I look at London and whisper, “You weren’t supposed to be three yet.” It is just like last year when I whispered to her, “You weren’t supposed to be two yet.” And the year before that when at 1 she was 9 months old to me.
We were robbed. At least that’s how it felt for a long time after London arrived. Robbed of that anticipation. Robbed of what this pregnancy thing was supposed to be like, especially for Kate. I have written about it before.
But as time has passed, healing has come. More and more I think of London’s premature birth at 26 weeks not as robbery, but as getting to receive the greatest gift I will ever receive three months early.
Though her birth and the following three and a half months in the hospital have left Kate and I with scars and, at times, profound distress, the experience is slowly shaping into a larger blessing as we watch London meet and exceed our expectations and the expectations of every healthcare professional she has seen over these three years.
London is less and less defined by the story of her birth, but for her mom and I, as we move further and further from that night, we are made more aware of how that night has shaped us into the parents, friends, and professionals we are today. We are aware that the passage of time will not completely fade that night in the minds of others, but throws it into sharp relief for us.