31 weeks. 4 days. I wasn’t ready for my two babies to enter the world, but I didn’t get to choose. . You can plan. You can express preference. But, it is ultimately outside of your control. My last memory is having a mask placed on my face by the anesthesiologist while I screamed, pleading to have my husband allowed in the room. I clung to my favorite L&D nurse’s warm hand in the cold OR, aware of the sensation of the icy IV in my arm. My two tiny humans made a bold entrance into the world via emergency c-section on 10.25.17. After their delivery I was rushed back to the OR as a result of severe hemmoraging. The team transfused over 30 units of blood. A hysterectomy would be the Hail Mary attempt to keep me alive. The doctor wasn’t optimistic. . Following a sobering conversation with the OB, my husband sat in the NICU between two plastic boxes contemplating options of where my body could be buried. He began preparing himself to leave the hospital with two babies and no wife. . Several days later I woke up on a ventilator in the ICU. My husband and I scrawled messages back and forth on a scrap of paper. My uterus was gone, but we had two incredible, tiny babies thriving beyond all odds. . My babies turn two on 25 October. Each year this date activates a complex amalgam of emotion. An anniversary of a night that simultaneously held indescribable joy and tremendous terror. As I celebrate, as I remember, my heart explodes with a deep gratitude. For the big things. And the million little things. . I recently explained to a friend that my life in the “after” has not looked markedly different than the “before.” [Well, except for the whole becoming a mother to multiples thing] I had already worked with intention to align and anchor my life, my choices, my behaviors to my values and priorities. My husband has had experiences in combat that already instilled in us a sobering awareness as young adults early in our marriage that we had already been gifted “bonus rounds.” . Living on borrowed time is a powerful thing. . You’ve been given one life. Live intentionally.