The Struggles We Face, Only Make Us Stronger

Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises or the pain. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove that we showed up for it.

On this day, four years ago, I gave birth to my second child. I witnessed and experienced bringing another precious, miraculous life into this world and into my heart and soul, forever. Our gentle, loving and so very sweet, little warrior, Aston.

Our first nine months together were not easy. My lupus, yes I speak of this illness as if I possess it somehow, decided to painfully challenge us throughout my pregnancy. I spent much time at the doctor’s and in the hospital as a high-risk patient.

All I wanted and wished for each day was to be healthy and strong and to deliver another healthy baby boy. I remember lying on the table at the cardiologist’s office when they found fluid in my heart and around my lungs. I was having difficulty breathing and had alarmingly low blood pressure. I remember that day like it was yesterday.

Something compelling happened. A calmness took over and replaced my fear. I trusted, at that moment, that I was meant to be a healthy mother of our two boys. I trusted that everything was going to be okay. One of the specialists, who had spent time with me during a lot of this said something and it really stuck with me. It really connected me to Aston even deeper. This doctor had witnessed a lot of the dramatic scenarios Aston and I endured and thankfully, survived, together. He looked deep into my eyes and said, ” All of this suffering and all of these challenges, will make your Aston a very strong boy. He will get through anything, just as you will get through this darkness right now.

A strong boy; that is an understatement.

Aston spent much of his first two years of life in and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices. His big brother never wanted to leave his side and was with us on every visit. He stood by him and comforted him through every test, every procedure, and every moment. He would make painful faces and contort his body to match Aston’s in an attempt to reassure him that he was not alone. He would say, “I feel the pain you are feeling and we will get through this, baby Aston.” Every time Aston had to wear a Band-Aid, Pierce would put one on in the same place just so that Aston would feel better about wearing one.

The bond between these two only strengthens with time.

I won’t go into all of the hardships Aston has courageously faced up until now. I just want to share how brave and happy he is, in spite of the many struggles he has faced. He is a survivor. He is a gentle Ox, and it is so appropriate that his Chinese birth sign is just that.

He is such a wondrous and magical spirit. He melts our hearts with his loving and kind nature. He is self-assured, yet, open to the world and all there is to learn around him. He is so in touch with his surroundings and with humanity. His love exudes in every breath, action, and word he utters. He is a glorious, magnificent light in our lives each and every day.

Aston is a wise and old soul. He teaches and leads by example. He is a loyal and one-of-a-kind friend and brother.

He wakes up every single day with a huge and grateful smile on his face. He appreciates the simple things in life and fundamentally understands what ‘the simple, little things, ‘ are. He warms my heart and touches my soul, deeply; every moment. He amazes and inspires me every day.

Our adventure continues and now, he gets to experience the world as a proud and healthy, four-year-old. Two years ago, he was on a breathing machine daily. Witnessing him climbing the Great Wall of China, running along the beaches, all across this vast and majestic world, and actively enjoying each moment of his life, is a wonderful miracle every day. He is up for anything and gives everything his all, with the purest heart and uninhibited passion and expression. I am more grateful than I can ever express for his presence and love in our lives.

I am so grateful that my instinct as a mother, led me to the Attachment Parenting way of life from the moment our first son was born. I was living the principles whilst baby-wearing, breastfeeding, and cosleeping before I knew the term Attachment Parenting existed. I often felt alone in my way of parenting. Everyone I was surrounded by was doing it differently and they couldn’t resist their questioning and judgment. I never questioned myself or doubted my ways for a second.

Today and always, I am so grateful for the closeness we share as a family, and I can’t imagine parenting any other way. In the hospitals, the nurses would always have a crib set up for Aston, but, as you can see, I requested a bed for us to be together in, every time. I held him every second, with all of the love in my heart, with big brother right there supporting and loving us and we got through every single challenge; together.

Thank you for celebrating with us today.

Happy Birthday, Baby Aston.

♥️ Mommy