As I sat in my daughter's room before she woke up this morning, I thought back to when Jeremy and I first learned of her existence.
I had just recovered (physically, not emotionally ) two months prior from a miscarriage. Even though we only knew for two weeks before losing the first baby, we felt we were already parents. We found out we were pregnant with Marissa on July 29, 2006. About two weeks later, the drama of having a high risk pregnancy began. I won't go into all the problems I experienced during my pregnancy right now, but we weren't sure if she would hang on long enough to be born, let alone be born healthy.
At the beginning of November we decided to have an amniocentesis. The doctors were telling us that if we found anything, we had the choice to terminate. In my mind, we weren't having this procedure to make a decision to terminate or not, my control freak brain just needed to know what was going on with my baby.
The day before Thanksgiving I got a phone call from the Maternal Fetal Medicine center at our hospital. They said the results came back negative for certain syndromes or problems, but they could only test for so many problems and there still were the existing issues. We knew she didn't have Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida, but other than that, we didn't know much more than before the test. The next day I sat at the Thanksgiving table with my husband and sister and thanked God for the little life inside me. I knew right then that even though it was going to be a long bumpy ride with many unknowns, Jeremy and I were up for it.
After Marissa was born we spent the first two months watching her fight for her life, coming close to losing that fight many times. There is no doubt in our minds that the tracheostomy and g-tube that were placed on May 9, 2007 saved her life. Even though this is not an easy life by any stretch of the imagination, Jeremy and I are so thankful that Marissa is here and is as healthy as she is. She has changed our lives immensely and we would be truly lost without her.
I am thankful for many other things too.
I am thankful to have a husband that puts up with me (which is an amazing, almost impossible feat at times!) He is my best friend and such a good husband, father and provider.
I am thankful for Jeremy's job. Even without the help of Medicaid (which still has not kicked in yet) Jeremy works hard enough that I don't have to work outside the home. I don't know what we'd do if this were not the case. Marissa can't just go to any regular daycare!
I am thankful for my sister Michelle who has saved my sanity more than a few times. Having her here in the same town is such a blessing, even before she became Marissa's babysitter. :)
I am thankful for the rest of my family. We have our moments, of course, but they are the world to me and I am thankful that the majority of them live in this state.
I am thankful that Jeremy's mom is healthy again and was able to come out and meet Marissa for the first time in May. As Marissa was fighting for her life, Jeremy's mom was also fighting for her life at the same time. We love you Grandma in Utah!
I am thankful for the way our families treat Marissa. They have embraced her and accept her the way she is. They don't look at her as different, just special.
I am thankful that with as large a family as I have (four parents and six kids between them), that we are all happy and relatively healthy. I do not, however, forget that we used to be a family of seven kids. We miss and love you Scooter!
I am thankful for friends, old and new and even friends online that I have never met. I would not be the same person without them.
I am thankful for my new "trach family". You know who you are. I am so blessed to be able to get together with such sweet spirits that "get us". I love you all.
With as long as this list is, there is still much more I am thankful for.
I hope and pray that you are able to see the blessings in your lives and can be thankful for them every day of the year.