It is so hard to believe that our Annabeth Sage is two today.
Where has the time gone?
At 2, Annabeth is wild and spunky. She has a HUGE personality and about five different crazy laughs. She loves to dance, sign, and sing around the house. She loves dogs and horses. She loves to look out the car window for flags flying in the breeze. She loves her Winnie the Pooh tapes and pushing her shopping cart loaded down with toys around the house. She loves the colors pink and purple. She loves to hold hands, hug, and kiss. She loves to sit on the counter while I cook dinner. She loves gymnastics class and doing flips. She loves books and can read "I love you through and through" to us. She loves her seal CeCe and the stuffed puppies that Mark has given her. She loves covering up with blankets and snuggling. She loves building tents in the living room. She loves Hello Kitty just like her Mama. She loves being outdoors. Our Little Bit is so full of love.
As a a Mama, I think so many times a day about how blessed I am. I think back to all of the negative pregnancy tests, I think back to the fertility specialists, and I think about the medicines and vitamins we took. I think about those two pink lines in the early morning on January 28, I think about the prayers of joy that day, and all of the prayers of worry for the months to come. I think about seeing that ultrasound and about naming our girl. I think about that 2 pm phone call on October 4 for Mark to come home to take me to the hospital. I think about that long night in labor and remember random things: the way the door sounded each time a nurse came in, Mark eating M&Ms, and wishing I had packed flip flops so I didn't have to walk barefoot. I think back to savoring the movements she made in my belly and the sweet sound of her heartbeat. Then I think of when that sound stopped. I think of the chaos, the NICU team, the sad look in so many eyes, the counts for chest compressions, the words "Cardiac Arrest," the look in Mark's eyes, the worst pain I have ever felt, and the fear as they rushed her away. I think of the two hours I lay there alone as they sewed me up, hours without answers, without Mark. I think of when he came back with those two little pictures of our girl. I think of that long wheelchair ride to the NICU. I think of seeing her, holding her, crying too hysterically to introduce myself to her. I think of nursing her for the first time in the NICU. I think of wanting to never let go.
I think of the day to day worries, all the trips to Audiology and Cardiology since she was born. I think of the worry each time I meet a child her age who speaks more or more clearly - the loss of oxygen could have caused permanent hearing loss. Mark and I work with her each day on letter sounds, each one she doesn't repeat leaving a fear in my heart that it's happening now. Then the trips for Well-Visits. The worry that this well-check will be the one where Cardiology doesn't have good news for me. The worry that they tell me it's "normal" that her lips and mouth often turn blue after she runs or when she sleeps. We trust the Lord to care for her and we accept any challenges that he gives her, us, to face but the fear is if, when it will happen. I beg Him often "Just tell us when! I can handle it if I know when it's coming!!"
I wonder if it'll ever not hurt. I know others think we should just be thankful, and we are. We have so many family members and friends who have lost children forever to the Lord but there was a very real loss in our lives that day and moving through it is so difficult even two years later. I struggle with why it happened. I struggle with the knowledge that the circumstances of her emergency delivery make it unsafe to have another blessing. I struggle with the way I talked to God that day. I struggle with the fact that I still sometimes wake up startled from a dream of seeing her the first way I saw her: pale, blue, still, gone.
I thank and praise the Lord daily for answering my strangled prayer of "Dear God, please save our baby." I thank and praise Him for the two years that we have been blessed to hold and love Sweet Nanners.
2 years. I pray for as many more as the Lord sees fit to give us.