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My Second Daughter's Birthday: 

My AFE Anniversary

August 2022 at her (and her sister's) birthday party!


You will hear on the season finale that my second daughter’s birthday is coming up. Also known as my AFE anniversary. I speak in the episode how before the first anniversary I was given the advice to look at pictures, journal, check in with my therapist (or a close friend), grief, cry, yell, etc. 

Basically get the feels out. 

I did take the advice and it helped. The first birthday was hard, but I did it! I was fully present, and we had a wonderful time celebrating my daughter! Especially her

The second year was a stark difference. 

I did not “have time” (more like I didn’t make time) to process and I cried the entire day.

This year I was determined to do something different. Last night I decided to look through my daughter’s baby book (we call it her first and favorites book) and the envelope that I keep cards, colored sheets from kids, and other memorabilia. I turned on one of my favorite songs, texted my best friend to ask for prayers, and opened the envelope…

I fully expected the breakdown to come. To cry. To ugly cry and to grieve my birth as I had the last 2 years.

I read every single card.

I read bible verses on notecards.

A hand drawn picture from my friend’s then 7 year old.

My first baby’s little two year old hand prints. 

My graduation certificate from the Aphasia House program I completed in April.

And the tears did not come! 

I was in such awe of all that the Lord has done these three years.

Sure there were certain pictures that were hard to look at.

Me on a ventilator as I “met” my baby for the first time.

The day my NICU warrior met her older sister.

A selfie with my hubby just hours before the AFE.

But the tears still did not come. Mostly just gratitude. Who knows next Monday I may be an emotional wreck. I may cry most of the day like last year, but I also know I will be grateful that my life and my daughter’s lives were spared. And that’s ok. 

It’s ok to be sad and grateful at the same time.