I've been having a lot of random thoughts lately about our blessings and about how much differently you look at those blessings when you watch your child fight to live. I remember life before CHD. It was quite nice actually. I don't think two people could have been happier and we were constantly thankful for our blessings. Thankful for having found someone to spend the rest of our lives with that we could love and cherish. Thankful for our healthy son and wonderful family. Thankful for our beautiful home and that we had good jobs so that we could afford new cars and pretty much whatever we wanted whenever we wanted it. Yes, life was good. Then my thirties came and the idea of having a baby just sounded like such a great idea. I had put all of my love and energy into Cody and he was in his teen years and needing me less and less. I was starting to feel like I needed someone to take care of...
When I was younger, after my Mom died, I had decided that I wasn't going to have any children. I just knew that if I had a baby something would be wrong. I used to be terrified that Bobby was going to die and Cody's biological Mom would take him from me and that I would be left with no one. Because, it seemed to me that if I loved someone, the Lord would rip them away from me, the way He had with my Mom. And, it wasn't just my Mom... my aunts, uncles and cousins moved shortly after Mom died, my first boyfriend, best friends. Everyone. If I loved them, they would leave me. I was certain of it and life only showed me that it was true.
But, by the time I was 30, I started to think that maybe life could be easy... That I had somehow paid my dues and that now I was just going to have blessings, instead of heartaches. After all, I hadn't lost anyone I loved in over 10 years. My fear of having a baby subsided and I had a perfect pregnancy. I took care of Carla, and knew that the Lord was going to give me the most perfect little girl.
What I didn't understand was that heartaches can be blessings too... Life has been far from easy. The last five, almost six years have been the hardest days of our lives. We cling to faith, because we know that we have no control of anything, and chronic stress has not only affected our mental health, but also our physical health. At times it feels like we are dredging through life, trying to get to the other side of the pile of crap our life has become... But, we are always aware of our blessings... Very aware that every day is a gift. Bobby and I still love each other, although, we don't have nearly as much fun (maybe time will give that back to us). We lean on each other for strength and luckily, we don't usually have a bad day on the same day ;) We have witnessed more miracles than most people get in a lifetime, and they seem to keep coming. We have also witnessed more human kindness and generosity than most people see in a lifetime. Every day we see our daughter smile, the hardships have been worth it. Carla has brought so much hope, love, and faith to this world, and there isn't a day that goes by that we aren't thankful for making the choice to give our daughter a chance.