Heart-in-hand gloves by Yastik izi.

I gave birth 7 1/2 years ago. It was an ordinary labor and delivery, free of complications. Because it was my first, the 10 hours it took from start to finish felt average and acceptable. My boy came screaming into this world weighing 8 lbs. 7 oz at 10:14 am. My husband and I beamed from ear to ear, but no different than other first time parents I’m sure. It was a Wednesday and the last day of March. The weather was typical of early spring in these parts: overcast with a few beams of sunshine.

As he grew we desired to add to our family and see him become a big brother. In fact, we wanted lots of children. We would discover along our journey many painful reports of infertility. We went through in-vitro fertilization 4 times. The third time we became pregnant but then had an early miscarriage. We also prepared for a year for an adoption trip to Russia that ended in failure. Our hearts broke over and over as we struggled to understand why nothing seemed to work out for us. And yet, we had a son who was growing before our eyes. At one time we were able to create life which gave us so much hope for the future, but now life felt replete with heartbreak and discouragement.

In correlation with this discouragement and the setbacks of our efforts, the day of my son’s birth has morphed into the miracle it was always meant to be. Viewing it as a long ways from typical at this point, I see his birth much differently. I embrace him and offer thanks each day for I am more acquainted now with the odds of us conceiving. I also realize that we could go bankrupt trying and still be where we started so I should be content with what we’ve been given. But most of all, I feel grateful because what once felt average now feels awe-inspiring. What once was ordinary is now anything but — we were given a gift that day. A gift so special it would never be repeated or imitated. A miraculous gift that I plan on celebrating for the rest of my life.

From Mariah Wickham.

P.S. — Here’s a wonderful VBAC story from Kasia.

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Note from Design Mom: throughout my 6th pregnancy, I posted reader-submitted advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family. My baby is hardly a baby anymore — here’s her birth story and her newborn photos — but the series has been so popular that I’m continuing it indefinitely. You can find all the stories in this series by clicking here. Have a story you’d like to share? I’d love to read it. You can send it to me at gabrielle@designmom.com.