Sunday, November 16, 2008

10 Years Old!

I had been working on a blog post for over a month now, spending most of my writing time staring at the screen and crying then deleting anything that I was actually able to type.

I still can't figure out why this birthday is hitting me so hard. It has taken me by surprise.

On Paige's first birthday I was an emotional wreck. I was fine through all of the planning. I was fine that morning while I was setting up the large room we had rented that would be holding the 56 attending guests. I was fine during the time we greeted each and every person who came to celebrate Paige's first year of life. Then, stupidly, I decided to give a speech. (people who know me well can attest to the fact that public speaking is not difficult for me). Even as I write this today, I begin to cry when I think back to that day. I opened my mouth, prepared to thank everyone for their emotional support, when out of my mouth came this squeaky voice. Then the tears started. Really started. It wasn't a pretty cry. It really wasn't a pretty cry. All of the hell we had been through was hitting me. It picked that time to attack me and I couldn't function. I turned to my husband (anyone who knows him very well can attest to the fact that he HATES public speaking) for help. He stared back at me with this look of "what the heck happened to my wife?" and did not say a word. Looking at him made me cry harder. We had been through so much in one year and here we were, still together, holding our beautiful child. I managed to squeak out some lame, very short, speech and then ducked out of the room to cry. It was an ugly cry. Primal tears. Anger. Fear. Joy. It was all there. It was painful. Still is. I had never allowed myself to cry much before that moment. There I was, outside of a room filled with 56 people, in the midst of an ugly cry that I couldn't stop.

Each year Paige's birthdays were emotionally easier for all of us. Each year the NICU experience consumed less of my thoughts on her special day and ended up as only a late night mini conversation with hubby. I am so thankful that the NICU memories can take a backseat now.

Back on that day of her first birthday, I never could have imagined a birthday without the main focus being the pain of the NICU time.

As Paige's birthday approached this year I was taken aback by the flood of emotions. It had been easier each year. Why was I going backwards now? I am still not sure why but it has upset me because I couldn't even get a blog post written. Geesh! I'm never at a loss for words. lol

Then along came an email from Chris. Oh Chris, you have no idea how much your words helped me (thank you! thank you! thank you!). You are right, "we have come a loooooooooong way baby!"

Paige is doing wonderful. Homeschooling was the right choice. She has gained about 6 pounds and looks healthy. Her meds are working and her skin is healing. She is an avid store rock wall climber and would do it every day if she could. She is surrounded by family (who moved here to be near her) who loves her very much. She has a strong spirit-one that drives her to many new areas. She is in tune to her surroundings and the people she encounters. She feels strongly about many issues that, once given the opportunity, will talk your ear off about. She is a beautiful person. We are all so lucky to have her in our life.

Double didgits! 10 years old!! Woo Hoo!!

We decided to take a family birthday vacation to a large indoor waterpark. We all had lots of fun. On her birthday we had a party with her local grandparents. I caught myself staring at her, in awe of her. She really has come a long way. I know the future does not guarantee that her path will always be this good. But, for now, we are enjoying these good days.

My dearest Paige... Happy Birthday!!!

(Correction... Hubby just read my blog post and has a bit of a different memory from Paige's 1st birthday. First he wasn't happy that I said that he hates public speaking. Correction... he only is comfortable speaking in public if he has written the speech ahead of time. 2nd correction... Hubby is sure he did say something when I was at a loss for words. Jokingly he told me that he said something about the blubbering person next to him but all joking aside, he is sure he said something. lol Gotta love hubby's memory!)


Sarah M. said...

happy birthday, Paige!!!

Carrie said...

Happy birthday, Paige!
As I read your post, I was reminded of when I went back to work after my maternity leave. The people I work with were so supportive through my hospital bedrest and M's NICU stay, I wanted to say thank you. At the beginning of each school year, we have a faculty meeting. I thought that would be the perfect time to say thanks. I had it all planned out, I had rehearsed it several times. I am a teacher - talking is easy for me, but as soon as I opened my mouth to say thanks, I started to cry. I basically got out a whiney, tear-filled "thanks for your support."
I am always surprised when the emotions come back.

