I've had a lot of people tell me they can't believe how "unlucky" we've been having two kiddos with health issues. That it's so unfair that I worked so hard at my pregnancies, and did everything right, and still had both babies hospitalized when there are moms out there who don't care and don't work hard and they have perfectly healthy babies. That each of the circumstances surrounding Will & Julianna's birth "stink". I've decided to take a much different outlook.
Sure, when you look at things from a general perspective it really does suck. Our daughter was a 27 week preemie that spent 66 days in the NICU, has PVL, a few developmental delays, and a few other preemie related issues. Our son has Shone's Syndrome and spent 25 days in the PICU & NICU, had heart surgery, is on a boatload of meds, and the future of his heart is still unknown. But we had the best of the worst. For as crappy as our situations are there is so much more good to be looked at.
When Julianna was born, we were in Ohio and surrounded by family, rather than in SC where we lived at the time. I went to the hospital the morning of her birth despite my OB in SC telling over the phone that my symptoms were not a concern. Julianna managed to avoid many of the major preemie issues. She has overcome how bad her PVL is (her neurologist said she should be paralyzed on the left side). Her teacher said she is doing amazingly well. She is a happy 2 year old.
When Will was born, we were fortunate enough to find out about his CHD before his birth and come up with a plan for him after birth. Our plan was executed perfectly. Will was able to keep himself stable for the first 2 weeks with minimal interventions. His CHD has not required open heart surgery. His left ventricle has improved and is functioning normally. He has started hitting some of his newborn milestones (I swear he smiled at me today!).
There are days when all I wish for is to have 2 completely healthy children. I wish that neither of my children had a "label", that Julianna wasn't a preemie and that Will wasn't a heart baby. I wish I didn't have to lock our family in the house during cold/flu season. I wish I had been able to have babies that came home from the hospital when I did. I wish that neither of my kiddos had to endure the things they have already. But there are so many more days that I am incredibly proud of what both my children have overcome. They are strong. They have stories to tell. They have scars to remind them of how far they have come already. They may both still have obstacles to face, but I know they will triumph. I am so proud to be their mommy. I wouldn't trade either of them for anything in the world.
I think we were given Will & Julianna for a reason. They are gifts to us from God. God knew Joe and I would work our hardest to make sure they had every opportunity to thrive and grow. He knew we would love them more than anything else on earth. He also knew we could handle the challenges each would bring to us and our family (although I still doubt it some days) He chose us to be Will & Julianna's parents. He knew we were the right parents for them. Luck had nothing to do with it.