Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today is Thanksgiving and I can say definitively that this year, more than any other year in the past 30, I am truly, deeply, wholeheartedly thankful. 5 months ago today, my daughter Elizabeth Winifred Grace, was born 6 weeks early. She was held for a minute or two and then whisked to a nursery where tubes were put in her body, IVs inserted through her belly button, monitors on her chest. Within 2 hours of her birth she was transported to a hospital 50 miles from my home. I did not see her again for 24 hours. I did not hold her for another 3 days.

Most women give birth to healthy babies. I did, 2x before. You get pregnant expecting to have a healthy baby. After all, what is the number one response to a parent's wish for their child? That he or she is healthy. We all give a nod to the trails that other parents go through when a child is born with difficulties but we don't expect it to happen to us. It happened to me and it happened to our family and it happened to our baby girl. And yet, we only got the smallest taste of what it's like to have a sick baby. Our daughter wasn't as sick as nearly every other baby in her NICU. She didn't have to stay as long as other babies there. Although her 7 weeks there were unbearable and broke my heart every day, she wasn't there as long as Oliver, who was celebrating his 6 month birth day when Libby moved into his room. She wasn't there as long as her last roommate, who was born with the same condition but wouldn't be able to have it operated on until he was 6 weeks old because he had other things wrong with him. She wasn't as sick as the baby we met after her second surgery who was scheduled to have heart surgery the next day and whose mother I ran into in the hospital a month after we had been discharged. She doesn't have any lasting conditions and she is and will be a healthy, normal, perfect girl in every way.

And so this Thanksgiving I am more thankful than I ever have been before. I am thankful for my three children who give me great joy and have grown me and taught me in ways I know I never would have been before them. I am especially thankful for Libby because she is healthy, she is home with us, and because God was so faithful to us throughout her entire time in the hospital and continues to be faithful to us now. I am thankful for my husband who is so incredibly supportive, loving, kind and good. And as said, I am thankful for my God, who despite giving us a daughter who needed surgery, gave us so much more through that ordeal. He was so close, so sweet, so real to us, to me and for that I am very thankful.

Today as you celebrate with your family and friends I hope you will feel as thankful as I am today.
Happy Thanksgiving

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