Susie Korbel said...

Happy birthday, Paige!

Sarah said...

Happy birthday, Paige! You (ALL of you) are an inspiration to the rest of us preemie parents!

Sarah Blake said...

There are some birthdays that are just emotional milestones for everyone involved. [hugs] Believe it or not, 13 is sometimes a big one too. I'm glad I got to share this with you. [hugs]

tbonegrl said...

As I read your post a wave of emotions hit me too. What will future birthdays hold for me? I'm sometimes struggling still in the day to day.

Happy birthday, beautiful, wonderful Paige! We are thankful to have you and you are lucky to have a mom who loves you so much on your special day, and on everyday!

23wktwinsmommy said...

Happy Birthday Paige!!! You are truly amazing!
I hope you all had a wonderful day. Indoor water park...sounds like a blast!!!

p.s. Merry *early* Christmas to you too Stacy! Yay I LOVE the holidays!

mom to a precious miracle baby lilike and precious locke and anjeni said...

Sweetie I to was a flood of emotions on Lilikes 1st birthday. That day for me was a feeling of sadness I had to see Lilike sick I had been treated rude by going to see her down in the NNU on her day of birth. I was told the night she was born she could have sepsis. Not the bearing of good news. It left me with a feeling of guilt what had I done to make my full term daughter sick?
My mil who was blessed to live 2 doors down from us since Lilike was 3 months old and could come and visit her when ever she wanted to and had every double copy of every precious photo of Lilike given to her by us and more photos of Lilike with her then anyone and more video footage of her with Lilike with anyone. Handed a card to me for me to read that said
To my precious Lilike. I always called Lilike precious she never had called her precious until the moment she handed me that card. It said to my darling Lilike these past 12 months have been so wonderful I never knew becoming a grandma could become so wonderful. For her every monent with Lilike had been filled with the best memories. When she came to the NNU for a visit nobody ws rude to her as she was a visitor but not the mom and dad of Lilike wanting there baby home. Never did she endure the harsh realities of the stressful high risk pregnancy filled with stomach pains. And heartbreaking medical procedures I had to see done on Lilike. I had endured a high risk pregnancy of severe maternal anemia at 35 weeks with Lilike. But the day she got a hold of Lilike after her son brought her to Lilike within the hour of her birth and then she went home to rest and come back the next day I went down to the Flinders NNU to see Lilike again and was treated with rudeness told if I went near her I would start a code blue if I touched her foot with a pulse oximeter and looked at angry for askign can I hold her. When told her white cell count could be stress or sepsis she told me she thought most likely she had sepsis. And told by a tall blonde nurse only to come in ten minutes a day to try to breastfeed and go home. After Peter Marshall had said she can be discharged a shorter nuse tried to talk over Doctor Marshall who was telling the nurses this baby is healthy and should not be here. She had been ignored and when he left she came ot me by hersellf and told me that to please not let my daughter upstairs as the doctor had changed his mind about letting her home. When she went upstairs to ward 4c only for the 1st bath she was rushed back by the midwife who said sick babies do not belong upstairs. Seh screamed and thrashed at them trying to place an iv in her arms and then they asked us permission for a scalp iv to be more kind to her. I had to go vomit after being asked permission. They did change there minds and went for thigh injections but the stress of NNU procedures on Lilike and of a high risk pregnancy had been so much for me.

Lilike spent half of her 5th birthday at school this year same day Anjeni turned around from breech and I could barely walk.

mom to lilike locke and anjeni said...

10 years of a miracle that makes her mommy smile at the very thought of her precious princess

mom to precious babes lilike locke and anjeni said...

