Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy Anniversary

This morning as Abby and Jason were at the breakfast table, and I was in the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on Abby's pancakes, I overheard Jason say, "Abby, seven years ago today we brought you home." How had I forgotten? Just hearing those quiet words immediately brought me back to that day.

Abby sitting in her carseat for the "drive
test" that she had to do before she could
leave the hospital. She didn't really like it.
After a month long stay in the hospital we had gotten everything ready to have our little girl home. We were so ready to be settled and really start being a family. I remember the day before mentioning to a nurse that I should get a good night's sleep, since it might be a while. I loved her answer. She told us to go out and have a nice dinner and a date because, "we had the most expensive babysitter in the world" for the night. Isn't that great? I don't remember if we did, but I do remember feeling so expectant that next morning.

We loaded all the baby paraphernalia in the car, checking and double checking that the baby seat was in correctly, and headed out. I remember them disconnecting my baby and us packing all five plus pounds of her into her car seat, and then clicking it into the stroller. The kind staff had loaded us down with diapers and formula and then sent us on our way. For the first time we walked to the elevator with Abby.

I remember feeling so surreal walking out with her, pushing her stroller past the doors of the hospital. I remember climbing into the backseat with her, so I could keep an eye on her as Jason drove. I remember her sleeping the whole way home and half way through trying to devise a way to keep her head from flopping forward. In the end, I just ended up holding it in place.

I remember pulling into the driveway and seeing the welcome home sign on the door from our good friends. I remember standing on the porch and thinking: Our family is home.

We're home!
Abby was still asleep so we put her down in the pack-and-play that we'd set up in the sunroom. I remember having the feeling of Now what? I probably adjusted her blanket five or six times in the time that she slept. Jason ran out to do some errands and that's when it happened - she woke up! I have to admit that when I picked her up and cuddled her I noticed that her arms and legs looked a bit red....actually they looked a bit mottled. Was she getting enough oxygen? Was she okay? What if they had released her too early? What if she wasn't ready to come home? I called Jason right away, there was a problem. Luckily, he had the presence of mind to calm the panicky new mother down and remind me to look at Abby - she was just fine. He was right. Frankly, I missed all those wires she was hooked up to, I'd become pretty adept at reading her levels and making sure she was just fine - how was I supposed to know if she was okay if there was no colorful monitor telling me so?

I'm happy to say that I did eventually learn to "read" Abby and rely on my own instincts when it came to  making sure she was okay. I turns out, I didn't need those monitors after all. We didn't do anything special today to mark this important anniversary, maybe we should have, or maybe the fact that it was business as usual was as it should be. All I know is that throughout the day I would get flashes of good memories from that day, and it made me happy.

My sleepy little girl!

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