Most of the time I would say that we are totally IN this life of ours. But sometimes, it all still seems so surreal. Kaylee is four months old now and her sweet and funny personality is really starting to shine through. It is like YESTERDAY that Avery was 14 months old, blowing us kisses, saying da da, ma ma, bye bye and a handful of other words. Before the storm hit. If we were IN the life I envisioned then, I would now be using this forum to display cute images, describe funny things Avery said, and brag on developmental milestones. It's what moms do, right? We can't help but be so proud of their every little achievement that we shout it from the mountaintops. We notice all the other babies around the same age and secretly compare how ours is matching up. When Avery first started her backwards slide, it would devastate me every time we were around her same aged peers. I wanted to scream... "WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING HERE!!!" It's getting better... but my heart still breaks just a little bit every time I am able to have a "conversation" with a two year old. I feel like those parents have no idea how miraculous that is.
So now I am in a new place with both of my girls. On one hand, I am loving the typical, blessed interactions I am having with Kaylee multiple times an hour, and on the other I am terrified to enjoy it too much because 1. it could slip away, and 2. it might mean that I am not fully accepting Avery for who she is and what she can do. Right before Kaylee was born, a few well meaning friends said "oh, don't you hope she is not like Avery?" This comment would TOTALLY piss me off and I would usually come back with something like... " I can only pray that this baby is half as neat, fun and special as Avery is."
What I am working hard to realize is that I can fully love and accept both of my children and learn to appreciate and be proud of who they each are individually. I gotta admit though, it's hard sometimes to be optimistic when you are running on a few hours of interrupted sleep because (and they don't tell you this in the "What to do now that your child has Autism" book I never received) your two year old still doesn't sleep through the night and your 4 month old still wakes to breastfeed every 2-4 hours!!! But I do recognize that each moment that I get to share with my girls is a gift, and I wouldn't trade my life with anyone, even with the heartaches and sleepless nights. It's a battle, but I know I am winning it. I will be a better, more complete woman, mother and survivor because of it.