When Lilike turns 6 on June 25th 09and Anjeni turns one on July 22nd 09 Im going to spend very special weekends with both my girls Lilike & Anjeni together on the beach and at play n fun cafe for there birthdays. I love seeing Lilikes love for Anjeni they have a special connection shes the best big sister to her siblings. I thank God everyday for her and thank God for the nurses Nikk in and Jenny who gave Lilike fine care. Jenny was so friendly she said Lilike was special and lifted my spirits at the hardest time in my life enduring the stress of having Lilike stay in the NNU. Jenny is also Hungarian and Lilike has Hungarian blood in her from her dad. Lilike is a Hungarian name meaning "Lily"

Kristie McNealy said...

Wow! Happy birthday to Paige! Honestly, I think double digits would hit any mom hard. They seem so grown up! Add that to the emotions of the who preemie experience, and I'm sure it's going to tear me up too when ours turns ten.

Paige looks fantastic in the pictures you posted. She's a beautiful girl.


Sheila Brown said...

Happy Birthday indeed !

Double digits are pretty cool - a little unnerving for the 'rents ... but good practice for the ones coming up like Sweet 16 and oh-my-g*d 18. Times flies by so fast that is cannot help but frighten if you think too much about what has happened rather than what is ahead. Just think Stacy - won't be too long before you'll be getting the 1:30 AM call "ummm Mom, I just ran over a street sign with my car" LOL ...

Birthdays are very hard for parents. This year I gave the letter to her that I started when Katie was in the NICU and updated throughout her childhood. Didn't think she'd cry - but she did. Mostly because she couldn't believe an entire childhood was over.
Continue to savor the journey exactly as you all are doing as a family. Precious, priceless memories.

Aidan's mom said...

Happy Birthday Paige and congrats to Mommy! Paige is looking really wonderful in all these photos!

You deserve a huge pat on the back. Wish I could give it to you in person!

Kate K. said...

Happy Birthday, Paige!

The pictures of Paige are beautiful. It is nice to hear that she is finding her groove and happy.

Best wishes.

Fanciful Expressions said...

Thank for your comment on my blog. I have to agree with you about your daughter being beautiful.As is your entire family.And, believe me when I say that I'm not the least bit biased about that even though we're related. I love you all.As daughter-in-laws go---YOU are #1.

Mom aka Grandma

Anonymous said...

What a great metaphor--that Paige is into climbing . . . Let me ask you this, Stacy (and Jason) . . . Have you ever joined her on the climbing wall? The metaphor would then be complete!!!
Chris and Vic

abby said...

Happy Birthday, Paige! I know that birthdays bring up hard memories, but I am also thrilled that they are now about forming good ones, too.

Paige looks GREAT by the way...I am so glad that the homeschooling is so successful and that things are stable and happy in your world.

You really have come a long way!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday from the Harrisons, Paige!

I've been avoiding the computer for the past couple of weeks (trying to shake a pre-election blogging habit, not to mention a nasty case of the flu). But I'm cautiously venturing back into the world and the blogs this week.

We had our own recent bitter-sweet transition, as well. Our beautiful (FT) daughter, Amy, got married -- a destination wedding in New York in October.

Ed played the keyboard for the 100+ guests at the reception -- "Happy Together," "Jumpin Jack Flash," and "Girl with the Faraway Eyes". It was a huge success, and I was so proud both of him and his sister.

Yet, I couldn't escape a twinge of sorrow that Ed could never "grow up" and get married himself.

The drink and the dancing helped cheer me up, but I recognized that the preemie pangs can hit with surprising impact even decades later, and at the most unexpected times.
Many happy returns, Paige, to you and your entire family!


liz.mccarthy said...

wahoooo, happy birthday Paige. What a touching post Stacey

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ThePreemie Experiment said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and birthday well wishes!

ThePreemie Experiment said...

Anonymous poster... I deleted your comment because it has no place under my daughter's birthday post.

If you would like to email me privately, I would be happy to discuss your comment. But, I should let you know in advance, I've known that family a long time and I know what the person posted is the truth. I'm not sure where you got your information but it is not correct.

Again, if you would like to continue this discussion, please email me privately. I will keep your email address anonymous, as I do for anyone who emails me asking me not to reveal their identity.