Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Little Monkey

Dear Zoe,

Exactly one year ago your daddy and I were anxiously waiting for your arrival. I was lying on an extremely uncomfortable hospital bed with monitors on my belly to keep track of my contractions and your heartbeat. The contractions were steady and your dad was very helpful in telling me when I was having a contraction since he was watching the tape very, very closely. Your dad, (you’ll learn) has a strong appreciation for graphs and data - the nurses thought he was a hoot and very helpful. I was so glad he was there with me and he knew just what to say to relax me and encourage me.

Right about this time a year ago, your Nana K and Grandpa Joe were visiting us in our room. You could tell that they were nervous and excited and anxious for you to make your appearance. Your Nana was also very interested in the season six finale of American Idol and searched our television for her channel so she could see the show. Unfortunately, our remote only had up and down arrows and we had no idea what channel she needed. It was crazy and funny and took my mind off of the contractions for a bit. The cool thing is, we’ll have something to tease your Nana about every year.

One year ago today I was anxiously waiting for the doctor on duty to come in our room and check my progress with the Cervidil. In a span of 48 hours, I was given two doses of Cervidil to induce labor and bring you into this world. Just about ten hours earlier the doctor had checked on us and you were engaged and we were making progress. Your dad had been so excited and said “See honey, your engaged!” And I said, “People break engagements all the time!” Apparently, my contractions had me a little on edge… but I don’t know.

Just one year ago I was preparing myself emotionally for giving birth and getting to see my baby girl. I was so worried you wouldn’t like me right away. I was so worried I wouldn’t know how to be your mom the way you needed me to be. I had these fears that I was going to let you and your daddy down. I was so wrong to have those fears, but I’m going to say it was the adrenaline and the hormones and the fear of the unknown.

About a year ago today the doctor came in to check how we were doing and you were no longer engaged. You “broke” the engagement. It turns out my bones aren’t shaped the right way to let a baby pass through so the doctor said we needed to go ahead and get you out via cesarean section. I was shocked (“But I have huge hips!”) and sad that I wasn’t going to have that birthing experience to share with you and your father. I was worried about you and truth be told, I was scared to death to have a major surgery. But there was really no time for dilly-dallying and the next thing I knew I was being prepped for surgery and our nurse (Rae) was calming me down and assuring me that everything was going to be OK.

I have no idea exactly what time the doctor came in to check me. I have no idea how long the prep and the paper work and the spinal block and the actual cutting took. What I do know is that you came into this world at 12:18 A.M on Thursday May 23, 2007. I was completely out of it, but they held you up for me to see and I saw this little tiny being (you were 8 pounds 5 ounces, but looked SO tiny to me and your daddy) with her eyes closed tight and her mouth wide open in a scream to let us know she’d arrived. They took you away to clean you up and I told your daddy to go be with his daughter while I anxiously waited for them to sew me up so I could see you again and touch you and smell you and feed you and hold you in my arms.

The day you came into our lives was the most wonderful day in your daddy’s and my life. We waited for nine months to see and meet you, and every day since we have fallen more and more in love with our precious baby girl who has helped us see the world in a different light. I am your mother and someday you are going to roll your eyes when I tell you this (but I will never stop, not even when you have children of your own): You are an amazing human being. I strongly believe that you will do great things in your life. You make this world a better place just by being a part of it. You will always, always be my little monkey.

I love you with all my heart. Happy Birthday, Zoe Angeline!

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