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How Birth Trauma Changes Birthdays


Today is my first daughter’s 5th birthday. I never imagined how a severely traumatic birth would change this date for me as well. Allow me to explain.

My AFE was 9.19.19. 

I woke up from a coma on 9.28.19. 

My last vivid memory was 8.23.19. 

My daughter’s second birthday. 

My Mother in Law made the trip up to celebrate with us and we had a wonderful time. We sang, opened presents, and took probably way too many pictures. 

Some may think “Well, it’s a big day; a birthday. Of course you are going to remember that!” But I didn’t remember my husband's birthday, which was just 17 days before my AFE. Some of the same events occurred. My Mother in Law with Pepe in tow (Pepe is what my girls call my Father in Law) drove to celebrate with us. We sang, opened presents, and took not quite as many photos. 

Trauma {and brain injury} changes your life in unimaginable ways.

As I process today I feel several things. 



But also sadness, and grief. 

Particularly in how this season has affected my first daughter. This is circumstantial but she no longer eats bananas. Prior to my AFE she loved bananas. My mother in law explained to me how she bought bananas for Claire while watching her when I was in labor and at the hospital.  She no longer eats bananas.

She explains to me how she likes her friend’s mommy because she is able to drive. At this point I am not.

But the AFE has also made her into such a caregiver!

I cannot wait to see how the Lord uses this as a part of her story. How it shapes her as an adult. Her decisions. Her major in college. Her career.

So while there is sadness that comes up today, I choose to acknowledge it, feel it, and focus on what is. 

 I’m so thankful I still remember my daughter’s birthday and have pictures from my husband’s birthday to fill in the gaps.