Saturday, April 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Baby!


My youngest turns ten years old today... Seems pretty impossible, looking back on all that has passed since the moment I became blessed with the gift of her being.

About halfway through her development within the safe haven of my womb, I was told, after a long, worrisome ultrasound that failed to show signs of a developing spine, that there was a distinct possibility that my baby would have spinabifida. They couldn't rule it out, and did nothing to assure me of a favorable outcome. They didn't bother rescheduling another ultrasound to ease my fears, and to this day, it infuriates me that I didn't do more to insist that I be given one. I was told that as soon as she was born, she would need to be whisked away for an xray.

Funny thing was, after a couple of weeks, there was no doubt in my mind, that my baby was fine. None what so ever. Call it mother's intuition (something that has been proven to me, over and over again, as a real and genuine thing... and has saved my children, and me, more times than I can say), or call it a state of denial. Whatever... I just knew.

Her birth, as beautiful and miraculous as it was, did nothing short of break me... And well, I can't even say that, because I DID break my tail bone during delivery, and couldn't sit properly for months afterwards!  I was in labor ~ terrible, hard back labor for over 35 hours.  I had been given all the labor inducing drugs you can name (complications put her at risk of being born with a strep B virus, which could be very harmful, and things were not progressing the way that they should have, to say the least) and was in so much pain I was literally begging for an epidural by the 30th hour. They gave it to me. Damnit.

I had a swarm of docs and interns around me, mostly due to the fact that I was at high risk to begin with because I was delivering VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). To be honest, the thought that she might not be "normal" or "okay" had never even crossed my mind. I suppose it's quite possible that I was in too much pain to think straight, never mind worry. It wasn't until about 20 minutes after her birth that I remembered, and thought to ask, "Um.. Aren't you going to give her an xray?" They looked at me questioningly, and I told them what the ultrasound specialist had said. They had absolutely no idea.

"She looks healthy enough to me, don't you think?" Was the answer I received.

Smiling into my baby girl's eyes, nestling her close against me, I nodded. "Yes, she most certainly does," I mused.


Now let me tell you... This little one has it in her. FIRE. SWEETNESS. INTENSITY. She feels each and every emotion to its highest degree, and has since the day she was born. If she has an opinion, you better be ready to hear about it, because you will anyway. The earlier years were especially challenging. Oh, the stories I could tell...There were times when I thought I might lose my mind with how she pushed and pulled me. There were moments when I became the sort of parent I never dreamed I would be, out of sheer frustration and mind boggling defeat. This girlie could kick and scream like you wouldn't believe. For hours. No kidding. Over how I cut her pickles. Over most anything.

Then she grew... Her heart grew, more and more beautiful every day. As did her will, and her stubbornness, and her pride. All of which I knew was a part of her that perhaps I wished I possessed more of myself! There was no question of what this little girl wanted in life. She'd let you know. But there also came a softer side. A shy, sensitive side. When I spoke to her shortly after this calmer, quieter side emerged, telling her how proud I was of her and how much she'd grown, she held me tight and cried, "but I don't WANT to grow up, Mommy... I want to stay little forever!!" Her stuffies were her life... Cluttering her room, in a corner up to the ceiling, covering her bed, and filling her closets as well. Carebears especially, became her favorite. As did Littlest Pet Shop animals and Baby Bratz... Tons of "little girl" things scattered from one end of her room to the other... "I will ALWAYS love my toys... I will NEVER grow tired of them!" She'd promised.


We cleaned it all out yesterday... Every last Bratz doll, every piece of "little girl stuff" that lived in her room with her all these years. Now it's American Girl Dolls (thanks, ma...), Nintendo DS, and IPOD. A few special stuffies remain, but it's all about the style now. Her walls are covered with her favorite stars' posters. Pretty decor hangs from the ceiling. Her friends were coming, it was her 10th birthday. Single digits were to be no more. Time to grow. Time to let go. Just a little... Just enough.

I must say, it's all bittersweet, as I'm sure many of you would relate with and agree to. That balancing act of holding on and letting go. To no longer be needed in some ways, and yet to be needed so very deeply in other ways. Gone are the days of Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Red Light, Green Light. And yet to be able to sit back, and simply watch, as your "little girl' becomes a "little lady", is the most purest of blessings.

Happy Birthday, Bugaboo... I love you to the moon ~ and back....

I hope you dance.


"I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance..."     

(LeeAnn Womack ~ "I Hope You Dance")






nightmaremom said...

Happy Birthday Bugaboo... you've made Mom proud

radar446 said...

What a wonderful entry to celebrate a milestone in a young girl's life.  I never knew you had such problems with the delivery, but I can tell you know it was worth every minute.


tendernoggle said...

AWWWWWWWWWWW..........I long for the days when my daughter was little....Hope yours has a wonderful 10th birthday!
love ya,

grofsand said...

wishing you and your "baby" a joyous day in celebration...may you dance together!  Marc :)

lanurseprn said...

Happy Birthday!

bobbysgirl8584 said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter!!! I hope you both had a great day.
I can totally relate to all that you have written; the time goes by so fast; doesn't it? It is so scary!!!
Enjoy your day...& thanks so much for your encouraging words yesterday!

ksgal3133 said...

Happy bday to her :) Double digits now! My youngest turns 10 in August....time sure does fly by.


queeniemart said...

What a beautifully written tribute to a precious chiild. I have a feeling she is wonderful just like you. I am sorry for all you had to go thru during the childbirth.
love,lisa jo

fasttrack58 said...

What a beautiful entry!
Happy Birthday's all around!
Linda :)

stupidsheetguy said...

You really need to make sure and save this for Bugaboo to read some day when she can really, really appreciate all the heart that went into it. That's one lucky little girl.

Happy Birthday, and many more, Baby!

bedazzzled1 said...

What a celebration entry this is! It has all the bits to it that make up life, doesn't it? And I think your no-longer-in-single-digits daughter sounds like a gem...with a jewel of a mother.

Happy belated birthday to your Bugaboo!