The birthday cake was my favorite part of the birthday party, which surprised me a little bit. I think it was because for the first time that whole day I didn’t have to do anything but sit back and sing “Happy Birthday” to my kids. And I was standing there, singing, and watching my kids gaze at their birthday cake and lit candles with little smiles on their faces and I couldn’t help but just think a little bit.
I thought back to when I was not even 23 weeks pregnant and was hospitalized for preterm labor. I thought back to all those weeks in the hospital when we were terrified that we were going to have our kids too early.
I thought back to the day when I actually had them, and how everyone was running down the halls with me just laying there on the bed and the nurses kept telling me not to move just in case I accidentally had a baby before we got to the operating room.
And I thought back to those days in the NICU when Rosemary was getting a lumbar puncture to check for infection while I sat outside the NICU crying and waiting for a report from the doctor. Then there was the rest of the time in the NICU when things were going okay but we were on edge all the time knowing that in a matter of seconds things could be not be okay.
While I standing there taking all this in, I was trying not to cry because how do you explain crying during the “Happy Birthday” song?!! And with the three big kids there celebrating their third birthday, and my husband standing nearby holding our fourth child, I was just quite simply happy, and the happiness has stayed with me since then. It was a powerful moment.
And then we ate cake.