Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Whitney

16 years ago today my middle child was born. 
I had gone into early labor several times and had been put on medication and bedrest to give her more time.
By August 19 though I wasn't doing well from the stress and neither was she.
It was time for her to be born.

I will never forget the look on my husband's face when he walked in the door of the recovery room.
He did not have the baby with him.
His face was emotional as I'd ever seen him (and his is so not an emotional kind of guy).
I wanted to know where my baby was.
Our baby was having trouble breathing on her own and needed machines and tubes to help her survive.
I wanted up and I wanted out of that bed.  My baby needed me.  Period.

I'd had a C-section, so no matter how much I wanted up, I wasn't going anywhere for a while.
I couldn't feel the bottom half of my body...much less get up and walk down the hall.
Once I got back to my room, my doctor finally came and said he'd heard about all the ruckus I'd been causing trying to get up.
He finally agreed to let me go the NICU so I could see my baby.

As scary as the tubes and machines were, I was not scared.
I was here, now.
I would make my baby well.
All she needed was her Mommy.
The nurses let me hold her.
They stood by and blew oxygen by her face so I could wrap her in the love that only a mother can give.
I could only hold her for short amounts of time at first.
But each time they let me try, she would make it a little bit longer out of the oxygen tent.
Once they let me feed her, there was no stopping her or me.
She was a scrapper; we knew that from Day 1.
She and me.
It was as if we knew each other already...
After a miraculous recovery, leaps and bounds quicker than she was expected to respond, we took our baby home. 

She grew into quite a character, a Mama's baby, making funny noises, and loving to be held and cuddled. 

She warily kept her eyes on her crazy big sister and would run to me whenever she felt threatened (which was often ;)

Her dimples delight even adults who see her now. 
We can't explain where they came from.
We just know they are one more characteristic that makes her special.

My favorite pictures of her are when she has a giant genuine smile on her face.
She is finding her way in the world.
And learning to be comfortable in her own skin.

Happy 16th Birthday, Whitney the Pooh.
Mommy loves you.

(video by her proud dad)


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