Monday, June 22, 2009

Abigail's Birthday

Abigail has successfully cracked the 9 year barrier. I can't believe my little preemie is now 9 years old. I was always focused on getting her to 8 when she could be baptized, so now that she is 9 she seems so terribly old. She is such a lovely 9 year old, though.

We worked incredibly hard to get her here. There has never been a baby more wanted or worked for, in my opinion. I can remember the months and months of failure. Every fast Sunday watching baby after baby being blessed was heartbreaking. As the months turned into years with painful tests and treatments that were unsuccessful, I was worn out and ready to give up. Maybe it just wasn't going to happen for us. The doctors told us that we were too young to really care anyway.

But then, one blissful Thursday night after work, my prayers were answered with a resounding yes. I went over to the maternity floor of the hospital I was working in (a very mean place to have the pregnancy tests, I think) to subject myself again to the monthly disappointment. The nurse who was with me, unknowing of my situation, reported the "positive" to me with a sigh. I jumped up and asked her if this was really true. She then was aware of the hopefulness I had come in with and became excited right along with me. I told her that even though I really didn't know her at all, I just had to give her a hug. "We have been trying for so long!!" I said. She told me that I had made her night, and off I went to spring the news on my ever patient and supportive husband.

That started our adventure. My pregnancy was wonderful. All those women who complained about being pregnant - Hah! What were they talking about? I was in complete heaven. Every morning I would have my breakfast of Doritos and root beer, and then my wiggly baby would make her flipping, flopping presence known at 10:00 on the dot. But then came the news that my body wasn't handling the pregnancy as it should. My blood pressure was getting to be too high. I was given steroid shots to help my little baby's lungs grow faster, and assigned to bed rest for the weekend. A few weeks after that, things weren't improving, and Abigail had to make her entrance earlier than expected.

She was so tiny. Her daddy's "little loaf of bread". She spent 8 days in the NICU, something that was expected to last longer. I hated seeing her in her isolette, all tethered to various tubes. She was still there for my birthday, a fact which brought me to tears. There seemed to be nothing good there. The doctors who didn't want me to persist in trying to breastfeed. They wanted the easy feeding tube instead. The nurses who didn't understand why I wanted to be informed if something were going to happen to her. Yes, I wanted to be alerted if she needed a new IV put in. Yes, I wanted to be alerted if she was going to have to have that feeding tube after all. Why is that so unreasonable?

But, eventually, after much persistence in feeding, she had gained enough weight and passed all their "tests" to be able to come home. And then it started. I had to set my alarm to wake her up to feed her every 3 hours. She was just too tired to wake up and eat. Looking back, I can't believe that I have kept her alive for 9 years.

She is still the smallest to this day. In kindergarten, when placed in a class with 2 other Abigail's, she was referred to as "little Abigail". She is shorter than kids who are younger than her, which I think is fantastic. The shortest girls are always the cutest.

She has an old soul. At school, she has just as many friends in the teachers and staff as she does in kids her own age. She can carry on a conversation with a "grown up" just as well as she can with the neighbor kids.

She is a smart cookie, that kid. She can argue and sass her way with the best of them. But, we still manage to get along even through all of that.

For her birthday, Abigail had a very detailed list of the things she wanted:

1- Headphones that go on top of your ears, not in your ears (check).
2- Twilight soundtrack (negative).
3-American Girl books (check in the form of a gift card from Tracy).
4-Notebooks (check, thanks Bo).
5-Pens (sparkle check, thanks Bo).
6-Music recorder (check).
7-Jonas Brother music (painful check, thanks a lot, Bo).
8-Jonas Brother, the movie (negative. It's not out on DVD and no way am I taking everyone to that in the theatres).
9-Tape recorder (check).
10-Beads, ocean, real (check, check, and check).
11-Webkinz (check fuzzy hippo, thanks Bo).
12-VIP Littlest Petshop (check duck, thanks Grandma).
13- Shining Stars (negative. How many "interactive" internet toys does a girl really need?).
14-Kit, the Movie (check).
15-Kit, the book series (check, again in the form of gift card thanks to aunt Tracy).

She also made her very own birthday cake - all by herself. Really, she did. She wanted brownies and did such a wonderful job.

I sure love you, my sweetheart. You make my days easier just by being your sweet, caring self. You make me happy every single day, and I am so glad to have you.

Abigail's 9 report:

Favorite things: the beach, the color turquoise, her parakeet (which is turquoise, by the way), going camping, music, going swimming, going on vacation, dancing, the ocean.

Favorite books: Lizzie McGuire mysteries, Little Genie, High School Musical 2 (which she had to read before she could see the movie), High School Musical 3 (which she had to read before she could see the movie), Enchanted (you get the idea about the movies), Pet Trouble, Under the Sea, Princess Collection, The Mermaid's Treasure.

Favorite Foods: Chinese food, homemade quiche, homemade mac and cheese, mac and cheese with white sauce, The Brick Oven Restaurant, fish, ham sandwiches, treats, and hard boiled eggs.

Favorite Animals: Parakeets, dogs, fish, whales, dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays, sharks, and seals.
Favorite Colors: Turquoise, aquamarine, blue-green, green-blue, teal, cerulean, aqua, cyan, and just plain blue.

My 9 proudest moments: When she was baptized, when she passed up a "Build a Bear" because we were saving up for our house, every report card, when she wanted to share her baptism with Hudson's blessing, when she shares her "makeup" with Leah, her piano recital, her dance recitals, when she ran to Harrison to help him back up the hill because he fell off his bike, when she cut her hair off for Grandma.

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