Full of Gratitude on Max’s First Birthday

I can hardly believe my little man Max is already a year old.  From the moment he was born, well, even before he was born, everyone told us to cherish the time, how time flies, and he will be a little kid in a mere blink of an eye.  I think we have cherished each and every moment, and despite our crazy work obligations, I think Matt and I have done a good job focusing on Max when we are with him, and absorbing every little coo, smile, giggle, roll, crawl, stumble and hug along the way.

I know that I take (and share) almost too many pictures of my little man, but for every actual photo I take a million more little images in my head.  And in the evening after only an hour of peace and quiet, I already miss that little man when he has gone to bed.

As much as I would never wish a battle with infertility for any couple, I feel like I am an infinitely better mom and appreciate so much more because of our road we took to get to where we are now.  The shots, hormones and physical parts of IVF were certainly a lot at first, and I adjusted to all of that very quickly, but the emotional part is where the real battle begins.  The waiting, the hoping, the certainty it had worked only to find out it had not, finding out that you didn’t even get past the first step and scrapping a cycle only to wait months until you could try again.  And on a few occasions we were lucky enough to have success with IVF, we suffered losses early on.  With all the feelings of grief, failure, anger, and jealously (and anger at yourself because you don’t want to feel jealous, really!) you feel like no one else in the world can understand you, but the truth is that so many women, so many families, have gone through the same types of things.  Finding a support network of women was a crucial for me midway through our journey, and I hope to be there as a ray of light and understanding for anyone else going through this now.

What kept me going is the thought that I was not going to let down my child, that I would show that child that he would be the most special and worth it thing in the entire world, and that we would walk through fire and to the ends of the earth to bring him home.  Whether it ended up with us adopting or having a baby through IVF, in the end I didn’t care, I just knew I would not give up or give in, and we would show that child he was worth fighting for.

When I hear that little boy cry or babble in his crib when he wakes up, I go to his room and scoop him up, and each day is like Christmas morning to me.  To watch him reach our for me and feel him hug me, smile at me, laugh at me and look at me with love has made my life more worthwhile than I ever dreamed.  Having a child is the most worth it thing, and I am so very lucky that we received our miracle.  I cannot thank God, the moon, the stars, or the heavens enough for our little man.

Only because of our journey do I feel like I can begin to truly understand and appreciate what a blessing it is to have a child.   I will cherish this little boy the rest of my life, the big moments and the teeny ones.  He will continue to amaze me with the way he stacks blocks and knock them down, and melt my heart with his sloppy baby kisses.

And I promise that little boy that I will make the most of all these moments, the big ones and the teeny ones, the best as I can.

We just celebrated Max’s 1st birthday with a little Sesame Street themed birthday party.  The party was planned for what ended up being the day after Hurricane Matthew, so we didn’t know until the last minute  if we were having it or not, but luckily the power came back on and I was able to finish all of the cupcakes in time.  At the end of the day, worst case scenario was that I’d have to cancel and we’d have about 3 dozen too many Cookie Monster cupcakes – in the grande scheme of things, no big deal.  That Saturday morning the skies were brilliant blue, the birds were chirping and we could not have asked for a more perfect day to celebrate our Maxwell.

I love that little man to the moon and back, and have a heart full of love and gratitude.  My grandma always says that he is just growing up too fast, but it doesn’t make me sad.  Every new month I meet this amazing new little person that I fall in love with even more than the month before (even though I didn’t think that was possible).  Heart full of gratitude for these moments.

(And a huge huge thank you to my dear friend Bona for helping to capture the amazing day!)

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