WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sara is 20!

20 years ago, at 11:53 AM I gave birth almost 11 weeks preterm to a 3 pound miracle!

I will never forget hearing her tiny little cry that sounded far more like a kitten then a baby. The panic I felt when with 24 hours she dropped to 2pds 9 ounces.

The NICU- I wasn't sure if it was miracle that such a place existed or my worst nightmare. The tubes, the jaundice, feeling like a visitor instead of mother. The jealous feelings to see the nurses touch and care for her, when I felt so not a Mother. She was mine! The joy when with wires and tubes and all I held her.. when she took an ounce by bottle, the fact that I could pump more breast milk then best jersey cow... the day Derek and I finally took her home.

I think the moment that I really realized that she was MINE and I was a Mom was when Derek and I huddled in our tiny apartment bathroom to give her the first bath.. we wanted to make sure we kept her warm. I was certain there was no way I could safely bath such a tiny baby and Derek was pleased to be recruited. We had that moment together looking at her when we became aware of true joy as she grinned at us.. the look of wonder on her tiny baby face as she felt real water vs the NICU sponge bath.. The Oops moment when we finally realized they had not cut off her ankle bracelet ID and in the 4 days we had her home it has become so tight! We nearly panicked and took her back to the hospital to have them take it off, because we were terrified of hurting her..

I will never forget the fierce pride and joy when after a few months her Dr. told us she was too chubby! That we had done so well with the feedings every 2-3 hours that we could go to just letting her tell us when she was hungry.

No one was allowed to hold her without my watchful eye- even then to see anyone touch her awoke such a jealous and maternal feeling in me that it took everything I had to control myself and not go rip her from the arms of those who wanted to love her too..

Sara was full of joy. Always happy to gurgle, to be read to, if she woke in the middle of the night it was with joy and not tears. The amazing patience and focus she had as we read to her- it did not matter what we read be it a tv guide or magazine she loved it! When 3 days after first birthday she took her first steps.. When before she was even crawling she was talking. "Pretty Sara" was the first words before six months! At the time we were clueless- thought she was quirky for talking complete sentences before she could move herself! LOL

The layers of pink, lace, ruffles and fluff..

When asthma struck and you spent weeks in the hospital each winter. You would be so patient! You never cried, you listened and trusted us when we told you to be still.. to pretend you were snow white in your pretty silky nighties and you would! NEVER has there been such a smart, trusting toddler- at least I have never met one that was even close to you! Everyday, you would do something that shocked others and simply made me fill up and overflow with pride.

Sara beat the odds. Not only did she thrive as a preemie, but Derek and I were poor, young and uneducated. We went on to get educations- Derek joined and excelled in the Nuclear Navy. Sara started reading by age 2. She grabbed the world and entered it fearlessly.

At 18 she graduated with her BA in Anthropology. She lives her life refusing to be catty. She embraces her joy of learning and has suffered for it, but continues to be gentle with those who do not understand or respect academic hunger. She loves us and loves her sister fiercely. When I apologize for making a parenting mistake, she always accepts my apology, with sincerity. She is the very best of Derek and I. When I look at her, I still feel that greedy selfish need to keep her all to myself.

Happy Birthday Sara! I know you have made me a better person, I am so proud of you! Anyone that gets a chance to know you, for even a moment should feel as lucky as I do!


Jenna said...

Happy Birthday! What a wonderful post!

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