Christmas of 2001, I was about 16 weeks pregnant with Riley. I can remember people talking about how different Christmas the next year would be for us. Riley would be six months, she'd be crawling and eating cereal and getting into everything.
Instead, Christmas of 2002, she was almost 10 months old. She was sitting up and crawling and getting into everything but things were still very different. We didn't go to Christmas Eve mass. We didn't go to my aunts' house. We stayed at home with our gallon jar of hand sanitizer. Her gifts were chosen with advice from her therapists. Her clothing was tiny. She was tiny. We were still in the "what next" and the "when is the next shoe gonna drop" stage. You know, that shell shocked, PTSD, depression stage.
Life is much different now, obviously. There are no signs of prematurity in our house, although I did find her little "wee pee" diaper on her dresser the other day...a remnant of a speech she did last week. There are no oxygen tubes or wires in her pictures, instead there are friends or gymnastics equipment. She helped me put up the Christmas tree instead of trying to take off all the ornaments. Life, honestly, is good. Our time with her is ticking. I don't know what her future holds but I'm hoping it's amazing.
The other day, we were having one of our talks in the car and she talked about being an only child. She knows that prematurity, HELLP Syndrome, etc made her an only child. But she said that her "lack of confidence" is maybe because she doesn't have any little siblings that look up to her or any big siblings to show her the way. It broke my heart a little bit. I told her that prematurity didn't cause her to not have any big siblings. Because she was our first try. HAHA. And she understands that. But she's wistful and that's hard.
Here's a picture of her with a friend at a wedding they were in. The rehearsal was 50s themed.
Even though it wasn't prematurity or HELLP syndrome that has made Abbey an only child, I still understand how they long for siblings. I have 3 siblings, and while I didn't grow up with them I can see it in Abbey's eyes when I talk about them. She adores babies and toddlers and is always willing to "babysit" when our friends are over with their littles. Riley is so beautiful!! I only hope I can raise such an amazing 14 year old someday!
Love and Hugs
What a beautiful young lady. I think Im shocked that she feels she has a "lack of Confidence" When I see her and all the amazing things she is doing and achieving its hard to believe she feels that way. I hope that she find her confidence because I have no doubt that their is a beautiful future ahead of her. Her passion to give back the way she does is inspiring. She may now have an older sibling to look up and show her the way but she does have and amazingly strong mother who never gave up, and that is a great role model.
So sweet. So glad most of the typical signs of prematurity have left your house but it surely doesn't make it any easier. I am also sorry that you lost the chance to have anymore children. I struggle with this as well. I am not content but don't like that I didn't get to chose. The choice was made for me and I hate that. We can hate it together. Hugs!
Ouch. I know how much it hurts you to see her wishing for those younger siblings that simply don't exist. I know you wanted more kids too and so having to make the tough decision to not have any more has to still hurt, even years later.
You've done such an amazing job of making sure Riley has friends and spends time with cousins (and second cousins :-) ) and just giving her ever opportunity.
It may never not hurt that she doesn't have those younger brothers you yearned to give her but I Hope the pain lessens as the years pass and you watch the beautiful young lady she's becoming blossom and change the world.
So much love,
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