This is the week that it starts. Two years ago this week, we heard the ominous word “preeclampsia” uttered for the first time. So begins another anniversary season of when things fell apart.
While those pivotal dates have their own significance, I have conflicting emotions about Charlie’s fast approaching birthday.
Two is a special age for preemie parents. Two marks the end of age adjustment to account for a premature arrival. Two is when preemies are supposed to “catch up”. Two is the promised end to preemiehood, the finish line.
But, not for us.
It’s true, her age will no longer be adjusted. Yet, she will not be “caught up”. The therapy and the specialist appointments will carry on. The consequences of her early birth will not disappear.
I knew her second birthday was going to be this way. I realized it when I saw the look on her doctor’s face the first time I asked why she couldn’t hold her head up. I knew then she was going to be an exception.
I’ve had over a year to prepare and brace myself. Nevertheless, it still bothers me.
The situation is similar to her birth. Once I was diagnosed with preeclampsia, I was told she was going to be a preemie. Yet, when she made her appearance I was consumed by unexpected feelings of loss.
I’m happy Charlie is going to be two. I feel so lucky she’s here with us. I am grateful for the progress she has made.
However, I’m saddened that she didn’t catch up. I’m slightly disheartened the super preemie predictions made at her NICU discharge didn’t come true. She has come a long way. Though, she still has so long to go.
Welcome to anniversary season, a time of complex, conflicted, and irrational emotions that often take me by surprise.