It was March 18, 2010 - a Thursday. I had gone in for an ultrasound on the whim of my doctor, since one of my blood work labs came back "abnormal/non-specific". We watched our teeny girl moving around on the ultrasound monitor and the sonographer told us she was just going to call up to the doctor to see if we needed to do anything further. Within the hour I was being wheeled to the labor & delivery unit at 32 weeks pregnant, being told I wasn't leaving until I delivered our baby girl, and that it would most likely occur that weekend. I sat in that hospital bed on strict rest orders, compression wraps around my legs inflating and deflating alternately, in total shock and disbelief. I still had two months to be pregnant, yet we were going to have a baby far sooner than we thought.
I started to feel sick. Really sick. I didn't know it then, but my liver and kidneys were shutting down, I was collecting fluid in my lungs, and I was sick to the point if left untreated, I could have died. I thought I was getting the flu. Instead, I had severe HELLP syndrome/pre-eclampsia. The only treatment was delivery of our baby girl. That Sunday morning, March 21st, they bumped a scheduled cesarean to race me to emergency surgery. My blood pressure was 180-something over 100-something, and as they numbed me from the chest down, I just prayed our baby girl would be okay. The doctor did the standard protocol making sure I was who everyone thought I was, and I was there for the purpose everyone expected me to be there for. As I choked out my name and the words, "and I'm here to have my baby", the tears rolled down my cheeks. Brent walked in, dressed in his OR bunny suit, and sat at my head as they began to operate. He was as scared as I was, but you wouldn't have been able to tell. He was my strength in those moments, and he was more than a husband in that operating room - he was a daddy.
We heard her cry. I saw her for all of two seconds before they whisked her away to the warming bed to evaluate her. Minutes later, she was in the NICU. Before too long, I was being wheeled back to my room for recovery. I had to be on oxygen, and I slept for several hours. Brent went back and forth, checking on his ladies. Eight hours after delivering her, I proved to the nurse I was strong enough to go see my baby girl for the first time. She was so incredibly tiny, 2 pounds 12 ounces, and yet she was so strong and doing so well. Brent and I were both madly in love with her and wanted to do whatever we could to make sure she stayed strong and healthy.
That was four years ago, and I'm having a hard time believing our tiny little girl is turning four. She's been the cutest kid we've ever laid eyes on, makes hearts swoon with a flash of her smile or her little giggle, and is as princess as princess can be. When I look past the boycotting of naps, look beyond the not-listening rebellion, and catch a glimpse of those big blue eyes, I see our baby. I see our little miracle. I see our peanut. I remember bath time in her isolette. I remember being forever attached to the breast pump. I remember how incredibly nervous I was in the car on that ride home from the NICU with her. I remember the night she woke up crying, and I started crying as I begged her to sleep so mommy could sleep. I even made up a song to sing to her during the day: "Let's stay awake, let's stay awake! Open our eyes, and look all around. Let's stay awake, let's stay awake! So that mommy can sleep sound!" It never did the trick, catchy as it was. I remember her baby giggles. Her love of bananas and strawberries. How she started sleeping through the night at four months old. How she took her first steps on her first birthday. How she potty trained right before her second birthday. How she used to fit inside my shirt for kangaroo care while in the NICU. How she used to take TWO naps a day. How she did, and still does, completely captivate her daddy's heart. It's so sweet to see them together. So much over these last four years....four years....
Lord, I thank you so much for Little Miss and for the tremendous blessing she is to us. I thank you for her (mostly) sweet spirit, and her loving and snuggly demeanor. She means so much to her daddy and me, and we are so honored, blessed, and joyous to be her parents. We pray that we will be the parents she will always need - to be examples in faith for her, to be responsible in our decision making for her, and to be generous in our love and time for her. We pray she will know you, love you, and choose to live for and because of you. Guide her, protect her, and surround her with people who will love her along life's journey. Thank you so much for our Little Miss and for the absolute joy she is in our lives. Thank you for four years with her, and I pray I haven't screwed them up! Be with her all the days and years of her life, especially when her daddy and I can't be.
Happy birthday, sweet girl. We love you!