Monday, March 25, 2013

6 Years Ago...

... God gave me you!

Happy 6th Birthday my sweetheart! Such a happy baby and a happy girl who loves to encourage others and make them feel special.

We went to Pizza Ranch with the cousins and Daddy's parents on Friday to celebrate. But Sunday (yesterday) was the actual birthday date. We were snowed in but we had more pizza (it is what you asked for!), cake and a couple gifts. We spent your birthday lounging around, playing with Legos. 

You never tire of hearing about your babyhood and ask me about it all the time. And I always tell you, "You were such a happy baby! You cried maybe five times total as a baby." You weren't a snuggly baby, though. You liked your space and often laid there making "duck lips" and spitting, cooing, laughing and kicking your feet. You kicked your feet a lot, almost nonstop it seemed.

You don't really ask about your birth yet. I know there will come a day when you do. Your birth is what really launched me into a quest for better care with your younger siblings so I always have this feeling of remorse in the back of my mind of how it played out. Some women have had it worse, I know. I can't change the past but I can sure make different choices in the present. I am just so grateful you are you and that you're safe and healthy.

My remorse comes mostly from your care at delivery and afterward. Your collarbone broke, a more common occurrence in hospitals than people realize, not always resulting from a dystocia (getting stuck) as you were not stuck but pulled on before you could maneuver and turn your way through as babies naturally do in birth. I was so sick from the epidural and drugs and Pitocin that I allowed be given to me that I only held you briefly before asking someone to take you. It was awhile before a nurse, who was in the room the whole time, finally offered me anti-nausea medication which worked instantly.

I struggled with breastfeeding and wasn't in a pro-breastfeeding hospital to begin with (hindsight...) so professional support was nil. You loved breastmilk and I used a shield for two months and tried to wean you off of the contraption. I regret not trying harder. I regret not realizing I could have pumped instead if it came down to it. I was so uneducated even though I had already had your big sister.

(Those curls!!!)

But despite those regrets you're still a healthy, vibrant, imaginative and creative being. I still firmly believe birth matters even if the outcome turns out well in the very end. Women and their babies should always be respected, not treated like an animal to be controlled and manipulated by hospital staff. In other words - no matter how a birth turns out the mother and father should never leave feeling like they had no voice, no respect or that the mother's body was mistreated in any sense of the word. And they should never be left feeling like their baby was treated poorly. Respect is very important to me.

I miscarried right before conceiving you. The pregnancy was emotionally difficult because I was afraid to love you and lose you as well. Once you were born that survival feeling was immediately gone and replaced with the deepest devotion. Or I should say that devotion was already there but by letting go of my emotional baggage really let the love shine through! We were very connected once we were home and well on our way to bonding.

While you may not have been a snuggly baby you sure are a snuggly girl now. You are the queen of spontaneous hugs and kisses and a warm word of encouragement (you sweetly tell me I'm so beautiful even if I'm in my pajamas without makeup!).

You are my colorful girl who loves to wear whatever she feels looks good together. A little sparkle here, a lot of sparkle there! You also love little treasures. Your winter coat pockets are currently full of rocks that you find who-knows-where. 

You are not a follower, you are a leader. Don't let anyone ever make you feel like less than who you are because you are amazing just as you. You definitely follow the beat of your own drum (as I did but please oh please don't make the mistakes I've made, ha!).

Mommy (and Daddy!) love you so so so much!


PS Your current occupational desire when you grow up is to be a vet tech/assistant!


Susan Sene said...

What a sweet post!! I never knew that about her birth. I have the same types of regrets about Ri's birth. It actually wasn't until I began researching to have a different birth with my second that I realized HOW robbed I was that first time. But I also wouldn't be where I am now in many other aspects of my life without that experience, as hard as it was.

Happy Birthday!!!!

The Mommy said...

She is precious and getting so big! Happy Birthday, A!

JoyBelle said...

Well said, Susan!

Thank you both for the birthday wishes!