A Year of Miracles

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My miracle baby is no longer a baby. She turned one on Friday.

I haven’t been sure how or when to post on here anymore. I don’t feel a calling to be a straight-up mom blogger. And, more importantly, a lot the people who read this blog are still going through infertility and loss, and I want to be sensitive to that. But I feel like this milestone is too big to pass by, so here I am.

Hi.

One year, holy smokes. One year of looking into the face of a baby I never thought I’d meet. Some days I still ask myself if this is really a dream. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every day with Winnie in our lives feels like magic. I am up to my eyeballs in gratitude. This life, this family–it is all I’ve ever wanted.

Grief still lingers, of course, and probably will for a long time. On a recent road trip to South Carolina, it hit me hard that Winnie’s twin should be traveling with us. I miss my mom, I miss my brother, I miss all three of those babies that I’ll never get to meet–at least not in this lifetime. But so it goes, right? There can’t be light without darkness. The last few years were very dark and very long, but how can I begrudge them when they brought me here, to this place right now?

I quit my job after Winnie was born. I had been unhappy there for a long time, and I just couldn’t fathom leaving this hard-earned baby every day to go to work. I’ve been doing a bit of freelance writing here and there, but mostly I’m just spending time with my girls. Lettie is in pre-school three days of the week, but I have her home with me the other two days. Winnie is with me every day, all day. I never thought of myself as the stay-at-home mom type, but so far I’m loving it. There is nowhere else I’d rather be. I have no plans to return to work at the moment, but who knows what will happen in the future. I’m considering going back to school at some point to be an infertility nurse. I eventually want a career that allows me to help others who are going through what I went through, but I’m not sure what that will look like.

Other than than hanging with Tim and the girls, I’ve mostly been doing things that feel good to me. I started writing creatively again, which I haven’t done for years (aside from this blog). I even took a memoir class to get some ideas going. I’d like to turn my experience with infertility into a book, but alas I am slow and lack focus, so we’ll see when or if that happens. I’m trying not to pressure myself. I made a mosaic the other week out of an old recycling bin. I’m planning on painting my front door an eggplant purple soon. Every morning during Winnie’s nap, I take a nap, too. Slowly, I am healing. I am returning to the person I used to be before infertility took over my life–or, maybe more accurately, I am learning who I want to be right now.

If you can believe it, Winnie is still breastfeeding. She had the same exact issues as Lettie (tongue tie), but for whatever reason she just fought for it harder than Lettie did, and we were able to exclusively breastfeed pretty much from day one. To have that nursing time with her was and is one of the greatest gifts of my life. Personality-wise, Winnie is happy and very laid back (like her dad–she did not get that from me; I have zero chill). She’s shy, but she likes to smile at people and say “hi” from a distance. She eats everything, and I mean everything–pate, tapenade, filet mignon, you name it. She was a terrible sleeper, but thankfully we seem to have finally worked that out through sleep training. Today, she dropped a big, wet open-mouthed kiss on me and said, “Ah-la-la-la.” I’m telling myself she said “I love you.” You never know.

I have so much more I could say, but this seems like a good place to stop for now. I’ll leave you with some pictures of Winnie’s first birthday party. I’m not the crafty type, but I ended up making all of the decorations (along with tons of help from my mother-in-law and her friend). I had so many conflicting feelings about my baby turning one that I had to channel it into something…sooooooo crafts it was!

Even though I’ve been silent on here for so long, I think of you all often. I am grateful to you, and will always be grateful to you, for being there for me during the hardest time of my life. I’m not sure how much I’ll post on here going forward. Maybe I’ll pick it back up again at some point, who knows. Regardless, if you need an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on, or if you have any questions about immunology treatments or anything else, hit me up at theskyandbackblog@gmail.com. I am here.

she asked
‘you are in love
what does love look like’
to which I replied
‘like everything I’ve ever lost
come back to me’
–Nayyirah Waheed

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44 thoughts on “A Year of Miracles

  1. Awwwww you did an absolutely wonderful job on the party. Gorgeous! I love that spread of weekly photos. Yu know Winnie has looked very much like herself since the beginning which is pretty remarkable. Both my kids change a lot from those early baby weeks. I am in love with Lettie’s hair. Perfect ringlets. Must be hard to handle but damn they look incredible. So happy to read this update and hear you healing and enjoying life and those kids xx

  2. I adore you and your little girls, have I mentioned that lately? πŸ™‚ I love how she actually smashed the cake and got completely into it!! πŸ™‚ And, I love how she is saying “I Love You” in her own way already, because clearly that is what she said!! πŸ™‚
    My friend, thank you for sharing you and your family with me. I adore our friendship. I am beyond thankful that in spite of all the horribleness that came along with RPL, I got you as a very dear friend as a result. I truly treasure you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    1. Aw, way to make me cry! Haha. The feelings of adoration are absolutely mutual. So many blessings came out of this journey, and my friendship with you is a huge one. Someday we will meet in person and baby MPB (sorry, but he’ll always be a baby to me) will be like, “Who is this crazy lady who won’t stop fawning over me!?”

