Monday, March 14, 2011

6 years ago ...

Memory Lane..

We chose her name before we knew her. Isabella means consecrated, devoted, or otherwise promised to God. We also call her Bella, which means beautiful. She fits both perfectly to us. As she was our first child, we were overcome with this new and joyful gift from God. We pledged to always bring her closer to God and raise her in a way that glorifys Him.

Every movement I felt throughout the pregnancy was beautiful to me. It was my sweet Bella keeping me up all those hours as she fluttered about in my belly.. No words could describe those first months feeling another being growing inside me. I was awestruck. How could anyone who has experienced this miracle question that there is an awesome God in control of it all?

Isabella was a gift from God during a very difficult time in my life. My sister and I both discovered we were expecting the same weekend. Our mom had just been diagnosed with a very rapidly progressing Non Hodjkins Lymphoma Cancer and was not expected to get through it. Our babies gave my mother something very exciting to look forward to. She fought hard and as my due date approached, my mother finished her last round of chemo. She wanted to be by my side for the delivery and on some level I think she feared these might be her last chances at sharing these moments. Now 6 years later she has 8 grandchildren!

I delivered Isabella on a Friday, after laboring on pitocin all night for 12 hours. I had to be induced at 1 am (already dilated to 2) at nearly 37 weeks after developing preeclampsia quite suddenly. After remaining calm through a long night and enduring the screams of a woman next door for half that period, I finally accepted the epidural at 9:30 am, only to find it worked to numb my belly contractions but failed once she reached the point of no return, ready to make an entrance. The last time they had checked me I was only a 6 so they were in no hurry to check me again but I explained that I was going to die soon as she was going to come out any minute. So they finally decided to examine me and found she was crowning.

My Dr. (the one who delivered all 3) was occupied in a C section next door so after nurses kept trying to stall me and have me hold my baby in ("You are driving down a long road and you have to go #2..there is no rest stop for 10 miles"..PLEEEASE!)but finally they realized it was t-i-m-e. So another Dr. came in explaining he was pulled from a plate of spaghetti in the break room..then as he read my name and got in position to catch the comes the nurse who says to him, "Dr. S says she does not want you to intervene on her delivery." There are no words for that situation. He whipped off his gloves and was out the door and I told myself I was ready to just let her come on her own.

Within seconds my Dr. walked in and 2 pushes later Isabella made her entrance into this crazy world. She was gorgeous. Messy, wrinkley.. absolutely beautiful. I only held her a second before she was whisked to the warmer because she had not cleared enough junk from her lungs in her quick delivery. She was breathing fine however they wanted to hear more screaming. She looked great but did spend the next 2 hours in the nursery being bathed and practically pinched by nurses wanting to hear a howling baby. She was just a sweet little thing, not a screamer. When she returned we enjoyed the most heavenly weekend holed up in that private room meeting each other, bonding, learning to nurse. It was bliss.

Ever since, she has been this incredible shining little star in our life. She is loving and thoughtful and although at times a bit of a drama queen (wonder where that comes from?), we would not change a thing about our sweet first baby girl. She has taught us alot in the last 6 years. Now she is this growing young lady that somehow went from diapers and tantrums to the soccer field and the school bus in the blink of an eye. She teaches her little sister everyday and adores her brother, even when his arrival on the scene meant quite a disruption in her normal routine. She turned our world on end when God saw fit to place her in our care. She is a dreamer and our butterfly.. I hope she never changes. Thank you Lord for Isabella. Thank you for all the wonderful moments and milestones of the past 6 years.. we look forward to all that lies ahead.

Birthdays to Celebrate

Bella's actual physical birthday is not until Friday but with Sam's 1st birthday on the following day, we decided to wrap them around two weekends. Additionally, her cousin Keenan's 4th bday was one week prior to hers and so he held a bowling party on saturday.

Her other cousin Jackson is visiting this week and his bday is 5 days after hers (what a busy bday month!), so we decided to combine efforts and have one big 6 year old party for Bella and Jackson with a Lego theme. We had a family party at a local park wedged between the sound side and the gulf. It was beautiful weather with a nice cross breeze and everyone had a great time! Sammy even enjoyed the glorious day and stayed calm and collected the whole time.

The cousins won't have many more opportunities to play like this for a while as my sister's husband's assignment will take them and their 4 kids to Belgium in a few months. My other sister is also overseas right now in Germany. I am so proud of my brother-in-laws and my sisters, for making sacrifices every day in the name of our country. It is hard to be at such a distance from them all. This week is our chance to say good bye.

It is always good to have quality time with my mom.

The kids enjoyed playing with a kite in the breeze.

A highlight to the day was watching an egret along the shore and an ospry up high in it's nest.

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