What does 4 months mean to me?
4 months means:
A baby girl that has filled me with a joy, love and passion I’d never known existed. Compassion and empathy. Strength and courage.
These past four months of my life have been an amazing roller coaster. Sometimes I throw my hands up at the highs and sometimes my stomach plummets into turmoil at the lows. I don’t know where the next 4 months will bring us, not to mention the next 4 days… what day of the week is it anyway?
Having a child who is different can leave a parent feeling isolated, sometimes because it is isolating, and other times because a parent makes themselves feel that way. I don’t expect many people to understand. I didn’t understand until I was there. Achondroplasia is so rare, that there are not a million other people out there who know what Addie is going through, or Dave and myself as parents. As a friend, teacher, or therapist of someone who has a child with a difference, you are not living with your flesh and blood and all the questions that make us unsure. I’m scared everyday- I want to know she’ll be OK, but there are tests to be done and results to be read. It can be an isolating world out there.
I hugged her last night and asked her to promise me she will wake up. Is that sick? Probably. I have a whole blog for you about that. I teared up and Dave promised me she would. Sometimes hearing what doctors test for make you more scared than not knowing at all. And in 4 months, this is a lesson I’ve learned.
I’ve also learned to love completely. Forgive wholly. It’s OK to let go sometimes. Other times, hold tight. I’ve learned that other people won’t get it, and what they say might hurt me. There will be days when what people say and do will hurt Addie. I’ve learned that when I’m upset, it’s because I’m upset, not because someone made me or someone meant to hurt me, and that’s OK. It’s OK to feel our own emotions, and express them how we need to. I’m not here to make you happy. I was put on this Earth for Addie and Dave. For my parents and family.
I look at Addie’s dimples, her infectious smile, a head full of unruly hair and I cannot help but be filled with joy. She coos and half laughs, conversing in her own way, making everyone who meets her melt with the love and happiness only she can bring.
As I celebrate my beautiful baby girl, I want to also celebrate all the parents out there who remember to cherish each day. It’s not easy to be a parent, especially when you feel alone. There are days ahead filled with sleep studies, x-rays, MRIs and miles of driving for doctors to poke and study our baby girl, but when I’m old and gray and Addie is there to take care of us, I know she will understand that’s just what we do for those we love.
Happy 4 months to Addie and to all the other April 17, 2012 babies! May your next 4 months be full of more wonder and awe. More community love and support and a little more understanding for the things that you may not ever be able to understand.
And so I present to you, Adelaide Eileen Martinka: