Last night I was witnessing the life I once had, as an outsider.
Visiting with my best friends and their kids. All around Leyden's age. There were brownies, wiffle-ball, movies and meltdowns. Negotiating pajamas, bathtime, and sleeping arrangements. Little voices, curious, questioning and giggling.
Chaos. And beauty.
I kept wondering how Leyden would fit in. What color would her hair be... what would her voice be like.... would she want to sleep in a room with her friends.... the list went on and on.
Leyden's last day out of the hospital was spent with these friends and their now five and six year olds. Then infants, they were all alongside their moms as we had coffee together (I literally ran on coffee back then) and swapped war stories around sleepless nights, breastfeeding, pumping and more. I remember leaving to go pump and knew Leyden was safe with her "aunties". When we left breakfast I called Leydens doctor to say that something seemed off. He directed us to the hospital for safe keeping.
89 days later.
I didn't know if it would be possible to hold those babies that sat alongside Leyden again. But in time, I am.
Through the pain, the knots, the difficulty breathing, I feel progress. I feel grateful that Leyden chose me to be her mom. Compassion for how hard it must be for Leyden’s aunties to be by my side through this. Grateful for their love, strength and patience as I figure it out. Relieved that I could be honest with them about the pain and also the love and happiness watching their kids grow. I feel open to the idea that I might someday have more kids and be back in that world with my friends. And open to the idea that I might just stay as I am, Leyden's mom.
Pain doesn't mean a lack of progress. In fact, they often co-exist.
It was no surprise that I woke up puffy eyed and craving a big ol’ cup of coffee (haven’t had one in years- emotional cravings are real). I sipped with gratitude for being able to share the honesty of my emptiness with Mooch who sipped her coffee right alongside.
I know I’m not alone- we all have our loads-whatever you’re carrying- I see you- your strength.
Cheers to you.
We got this.