August’s 5th birthday is on Saturday. Five! I can’t believe it has been 5 years since the night of his birth. It was a night that has been replayed in my mind countless times. There are pictures that come to my mind every time I think of it, and I imagine they always will. This was not a happy occasion, and August’s birthday has always been a day I would rather skip. I have done a lot of work to manage the effects the trauma has had on me, and this is the first year I haven’t felt a need to spend a lot of time preparing myself for the day that can be so triggering. This is the first year that when I think of his birthday, I see the miracle that August is before I see the consequences of such a traumatic birth. I think that’s a pretty big deal.
This photo is precious, and it brings up a lot of emotion for me because I remember the turmoil I was feeling. I couldn’t make my mind stop replaying the birth. I blamed myself. There were so many questions, and so much uncertainty for the future. I have felt this same turmoil off and on for the past 5 years, but it was strongest at first. I would not want to go back to this time or relive the past 5 years.
I have done a lot of thinking of what could have been. How would things be different if August’s birth went as planned? It’s hard to answer that question, and it’s also interesting to realize that I wouldn’t want to change things. If I try to describe the truest, most beautiful story about parenthood, I can think of a lot of stories that seem easier. The story that I imagined for August before his birth definitely seems like a nicer and more carefree story. I can think of stories that seem happier. But I can’t think of a story more beautiful or joyful than the one that we have lived. I think it is important that we remember that easy does not equal beautiful or joyful.
This year on August’s birthday, I am excited to celebrate August. In the past, it has been easier to remember the things that went wrong at his birth. His birth did not go as planned or as anyone would have hoped for. A lot of things went wrong, but enough things went right that he is here with us today. He is truly a miracle in so many ways.