Monday, January 2, 2012

Dear Natalie

Dear Natalie,
Your birthday is in three days. Although you are a healthy, happy, sweet little girl, we didn't always know that life would go back to "normal". It was one year ago today I was admitted into KRMC, diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure had spiked around 7:00 that morning, and as your dad and I drove to the hospital, nothing could have prepared me for the probability of your being born 8 weeks early. I remember that day was a Sunday. The doctor told us to "prepare ourselves". I fought the tears. Your dad gave me a blessing before I was officially admitted. He blessed both of us that we would be ok, and that everything would turn out for the best. After they moved me to my room, the nurses immediately started an IV and I was given a steady drip of magnesium to help control my BP, and a steroid shot to develop your lungs. Dad needed to go to work, and I was left alone with my thoughts to keep me company. I let the tears flow as I wondered what the immediate future would hold. I worried about you. I wondered if you would be healthy and strong if you needed to come now. I cried for your brothers and sister. I missed them so much and I didn't know if they would understand why I wasn't there with them. I was worried about getting to deliver VBAC, or if it was going to have to be an emergency C-section. Last of all, I wondered if I would get to stay on earth with you and Daddy and our family. I struggled all day with keeping my thoughts positive, trying to remember the blessings I had been given and the promises that were made.
Truthfully, Natalie, I didn't think today would be so hard. I thought I was getting over the trauma of your birth. But on Sept 30th, when Emily fractured her skull and needed to stay at KRMC over-night, I realized I was still struggling. I was just doing a good job of pushing it back. I think I slept 2 hours that night. Between worrying about Emily and thinking about you, there was little chance of sleep. The smell of the soap reminded me of when we would have to scrub in before going to hold you in the NICU. I kept waiting for her heart monitor alarm to go off, like yours did every time you forgot to breathe. I even recognized a few of the nurses who helped take care of you during those weeks until you came home. I watched movies all night, which kept me from drowning in the memories. The next morning, I called your dad and almost begged him to bring you to me. I needed to smell your skin, feel your warmth, see you smile. He couldn't bring you to me...I had the car with all the car seats. I was suffocating, struggling to keep my composure. I finally got to hold you at 3:00 that afternoon.
I'm going to write you a letter everyday until your birthday. Even though you are sleeping peacefully in your bedroom, this is meant to be more of a therapy session than a documentary. It's not something I would print and put in your scrapbook. Who knows, maybe one day you'll find comfort in the knowledge that even your momma's life isn't perfect and I do understand what you're going through. I love you, my sweet Natalie.

Until tomorrow.

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