I'm not sure how many of you may have followed along with the unexpected and scary events of this year's holiday season for my family... So as my husband and I sat with our girls this Christmas morning, watching them unwrap presents, I thought to myself how grateful, humbled and blessed I feel to have two healthy children to spend our holidays with.
Our little one Emma was struck with an unexpected dangerously high fever just a day before Christmas Eve that woke me up in the middle of the night as I felt her endure her first febrile seizure ever (and ours first to witness as parents). It was terrifying. We could not lower the fever and soon after I was scurrying across the parking lot of Coral Springs Medical Center carrying my baby that could barely keep her eyes open into the Emergency room.
In that moment, all the frustrations of parenthood, all the misbehaviors of my children - siblings constantly arguing with each other and me being the referee, the messy home that I can never keep up with, the insecurities of me being way behind on my fitness regimen, literally all of it and more melted away.
I wondered as I carried my child into the ER and sat in the room riddled with nurses who all had intensely serious faces, a doctor with probing questions, catheter, IV hep-lock, fluids, blood draws, x-rays, is she going to live?
Fast forward a few hours, strong dose of antibiotics, motrin, and a doctor getting called in for a second opinion to review blood work, diagnosis, scans, I literally burst out sobbing when he said he will let Emma spend Christmas at home with her family. I shook his hand with so much gratitude, embarrassed for my tears, thanking him, thanking the nurses for being our super heroes, leaving the ER with the biggest smile of my life on my face.
So maybe it will make sense to you that the gratitude just did not stop coming...
I told my December birth clients, both due near Christmas, "nothing would make me happier and more honored than to spend Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with you."
I am not the most religious person on this earth, but I am spiritual, and I do believe that it was my complete and utter surrender of my holidays to give to my December birth families, that really was whole-hearted, no agenda, just sheer, utter love for these incredible two women who I feel to this day are my sisters, this small sacrifice that saved our family in some spiritual ways...
My sisters flew in for the holidays, I had not seen one of them and her children and husband in a year. My sisters are my best friends. It is so hard to have them continents away all year.
I walked in last night on Christmas Eve to my parents house, seeing everyone for the first time. Although everyone had been there for days, this is the first time I was seeing them.
I was attending the most beautiful birth for my second December birth client just a few days prior, then the entire ER world-topple-over moment for us with our youngest, and now I was seeing everyone for the first time.
Tears lined my eyes as I looked on the faces of my two nieces and my nephew, who were just babies, and now all three look like young adults, on the brink of high school.
My nephew dressed up as Santa Claus and brought in presents for my children, and this year my oldest was 5 years old and her eyes dazzled that Santa came to see her, to hug her, to tell her that she is important, that he'll bring more presents to her house when everyone is asleep. The gratitude and childhood, innocent joy she had enjoying the gifts he brought her last night, and the absolutely, over the top ecstatic joy and laughter that came from her and my youngest who could enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with us, I have never seen anything quite so mesmerizing in my life.
And this morning, with my hand over my mouth, in wonder, surprised at all the blessings just raining upon us, the life of my children, the togetherness of my family, I realized I want to do something extraordinary and giving.
So in the spirit of this especially emotional Christmas that has tugged at my heart strings, I will gift a film to the next family who reserves a birth photography story with me for 2018.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year 2018 to everyone, from my family to yours!
Wishing you Love, Light, Laughter, Joy, Success, Financial Stability and Many, Many Blessings in 2018!!