I have taken some time off from writing as my mind has been a jumble if thoughts and emotions. I have been weighed down by the herculean task of wrapping my head around all of the changes in my life over the past two years. Barreling towards Sam's second birthday has been really different than it was last year. This time last year, I was consumed with anxiety and fear; terrified about everything I would feel as I neared his first birthday.
This year, I kind of know what to expect... except it's different.
I'm still scared. I still have anxiety. I am still tormented by everything that happened. I still find myself crying at really inopportune times (middle of a school party anyone?).
But, at the same time, it is just different.
Sam is different.
I am different.
My fears are different.
My family is different.
Everything just feels different.
I know that I am stronger. I have been through hell: finding out I was in preterm labor at 23 weeks, giving birth at 24 weeks, 95 days of uncertainty in the NICU, rushing Sam to the ER less than two months after we brought him home when he fell out of his daddy's arms and fractured his skull, spending 5 nights in the hospital last December when Sam has RSV, and many many other traumas. And even through all of that, I survived. I lived through them, and came out the other side. Yes, I have a good case of PTSD, but at least I know I have it and am taking care of myself.
But more things being different this year have less to do with me, and more to do with Sam. He is a remarkable little man. If you didn't know he was a preemie, you would have a hard time believing it. He is big, fat, active, happy, healthy, and wonderful. Each day, he picks up a new word or phrase. His personality is just blossoming and his smile and sense of humor make everything fade away. And... that smile!
There are still uncertainties about how he will do in the future, but I'll be dammed if anything is going to stop this man from taking on the world.
With my survival and Sam's thriving, this year just seems a little less traumatic.
I guess this is what everyone talks about when they say it does get better. It doesn't go away, but it does get better.