Wednesday, March 28, 2012

five years ago...

In two days my baby girl will turn FIVE!  That will deserve a post on its own...all about Lucy!  But tonight I can't help but remember where we were five years ago.  Five years ago today I was admitted to the hospital.  After about ten weeks of tears, prayers, fingers crossed and anxiety we were told that it was time to be in the hospital.  I was prepared for the long haul.  I could do bed rest.  Bring in all seasons of the O.C. to watch in bed (a task that Blake still suggests monthly), hang out and get as close to 40 weeks as possible.  I was up to that challenge but it really never was a discussion.  I think my doctor knew all along that baby girl would be coming soon.

Tonight I was scheduled in the Special Care Nursery at LDS.  The SCN has babies usually older than 32 weeks and typically with non threatening conditions.  A lot of the families I've met have been there less than one week.  After I introduce myself and tell our story many of the parents look at me wide-eyed and say "79 days!  How could you do it?"  Well, let me just say, I don't know how the HELL we did it?!  But really, we had no idea what else to do.  These sweet parents always follow up with something like "we've been here four days - I have nothing to complain about compared to you." But I always tell them than one day is a day too long.  Not having your ideal birthing experience is not fair.  Every situation is unique and every one is just as important.  As I walked into the hospital tonight, back to that same 4th floor it kind of all hit me again.  Where we were five years ago and that feeling we had of the unknown.  The hospital lobby is in the middle of a remodel but it still smells the same to me.  The elevators are the same.  Even one of the security guards we had to sign in with each night to visit our baby is still working there.

I met such a sweet couple tonight.  They just had their first child, about six weeks early.  They were tired and still in a blur.  I remembered that feeling.  I remember just wanting so bad to have someone tell me she was going to be okay.  But not until she had been there about a month did I feel certain we would take her home.  This couple had questions too and the poor mom was feeling the guilt that preemie moms are all too familiar with.  I told her she did such a great job.  She carried him this far and he's doing well.  I also listened because really that's the most important thing.

Last week Lucy was begging for some toy she saw on tv.  One of the light up stuffed animals that projects stars on the ceiling.  She said she'd start staying in her bed if we got her one.  Well I remembered I bought her a ladybug one on her first birthday.  She didn't care about it then so it was packed away with all of the "baby" stuff.  Opening all of those totes brought back so many memories...but really happy memories.  I was overwhelmed at the cards, notes, letters from so many family and friends.  Wishing us well, wishing Lucy well.  Never in my life have I felt so loved.  I came across Lucy's name tags and care charts from the NICU.  We had such great nurses who helped me learn to find my voice and be Lucy's advocate.  My wonderful friend Lacey went to such work and made me scrapbook pages from pictures I had posted online and compiled everything together - she did so much for me during that time.  My parents and family spent so much time with Lucy and I came across notes I made each evening about Lucy's weight and any information my mom or me would note during a visit.  I tried to explain some of these items to Lucy.  She's older now and is starting to understand why some of this stuff is so important.  But I know I have years and years to show her and share with her all of the love she got before so many people even met her.  She got her light up ladybug and still came to our bed that night.

A lot of these memories and thoughts have been written by me before.  Maybe each year I'll have the same stuff to say but for some reason...five years ago seems like such a long time.  We've all come so far and we're continually blessed with such amazing family and friends.  Lucy will start kindergarten in the fall, she's in the middle of her first "crush", she's a master of the eye roll and for some reason has started calling Blake, "Big Jo".  She's a normal, beautiful, brilliant five year old who probably doesn't need her mom to get weepy every March and show her the hospital id she wore around her ankle.  But it will always be there.  That mix of memories, anxiety, hope, love.  The start of our family.  

My doctor came into our hospital room very early on the 30th.  Like around 4 or 5 in the morning.  She told me she felt it was best to deliver later that day.  She was leaving out of town in a couple of hours but wanted to come in and check on me.  Blake was asleep in the room and after she left I sat alone. Just over 12 hours later my dream came true.

Monday, March 19, 2012

5, 5, 5!

It's that time of year again!
Time again for a bake sale, fundraising, hanging out with our favorite people and doing a little walk on a Saturday morning.

5, 5, 5
Lucy will be FIVE years old at the walk this year...
This will be Team Lucy Bug's! FIFTH appearance at the March for Babies Salt Lake event...
The event will be held on May FIFTH...

Five must be a lucky number this year!

Last year we had such an incredible outpouring of love, support and donations and we were the top fundraising family in the entire state (thank you, thank you, thank you)! We were so honored last year to be the Ambassador Family and we know that helped with our amazing total. This year we are just as excited to participate and give back to the March of Dimes organization. But we don't have to give speech and uphold any "duties" this year so this is our fun (relaxed) year. And, May 5th?! Cinco de Mayo! So that will just add to the fun!