      1. And your little girls will think the exact same thing about me. Also, clearly my boy and your littlest girl are getting married one day, so they had both better get used to us fawning over them!!! Hahaha!! πŸ˜‚

  3. As soon as I saw this post I knew it was going to make me cry… the tears are streaming down my face. And thank you – it has reassured me that maybe I am not the cause of my super-highly strung daughter’s nerves. I have been carrying endless guilt from day one that the reason baby F was so clingy and tearful because I was so stressed and afraid the whole time I was pregnant, but I remember how things were for you and you must have had a similar pregnancy. Babies are just all different, and maybe my daughter just needs me a little more than the boys did. This is such an uplifting post to read and the pictures are beautiful. What a wonderful thing, to stand here now, after so much. Huge hugs to you all xxxxx

    1. It is SO good to hear from you. And OMG your pregnancy anxiety is 100% not responsible for baby F’s temperament! Lettie is very anxious and high strung, and has been since birth. I was also really nervous during my pregnancy with her, but not nearly as bad as I was with Winnie. I think it’s just luck of the draw! And you are right–it is wonderful to be standing in this place after going through the darkness. I’m so incredibly grateful.

  4. Happy birthday, Winnie!!! The icing on the toes is precious — that might be my favorite picture, although it’s awfully difficult to choose when they’re all so adorable. πŸ™‚ I am so happy that you are so happy — what a wonderful place you are in, with your little family complete at last. I love the idea of going back to work as an infertility nurse someday — you’d be amazing at it. Thanks so much for keeping us updated, and here’s to many more happy years with Winnie and Lettie!

    1. Thank you! And hah, OMG she had cake allllll over that foot–almost like she painted it! She also kept handing me chunks of smashed cake, and then wanted to hold my hand with her cake-y hand. I loved every second of it. How are you doing? I’ve been thinking about you!

      1. That is SO sweet! S was afraid of the frosting on his first birthday cupcake — ha. πŸ™‚ He’s a cautious little guy, for sure. I love it when babies just go all out and cover themselves with food. Winnie is loving life, that’s for sure!

        I am doing fine, thanks. Still a little blue, still a little impatient, but nowhere near as down in the dumps as before S was born. I’ve got hope, and I’ve got an amazing little toddler to occupy me, and those things are enough for now. I’ve been thinking of you too, so I’m very glad to see the update. I hope you’ll provide little windows into your life every now and again as the spirit moves you — I’ve been missing you!

  5. Happy birthday little one! You did a great job with the party, so cute! And I LOVE the weekly pictures! Wish I had thought of that. I found your blog shortly before she was born, so I didn’t get to know you as well as some of the others, but I’m so happy to hear that you’re able to be home with your littles​ and that you’re healing and happy. Your family is beautiful. Congrats to you all *hugs*

  6. Oh your beautiful baby and family makes me tear up. So very happy you are healing and soaking it all up. So much love to you. You have been a source of inspiration and hope during my darkest times. Xoxoxo

  7. These photos belong in a magazine! I am so happy for you, and for Winnie and Lettie who get to have you as a mom in love with the role. I love that you are dreaming about future plans that would help people who were in the position you were in. Also, that cake looked delicious!

  8. Love this! God bless! My favorite part, ”Β I am learning who I want to be right now”. Sounds like a great plan. May the blessings continue.

    1. Aw, thank you so much! She definitely obliterated that cake haha. And she kept handing me clumps of smashed cake, and I was like, thank you…I guess? Haha. It’s great to hear from you!

      1. I will! We are going out of town for a lot of late June and July (Tim is a teacher so he has the summers off), so I will hit you up in August. We will make it happen!!!

      2. Definitely do! We have several upcoming trips too (including Vermont again, huzzah!) but we won’t let the summer pass by without getting together. πŸ™‚

  9. I love this update and all the pictures. They are just infused with happiness. I’m so glad I got to follow your journey. Your girls are adorable and it’s so wonderful to hear about your happiness. I’m glad you can take the time to be at home (I wish I could!) and possibly go back to help others with infertility. How great that something good can come out of all the pain. Happy birthday to little Winnie!

    1. Thank you, Nara! I’m really glad I found your blog, too. Your posts are always so thoughtful and insightful! I always have something to ponder when I am done reading them. I am so happy for you that your long-awaited baby is in your arms at last.

  10. Ahhh!!! Happy birthday Winnie!! This update makes me so so happy. I love your family so much. And Letties curls? Oh my goodness! Perfection.
    I’m glad you’re all doing so well. It’s a beautiful thing.
    ❀ ❀ ❀

    1. Your comment makes ME so happy! I love hearing from you. And speaking of happy, I am just thrilled for your own blessing.

      You are right, it is a beautiful thing to be doing so well. I am so grateful.

      1. We are doing so great over here. Finally came to the decision that we will not pursue more babes and have been loving our life as a family of 3 😊 getting ready for a busy summer of camping in our 1972 boler.

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