Last year I turned 40 at Boston Children’s hospital waiting for Isabelle to gain a few ounces. A few weeks earlier we had planned for a party to take place that weekend but when we had to be admitted due to Isabelle’s feeding issues we cancelled. I tried to keep my spirits up in spite of missing out on a milestone and was grateful that we weren’t inpatient for anything worse. The morning of my birthday I checked my phone and saw the happy birthday posts appear one by one on my Facebook page.
I can’t express what that felt like- to see so many well wishes while being at such an unpleasant place. My husband did a great job in helping me celebrate by taking me out to dinner and ice cream. Our awesome roommates gave me a card and a key chain, which I use all the time. It wasn’t all that bad. Everyone eventually made it home later that week.
This year, I am jobless but Isabelle is doing great. We went apple picking yesterday and the night before Chris took me out to an incredible restaurant for my type of meal. My contracts are good and steady even if the employment isn’t. I’m glad I am working somewhere even if it is for another three weeks.
Birthdays have always been weird to me. I like celebrating because hey- who doesn’t like cake? At the same time, it marks a painful occasion for someone out there I probably will never meet. Every year I think of her and what she went through that day to have me. And then I also think of what she went through when she had to give me away. I celebrate with my family because that day was a joyous one for them, when they received a phone call that I had arrived.
Patricia made quite a sacrifice for me. I always give thanks on my birthday to her. Tonight when I have cake with my loved ones I will keep her into heart because without her selflessness, I would not be here.
This year has taught us that birthdays are special. Isabelle got to celebrate one when I was so afraid she wouldn’t get the chance. They aren’t to be taken for granted and there were so many who didn’t get that chance. I was given a chance to have a good life with a good family. Can’t think of a better present than that!