My firstborn is about to be 11 years old. Ahhhh.
At 23 years old, we thought we would wait longer having children. Kevin and I were both working full time and taking masters classes. I was pregnant with Bailey but didn't know it when we wrote up a "5 year plan" complete with what countries we'd visit (countries!!) on a weekend get-away in February of 2003. Several days later, laying in my bed one morning counting how many days it had been since my last period (40-something), I decided I should take a test. Ran to CVS and took it, then peeked at it while I was in the shower and promptly slipped and fell. I still have a picture of the bruise from my hip from that fall. I remember sitting on the shower floor, wondering if ALREADY I did something bad to my baby - I had gone snow tubing on our weekend away and now I fell?!
There was no cute way of telling the daddy. I called him in a panic, my mom and best friend too. Took a few more tests that day and swung by Labcorp for a blood test ordered by my doctor, who also got a panicked phone call. I somehow managed to work, and I remember on my way home (can't remember if it was that day or the next?) I called the doctor's office AGAIN asking if they had the results yet. The receptionist, who by now knew me and was laughing at me I am sure, said, "Hi Mommy" when I asked if the result was in yet. I remember where I was, and I remember pulling over and crying. By that point I was so happy. I realized how much I wanted to be pregnant, regardless of our "plan." This plan was better.
Pregnancy was not fun, as I was often sick, but I loved seeing my stomach grow and feel her move. She was in utero how she is now...she'd find a spot and stay there, for a long time. Sometimes I'd get nervous and try to bounce her around to feel her kick. If someone wanted to feel her, by the time they'd put their hand on my stomach she was over it and not kicking anymore.
Our due date was October 18. I had to see a specialist with Bailey because they thought I had a blood condition (which is why I wasn't on the pill - we practiced the "you can run but you can't hide" method). In late September the specialist noticed my amniotic fluid level kept decreasing. I wasn't leaking fluid, but there it was, less and less. On October 2 I was admitted to be induced. Kevin and I went to dinner first, I wore a nice outfit (why?) and checked in. They put Cervadil in me and gave me Ambien, which didn't work I was up all night. We played cards at one point I remember. In the morning, her head hadn't even dropped, I hadn't dialated at all...we should have done a C-section. But no...I took Bradley classes for 12 weeks, I wanted to go all natural. I didn't want my baby having a drop of drug.
Shit got real. A long story short (because I've already managed to go on and on) after a day of full pitocin, non stop contractions with no dialation, that evening I finally got an epidural. Then I said my sorries and finally breathed. A few hours later, her fluid even less, they said it wasn't a choice anymore, I had to do an emergency c-section. I wasn't feeling well by this point (going through hell will do that to you) and had started to dry heave. They ended up knocking me out, giving me general anesthesia to deliver. It still breaks my heart that neither Kevin or I got to see our baby be born. When I woke I was still so loopy but I faked being normal because I so desperately wanted to hold her. She was so perfect. She had Kevin's ears, thank goodness!! And a perfect little face, little body... I just couldn't believe that something so perfect came out of me.
I was in love and I still am. I still can't believe something so perfect came out of me. I feel so honored that God used me as the vehicle to bring this amazing child into this world. I can't believe she is mine still.
Her heel prick test came back flagged a few weeks later, for Cystic Fibrosis. What is that? Is that like CP, Cerebral Palsy?! She looks perfect! After we had gone home from delivering, we had to check back in for a night because of her bilirubin count. I thought THAT was hard! They had to access her vein at the top of her head, I had to fight to continue breast feeding, I had to see her be in an incubator, not my arms. But this, this was hard. Researching CF, taking her to get 3 sweat tests done, all inconclusive, before finally getting a blood test done (that is more expensive so of course insurance didn't want to do it first). Then the call. Holding my baby, saying over and over, "but she's perfect! She looks perfect!"
I still do that sometimes. I don't hold her while I say that, cry that I should say, but in my head, in my heart, I still fight her diagnosis. But she's perfect, she looks perfect. Not my baby please God not my baby.
But then I see her, I really see her, not through eyes of fear. I see the delightful child she was, and the young woman she is becoming. I see her youthful spirit but a wisdom beyond her years. I see a girl that says I have CF but CF doesn't have me. She is strong, she is kind, she is able, she is here.
She is mine.
Happy birthday love. Thank you for being my girl. Thank you for being my teacher, my hand-holder, my inspiration. I love you so much it hurts.
11 years. Thank you God.