|December 7, 2015|
|4:51 am, bitchezzzzzz!|
TEN, you guys. This wee little girl o' mine who still fits perfectly in my arms and on my lap is damn near a decade old. I am speaking of the last child I gave birth to... My 12 lb. "baby"... My spunky, opinionated, nocturnal, spirited, beautiful, freckled, rubber-chicken-loving daughter. She turns fucking *ten* in a mere 4 months. Double. Damn. Digits.
This life -- it is like a time warp in so many ways. It feels like she ought to be maybe 3. Like it was just a few years ago that our worlds were forever changed as Lola joined our family. It feels like I blinked and suddenly my child-who-appears-nine-months-old is almost ten. I am almost ashamed to admit how much this terrifies me for reasons even I don't understand.
I think it signifies that life is changing, time is passing, and we are all growing older. Maybe that is what I struggle with... feeling like our girls are defying odds, worrying that they won't always be able to do so, worrying that with age comes more difficulties, worrying about Cal leaving home soon, worrying about my own issues as I age. I don't know. It just feels scary. Change is hard. And for families who have children with special needs, sometimes we just want things to stay the same... for ALWAYS.
|December 3, 2015|
I so remember everything about my pregnancy with Lola. I remember how scared we were because doctors weren't sure if she would survive the birth process. How so much was simply unknown. How it felt like uncharted territory for all of us. How our perinatologist moved away when I was 18 weeks pregnant and at that time - right before Christmas of 2005 - he basically cleared my pregnancy as "normal." I remember seeing Lola's fully open hand giving us a "high five" of sorts and wondering if that was a sign from her (and maybe God) that she was going to be OK. After all, Claire's thumbs were always tucked into her fists - surely this meant all was well?!
I remember doctors wondering if she would be more or less advanced than Claire. We all studied her movement on sonogram so closely, specifically looking for spasticity (as if we could see it) or jerky movements that might indicate cerebral palsy/hypertonia or even seizures. When we saw nothing, that gave us hope. I prayed so hard that all these signs put together might mean that my baby girl, whom I prayed for with everything in me for the past five years, would simply LIVE so we all could have the privilege of knowing her.
I remember forbidding the use of the word "Microcephaly" in our hospital room. And I could never forget how we bargained with the Universe to give us that typical birth experience we so longed for -- that we were denied with Claire & possibly took for granted with Cal. How the ONE THING that mattered most to me was that I could nurse my baby and she could be able to bond with me in that way, as I feared my bond would somehow be less or limited somehow because of all that the medical world viewed as "wrong" with her brain.
I remember my water breaking at 36.5 weeks and knowing that my whole world was about to be rocked and crying because I was so damn scared that I might come home without a new baby. I just wanted our Lola to LIVE. I wanted to take my tiny, preemie, microcephalic daughter home to begin our lives together, however abnormal that seemed to the rest of the world. These fears and possibilities and what-ifs nearly dismantled me.
The one thing I knew with 100% assurance was that we were going to be given the perfect child for us REGARDLESS. And we so were.
Lola made her grand debut as only a diva could - QUICKLY. So quickly that my OB-GYN didn't even have time to arrive, and Yours Truly didn't have time to have a pain-free birth! Yep - I felt IT ALL, and I am positive that was what was intended for us. To feel EVERYTHING. And OH, how we did.
|April 30, 2006 ~ 2 days old|
Mrs Pocket was simply perfect. 5 lb. 10 oz. of pure spitfire! Our bitty badass perfectly complimented our family and made us raise our game to give her exactly what she needed in this life... And ironically, also what *WE* needed.
|March 19, 2007 ~ This picture has always meant SO MUCH to me because it is the only picture I have of Lola breastfeeding -- on the beach, no less! It was so important to me to try to make this work, and after countless visits with a La Leche League leader/lactation consultant, we did it. You cannot imagine how happy this made me. The hours spent pumping 5-6 times daily for 2 years were worth it all.|
Nearly TEN years ago, our sassy Lola taught us to slow down and live & love IN THIS MOMENT. To cherish each and every day. To focus on the NOW vs. trying to control our future or how we might possibly deal with what inevitably lays ahead (which I cannot bear to say out loud or even type).
I thought having Claire taught us a lot -- and OMG, I could devote five whole posts detailing all the ways she SO DID -- but together, all three of our children have shaped us as only they could. We are so damn lucky to have been chosen to parent Cal, Claire & Lola. And no matter what, I will continue to pray for TIME so we can love them longer and make as many memories as we can. Even at 4:51 am.