a mom holds hands with her young daughter as they look out over a blue sky and lake
The first time I called 911 was when I truly understood the heartbreak of being Avery’s mom. 
Woman sitting amidst a cluttered living room
I was thrust into motherhood believing my instinct would kick in. Instead, being a mom threw me into an earth-shattering identity crisis. 
teddy bear wearing a medical mask
He seemed to only have the strength to cry, and I couldn't even hold his hand. I thought my baby was going to die.
It was my teen years when I became acutely aware that I was, (a) overweight and, (b) didn’t fit the textbook definition of prettiness. 
Envy. It’s one of those emotions we chastise ourselves for. We push the feeling down, and tell ourselves it’s a negative way to think. But what if it's not?
I will be eternally grateful for my persistence and the good fortune that came my way. It could have been so much worse.