May

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.
How do you measure, measure a year?

My baby is one today. A year ago, I was sitting in my room at the hospital, reeling from my OB’s news that she was planning to deliver our baby boy that day, because my preeclampsia was escalating and they needed time to plan the transfer to Children’s. He would be going almost immediately into surgery, we knew that much.

In daylights, in sunsets,
In midnights, in cups of coffee,
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

But as we know, it didn’t turn out quite as we planned. He was a she. A gorgeous, happy, resilient, amazing little she. The she I had dreamed of. A year ago, at this very moment, I didn’t know what was in store for me. Hours upon days upon weeks to spend waiting in the hospital. Learning a new language, a new family, a new life.

I look back with nostalgia for that time just before we became a family of three, and sadness for what the me of a year ago had in store in the months ahead. The angst and tears and Everest of worry I know she will go through, and endless runs to Starbucks. And walks in the garden. And laps around the floor, Juniper in her Baby Bjorn, and me wheeling her pumps alongside us.

How about love?
Measure in love.

How do I measure the past year? Not in the giant pile of batteries that have powered her pumps, powered her, in fact. Not in syringes, dressing changes, IV bags, sterile gloves, doctor’s appointments, x-rays, surgeries, meds, none of that. All that is part of our story and our reality still, and I appreciate it all, but it’s not what matters.

I measure the year in how much she has grown and blossomed. How she has thrived. How she has overcome. And I measure it in how much I’ve grown and thrived and overcome, and my husband too. I measure it in how much love and closeness we have. The utter joy we feel when we’re all together. The rightness and the destiny of it.

Needless to say, it’s been a hell of year. The absolute most trying of my life. And the absolute BEST.

Here’s to ONE. And two, and three, and four, and five, and the lifetime.

Here’s to her. I love her beyond measure or comprehension.


9 Responses to “And, one.”

  1. Belle May 21, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    Happy birthday, sweet girl! It is hard to look past all the science and medicine and I’m so proud that you have found your way. You inspire me to be a better, more positive mother. I raise my morning coffee to the three of you, to many more happy, healthy years together!

  2. Esperanza May 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    This is a really incredible post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the past year, in all it’s challenges and glory.

    Happy birthday sweet Juniper!

  3. Trisha May 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    Happy birthday sweet Juniper! Such a strong amazing little girl!

  4. nonsequiturchica May 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    Happy birthday Juniper!

  5. Courtney May 21, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    Happy birthday to a very special surprise!

  6. Northern Star May 22, 2014 at 2:17 am #

    This a very lovely post Shelley – thanks so much for sharing. I can’t believe Juniper is one already! happy birthday and hugs to you mama – I’m so very happy for your little family of three!

  7. missconception May 24, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    Oh wow! A year?! Insane how fast time flies! You have done a wonderful job being her mommy.

  8. jjiraffe May 26, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    Lovely post. Happy Birthday Juniper!

  9. Kim Sanderson November 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    New to your blog. Oh, but this post made me cry! My little IVF miracle boy turns 2 in January and we are struggling, struggling on the IVF ladder once again. 2nd negative cycle result today. Your post is amazing, thank you.

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