If you can help support Team Lucy Bug! this year we will be so grateful. Once again my wonderful aunt Kim and cousin Alisa have been kind enough to host our bake sale. This was a huge success last year and I know many people are looking forward to picking up some tasty treats again this year. If you want to help support our team here are the details:

Bake Sale - Saturday April 28th 10:00-12:00pm
1840 East 1300 South
If you would be willing to make any baked goods to donate to this event please let me know! We received some delicious items last year and would love to sell your treats again. Let me know what you'd like to make so we know what will be coming! And if you aren't the baking type then you probably are the tasting mark your calendars and come buy some treats!

Join our team and fundraise -
You can join our team online and use any of the tools provided on the site to do your own fundraising. Click here to join.

Walk with us!
If you don't feel like registering for the walk but want to show up with us that morning then just let me know you will be walking with us! We had over 60 team members last year and we'd love to see those numbers again. We do want to give a count to the March of Dimes how many participants to expect so letting me know you're coming is great! The walk is a great way to spend a Saturday morning. The location is This Is the Place Heritage Park and there is food, prize drawings and activities for kids.

Make a donation -
If you can't make it to the bake sale to pick up some yummy treats but would like to donate to the cause you can make a tax deductible donation HERE.

Thank you all for your support over the years. Every year around this time I really struggle with anxiety and a roller coaster of emotions (maybe that's why I've been sick for a week!). I've realized as Lucy's birthday approaches a lot of those feelings of fear, sadness and the unknown creep up just as though it happened yesterday. We are so blessed to have a healthy, happy child and we are so excited she will be turning five soon. But I will always be a "preemie mom" and the bittersweet will always make an appearance this time of year.

It's so therapeutic to participate in this event and know that all of the people who walked and raised money years before Lucy was born helped play a part in her healthy life. And we will continue to walk each year for those healthy full-term babies like our new nephew Everett. And we will walk for those other babies who will come early by no fault of their own or their mommy's. We will continue to support the March for Dimes and their mission to give all babies a healthy start.

Monday, March 12, 2012

special person

A couple weeks ago Blake and I were honored to be Lucy's guests at preschool. It was Lucy's turn to be the Special Person in the blue room. We got to make a "Lucy" poster with pictures of family and things she loves. She brought the snack for the class (apples and string cheese) and got to be the one to pass out the cool is that when you are four?! She got to bring her favorite story from home - Alice in Wonderland and with our help came up with a class craft to do with her classmates.

Lucy picked Blake to read her story to the class and she was so excited to bring a little bit of one of her favorite things into the room. She kept asking Blake to show her the we haven't read this four thousand times already.

Lucy had to explain the pictures she chose for her poster and then it was a little Q & A session. Lucy was giggly and thrilled when her crush (Teagan!) had his hand up in the as the questions started. But a bit disappointed when he said "I was just stretching..."

We came up with the idea to plant tomato seeds with her class. These kids are cute! But it's so funny to see the difference between boys and girls. The boys didn't talk much and dug in quickly with the dirt and got the job done. The girls talked and talked! They asked questions, had to sit by certain friends, questioned where I bought the popsicle stick markers (and if I painted them myself or bought them that way...sheesh!) and seemed sort of competitive about the whole process. And that is one of the reasons I LOVE having a girl...
A bit dramatic...a lot of talking...and a little (or a lot: Lucy) sass!

I can't say enough about our wonderful preschool. My only regret is that Lucy didn't get to go there for two years. It is a great program. Not too structured but structured enough. She has learned so much this year and we've loved her teachers. I can't believe kindergarten registration is just around the corner. Oh, and who knew people talked about kindergarten like it's applying to college?!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

cookie college

A couple of weeks ago while wasting some time on the facebook I noticed Gardner Village had a little contest to win a spot in one of their cookie college classes held at Naborhood Bakery. I entered Lucy and won! Cookie college was kind of a big deal. They had a tour of the bakery, rolled out their own dough, cut cookies, watched them go in the huge bakery oven and then decorated and brought home about a dozen (very average tasting) cookies. She even got a diploma and a free lunch that she told one of the cute bakery girls was "sick".

It was nice to get out of the house...we've all had a turn of not feeling the greatest and February is blah so we enjoyed our sunny (but freezing) afternoon at the village.

Do you every have those days (or sometimes just moments) when you love your kid so much you just cry? That was this day. I don't know if it's because her birthday is around the corner or if she's just the sweetest, best girl ever but I watched her as we walked around and I was almost sobbing because I just love her so much.

Thank goodness for sunglasses or people might have suspected a nervous breakdown.