I have a few other mama friends who's stories went differently. One in particular will always stick with me. Her son was due two months before mine. Although we were new friends, we were excited for our boys to be good friends growing up. She never got to bring her son home. I won't claim to know, understand or feel what she knows, understands and feels. But I do know what I know.
I know that it made me a better mama. I know that when I was at my wit's end with sleepless nights and pure exhaustion, I would remember that she would probably give anything to feel that. I know that my pain of recovery was dulled knowing that she had that pain but no baby to cuddle. I know that the tears of joy, hormones and the cocktail of pain killers coursing through my system were nothing to the tears of sadness she must have been experiencing.
She has since adopted a super squeezable, adorable baby boy. I'm over the moon for her. But I still get sad. Tonight I lay in my son's bed and cried for her and for the 4 year old that she doesn't have. I had walked my son back to his room for the umpteenth time and reminded myself that I 'get to' do this. I cried because I made it. I survived all of those unknowns. I didn't miss any tax deadlines or payrolls. My body healed. My son was born healthy. My son was alive. I cried because all of my original fears seems so trivial now that I know what they could have been.