Virginia will be three on Wednesday. THREE. let me say that again, T.H.R.E.E. years old. How in the world did that happen?!
She is old enough to understand that it is her birthday and she is so so so excited about it. That alone makes this time, which used to be tinged by much bitterness and pain, so joyous and exciting.
Her celebrations started on Saturday the 18th with a party that included 12 of her 2-3 year old friends and their parents and continued last night with a trip to the NICU to visit her night nurse and deliver some gifts for the babies currently fighting their battle. We continued today with a little celebration at preschool and we will finish up on Wednesday with just the 3 of us.. just as it all started.
What was not lost on me was irony that we started this string of celebrations exactly 3 years from the time that I went from "stable bedrest" on maternal special care to "imminent delivery" on labor and delivery. Those days are a complete blur thanks to 5 days of magnesium but with brief moments of such clarity. Moments that I will never forget.
Those 5 days were physically very difficult, but that paled in comparison to the mental anguish. In those moments I knew that every hour made a difference but I also knew that realistically we were in an unbelievably precarious position. There was a cloud of nervous anticipation so very thick in that labor and delivery room that week- it was veiled by hope and positivity but was honestly heavy and exhausting for everyone.
I thank god every day that Virginia and I had the strength to make it those "extra" days, but always wish it could have lasted longer. always.
That pain is part of her story and those 5 extra days are part of the celebration. So we celebrate. We also hug a little tighter these days, sing a little louder, and laugh a whole lot more. I wish that 3 years ago I could have known how joyous these 5 days of celebrating would be.
Virginia's first friends - October 2011 Yale NICU babies
night nurse Amy and those famous NICU doors
We also celebrated by buying a new house ;)