The Big One

Dear Allie,

Today is your first birthday, or, as I like to refer to it, the anniversary of the day I was no longer pregnant.  Thanks for that.  As I think back over the year, I realize it was pretty crazy.  I figure now is a good time to recap that crazy.  

You were born 8 days before your due date.  I owe you big time for this.  You’ll know what I mean when you are 38 weeks pregnant.  You entered the world in dramatic fashion, giving us a scare when the umbilical cord wrapped around your neck.  You couldn’t get out no matter how much I pushed.  Your oxygen level dropped, and the wonderful doctor and nurses had to work quickly to deliver you.  The NICU team was called in and helped you begin to breathe sufficiently on your own.  Thankfully, that didn’t take too much coaxing.

We got you home, and you slept for 3 months.  I am not kidding.  You only woke up to eat, and even then you kept your eyes closed the whole time so as not to waste any precious moments being awake between the end of a feeding and your return to sleep.  Your Dad and I greatly appreciated your restfulness.

When you were 2 months old, we dedicated you to God before our church family.  What that really means is your dad and I promised God that we would do everything in our power to teach you about the love and grace of Jesus.  And by making this vow in front of our family and church family, we were asking them to help us fulfill that commitment.  I am happy to report that during your first year of life our family and friends have done just that.  We are surrounded by many people who genuinely love Jesus AND you.  Remember that.  

When you were 3 months old, one of the most painful things ever happened to me.  Kidney stones.  We took several trips to the ER, and I had two surgeries to remove the stones, but the worst part was I had to quit nursing you.  I was on an array of medications that would not have been safe for you.  It was when I had to quit nursing you that I realized just how deep our bond was.  I can’t really explain it, but I think nursing was a physical representation of how emotionally inseparable a mom and newborn are.  I’m already excited for you to experience that connection with your child one day, Lord willing.

For the next several months, you enjoyed learning new things like sitting up and eating solid foods.  The highlight was watching you interact with your sister.  To say Lexi adores you would be an understatement.  She has loved you since before you were born.  I don’t think a day has gone by that she hasn’t covered you in sisterly affection.  And as you grew, you began to reciprocate that love.  These days you get up earlier than she does.  I’ve tried to convince you that sleeping in is the way to go, but you’re just not buying it.  Anyway, in the mornings I feed you and let you play on the floor while I try to shock my system into alertness with a cup of coffee.  You are content with this routine, but the second you hear your sister coming down the stairs in the morning, you explode with excitement.  You kick your feet, stretch out your arms, and babble “Hi!” to Lexi over and over with a wide grin.   You love her dearly, and I am praying it will always be that way.

When you were about 8 months old, you got a bad cold.  It wasn’t too worrisome the first couple of days, but then you started coughing and struggling to breathe.  You wound up in the hospital with a couple of fierce infections.  You were there 4 days, and God taught me a lot about blessings in disguise during that time.  I never left your side, so we shared lots of sweet, cuddly moments in that quiet hospital room.  Your grandparents kept Lexi, and I didn’t have anything else distracting me from caring for you.  You were a trooper through all the treatments.   Your easygoing nature will serve you well in the future, too.

Now that you are 1 year old, you are on the cusp of a lot of big milestones.  Your babbling discourses will soon be intelligible conversations.  Your scooting around the house will give way to walking.  But what I am most looking forward to are the exciting new ways you enrich our family just by being you.

And the potty training.  Just let me know when you want to get started on that.

Love Forver,


6 thoughts on “The Big One

  1. I didn't see anything in there about the amount of gray she's already given her daddy?!?! :)Happy Birthday Allie

  2. just wonderful, kelly. loved reading this, definitely brought tears to my eyes. happy 1st birthday, allie!

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