Over seven years ago I decided to start a blog, and though posts have been infrequent lately I am still here. I am still writing even if no one reads it.
When I started this blog I was a 27 year old soon to be graduate student, a new coach, and I was training and competing at a high level. I was chasing dreams and trying to create a different reality. The truth is that reality is never actually what you think it is going to be. I’m living in reality and it isn’t what I was crafting at the time. It’s better.
Now, I am a 34 year old soon to be mother to a baby girl with a very uncertain future. Finding out that I was having a daughter terrified me because I don’t ever want her to feel lost. I don’t want her to feel like she has to create a new reality, I want her to embrace the real world surrounding her. I want her to know that she belongs, that she matters, and that she doesn’t have to win races or achieve a long list of personal accomplishments to feel valued. I don’t want my daughter to experience the hardships and disappointments that I’ve experienced as a result of forcefully trying to actualize my dreams. I want my daughter to grow up knowing her worth.
Unfortunately, nothing I can do is going to protect her from the reality that she is going to come into this world in a very complicated way. I cannot change that she has a congenital heart defect. I cannot change that she will be taken to the NICU shortly after birth. I cannot change that she might need to have heart surgery. I cannot change that instead of coming home she will spend her first few weeks of life in Denver. I do not want her to feel unloved, lost, or alone so early in life and I will do everything I can to make sure she knows that we love her. I will do everything I can to help her embrace this reality and teach her that there is beauty and joy even in the worst of times if we choose to see it.
I’ve encountered a lot of people who feel that it is necessary to tell me how difficult it is to have a baby, how I’ll never sleep again, and how I’ll never be able to do anything I like to do ever again. I don’t doubt their struggles or the challenges of having a baby for one moment, however my reality is not going to be their experience. My reality is going to be unique to me and my baby. I want to share my passions and hobbies with her, and when she is older and develops her own interests I want to spend time with her doing things that she enjoys. I am choosing to focus on the joy that my daughter will bring to the world and face the challenges we both may experience together instead of alone. She is not a challenge, she is not an inconvenience. She has given me a reason to choose joy. She has given me a new perspective. She has helped me realize that reality is often more magnificent than our dreams.
I can’t wait to meet my daughter.