Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hasta, 2010. Hola, 2011

Yes, I realize that I'm about 2 days late in my "Year in Reflection" post...

2010 will certianly go down in the books as the most memorable year of our lives. Easily. It's the year that taught Casey and I a lot about ourselves, a lot about each other and a lot about life.

Most importantly, this is the year we became parents. 2010 is the year that in the same moment that we were overcome with complete joy and happiness; and we were also thrown into a pit of fear and worry. Where we both found a strength to move forward that we never knew existed. This year, we learned to operate outside of our comfort zone, to ask for help, to be humbled at the kindness of those we know and love and those we barely know at all.

2010 showed us that it is possible to function on less than 2 hours of continuous sleep. That you can (after a stout cup of coffee) put one foot in front of the other each morning and go through with your day. That expectations as a parent that you place on yourself are much higher (and much more unrealistic) than others do. That its okay to put your new baby down for five minutes to run to the bathroom, to sleep in your own bed and put the baby in hers.

2010 also showcased both sides of motherhood. The boundless bliss that comes with giving birth to to new life, smelling her sweet, milky baby smell, nuzzling her tiny, fuzzy head with your cheek. But also, the darker, less-talked-about, taboo side of post pardum depression and PTSD and all the helplessness and loneliness that it brings.

2010 tested the outermost limits of our marriage, stretching our patience beyond what we thought was possible. Yet, at the same time, it bound our love for each other that much more tightly. It gave us a new-found respect for each other, for a level of care and concern never seen by one another. Our marriage came through a little battle worn and ragged; but equally as strong and connected.

2010 also tested our faith and broadcast to us that life does not go on according to our plans; but the Lord's.  The power of prayer was never more evident to us than it was this year. From all the prayers and well-wishes sent to Beatrice Kate when she was born and hospitalized to the countless hours we've spent in conversation with Him about why. We've said it before, but it bears repeating: It doesn't matter "Why Us?". It only matters that His promise of never giving you more than you can handle bears true (though at the time; it certianly didn't feel that way). Similar to our marriage, our faith in God may have been tested and put through the ringer; but it came out on the other side stronger and deeper. It's possible that that very reason is our answer to "Why Us"?. We needed a faith wake-up call.

Finally, 2010 introduced us to a new set of friends, who have since become like our family. In the dark world of the NICU, friendships with our nurses and other NICU parents blossomed. These people know what it's like to spend hours fretting over the life of your new child; and celebrate each milestone reached with you. We also formed new bonds with other new parents and families from our church; and there are no words to say how grateful we are to have you as a part of our lives.

Regardless, as easy as it is to reflect and dwell on the past, we're looking toward the future in 2011 with wide-eyed anticipation. We cannot wait to see what lies ahead in the coming year. We're excited to see how our "miracle baby" - you know, the one who doctors once said would "always be just a little smaller than her peers", the one who, at our last NICU Follow-up appointment, was declard "a little on the chubby side", the one who has already caught up to her fellow term-baby age group's milestones... yea, her. We're so excited to see the person she will develop into and we're looking forward to leading her through the coming months.

It's easy to think about the past few months and think, "Why us?". But in reality, things could have been so. much. worse. And yes, we've had few rough patches; but in the end, we have a healthy, beautiful family. And we are so, so grateful for that.

1 comment:

  1. Happy 2011, Collins family! I hope you year is filled with lots of fun.
    Amy, C & O