A year ago today, I thought any day now could be go time. I thought I would play cards and read books as I waited for the show to begin. We packed music, different scented lotion, changes of clothes, and bandannas. I read the books and we prepared for all that could happen. The pain, the joy, the fear of situational mayhem on the table, how that wacky miracle of life would come to be and who she would be. She because I knew she was a she. How when she came home we'd have my mom with us for a few weeks to help us get up and running. We'd have a welcome home party and we'd celebrate. There would be birth announcements and I'd obsess over the experience of the piece of mail we'd send out, I spent months looking at options.
We didn't know it would take quite literally days or that during that time at the end of the day I'd get what I've been threatening to do - schedule a c-section like Britney Spears. Or that fateful moment where we heard and learned the word merconium. I remember her face - the doctor that found it and the man who explained what it was. He was pretty hairy, I remember thinking... gray hair on the head, black gorilla arm fur, I'm confused. It's strange what you remember. I remember waiting for her cry and thinking it was the most amazing noise I have ever heard. I cried and said it was beautiful. I remember Chris running around in circles screaming, "It's a GIRL!!! WE HAVE A DAUGHTER!"
I remember seeing her being whisked away to the side. I remember seeing the pictures that Chris took from the camera, they are still saved on my camera. I remember going back to the room and telling everyone her name. I remember thinking as high as I was knowing in my heart something was wrong. Seeing her for the first time in the NICU, holding her for the first time, seeing her eyes for the first time, leaving her. Standing in front of her baby tank trying to stop the nurses from injecting her with more morphine. I remember singing to her and having a totally f'd up routine with her which included a mix of songs, rocking in the chair and sleeping at 2 hour clips on the hospital floor while beeps binged and bells dinged.
I remember the moment I lost hope that I would ever leave the hospital with my baby girl and the moment we ran out with her stopping at every other corner to make sure she was still breathing with out the beeps and the dings we couldn't be sure. We went through a very long period of wanting it all to be over - the pregnancy, the labor, the unexpected and completely messed up way her first month began. And then it did. We had a week or so alone before we had an au pair join us and the kid to adult ratio went back up again. Life picked right up full speed ahead.
No welcome home, no announcements, no thank you to all those that sent prayers, good thoughts, supporting cards, emails, texts - offers to walk the dog (poor Anabelle), bring dinner, do anything, do everything.
In the last year we have learned you fall in love in an instant. We learned we make a beautiful kid. We learned how many people love us and how many love her. We learned you need to celebrate everyday and it's long overdue to celebrate L and to celebrate all those that kept her in their prayers & good thoughts.
L's birthday party is for her, it's for us, it's for everyone who loves her. Against my better judgement & deep down desire to have things in her home we're taking the show on the road. The celebration extravaganza will be the best damn tour out there.
Lillipalooza is underway!