As I write this post another holiday is coming to a close.
I want to love the holidays, I really do. But since our daughter passed away, I tend to dread them more than I look forward to the next.
Four and a half years ago, I carried triplets until my body could not carry them any longer, and gave birth to three miracle babies at 28 weeks gestation.
Two of my children survived the many ups and downs of being born severely premature.
One did not.
Life has been bittersweet ever since.
Holidays bring with them a deep appreciation for the precious lives we have been given, but a painful reminder of the life that should be here too.
As I dressed my daughter in her Easter dress, it took everything I had to concentrate on the moment, to give it to her.
My mind kept drifting to her sister, who should be standing next to her, anxiously awaiting for the bow to be tied on her frilly Easter dress and wiggling in her seat as I attempt to braid her hair.
I have learned so much in our journey through infertility and high risk pregnancy and prematurity and infant loss.
I have learned that, in order to survive it all and not grow into a bitter old woman before I even hit 40, I must concentrate on the lives before me and do whatever I can to honor the life that is no longer here.
And this is where my work with the March of Dimes began.
We formed a family team as soon as our preemies where given the okay to be out in the world and walk in honor of our survivors and in memory of our daughter each year. Every dime I raise makes me feel like I am doing something.
Losing a child, spending day after day in the NICU willing her siblings to survive, wheeling home oxygen tanks and heart monitors just so your survivors can begin a life in your home, all of these things make you feel helpless as a parent.
Raising money for the March of Dimes, an organization that plays a huge role in the advancements in prenatal and neonatal care, takes away a bit more of that helpless feeling every year.
I may not have the chance to buy one more Easter dress or dig for one more ponytail holder, but I can fundraise my butt off each year.
Each year I spend the walk appreciating every step my survivors take, every dollar we have raised, the family and friends who have joined us and I reflect on the tragic turn of events that has brought us all to this place.
A place of soaking up life, holding its hand and treasuring just how precious it truly is.