It’s never easy to welcome a new family into the club – the world of medically complex kiddos who were born with challenges most will never know. When Jackson was born, we were very quiet with what we shared in regards to his birth announcement, something that I later regretted. My hope is that all parents who welcome a child who is a little different will be excited to share their news and welcomed with true ‘Congratulations’ from all around them! No matter what, there is a team of mamas waiting to celebrate with them who have been there.
I know it’s been a while, but I just heard the amazing news – you welcomed your little one last night. Congratulations! Babies are the best, right?
I know – that may seem a little strange, calling this experience the ‘best’ right now. Because I heard – I heard your little one came too early or was too small or came too early or had to be whisked off to the ICU before you were able to hold them. And I heard the delivery room was packed – a mad house – and the quiet birth experience you were hoping for was lost. Or, maybe I didn’t hear that – maybe I’m just remembering the chaos that was Jackson’s birth. Either way, let me say it again.
When Jackson was born, everyone walked on egg shells, not sure what to say when the child we had been hoping for was born the way he was. And that’s okay – it’s hard to know what to say. But I know the feeling of longing for normalcy and longing for the joy that is supposed to come along with a new baby. So, if it hasn’t been said already or hasn’t been said enough, congratulations on your new miracle.
For us, the parents of children born with more needs than most, that’s exactly what our kiddos are – miracles. They’re tiny fighters who enter the world with a bang, ready to show everyone just how strong they truly are. And it may sound strange now, but in the world of parents, we’re the lucky ones.
We’re the ones who will get to witness this strength everyday. We’re the ones who will get to watch a child that cannot say their first word or utter their first sound fight harder for life than most adults. We’re the ones who, when all hope seems lost and the odds are stacked against them, will see tiny minds make decisions – continue to fight or allow themselves to understand that a short life doesn’t mean a meaningless life and that tiny hearts can make big impacts without having to be here for a long time.
Because I’m not naïve – I know that all babies born to families like ours don’t make it home. I know that some who do make it home don’t have a storybook ending. And I know that’s hard to hear. But I also know this – no matter what the outcome, the miracle you welcomed today will teach you more about love, acceptance, and strength than you ever thought possible. They will touch more lives and help shape you in a way you never thought possible. And, for that, we are lucky.
So hold your head high. Announce to the world with pride that your little one is here. Shout their name from the roof tops and don’t be afraid to share your joy. Know that there is a team full of people who welcomed miracles just like you waiting to celebrate in your honor.