Thursday, August 25, 2011

Growing Pains. Mine.

Five years ago...

I was visiting family in Texas when I realized something was... off.

I didn't want to go out with my cousins (and they're a super fun bunch), had a hard time staying awake, just didn't feel like myself.  I thought I was getting sick and it took me a couple of days to realize that I didn't feel sick. Just sooooo tired.

On the drive home, I slept.  The WHOLE way home.  I slept for three. days.  Only waking up when we needed to eat or when we stopped for the bathroom. 

I think it was around the second day that I figured there wasn't anything wrong.  Just... something new.

And as soon as I got home, John went out to pick up a pregnancy test (because it's his job to pick up anything remotely personal and/or embarrassing *ahem* suppositories *ahem*) and the next morning when I woke up I took the test.  I waited for all of 2 seconds before the lines appeared. 

It was Positive.

I called John into the bathroom and showed him the stick and started to laugh.  Part excitement, part nerves, part "what on earth have we gotten into".  But mostly excitement.  (Okay, excitement with a dash of nerves.)

Doctor visits and tests, the ultrasound, baby showers.  Everything was so new and exciting and I couldn't wait.

Couldn't wait to hold my precious baby girl.

Labor and delivery (during which John enjoyed watching some kind of sport on TV and took video of the parking lot from our window... as if I weren't laying on the hospital bed IN PAIN) took forever and nothing was happening.

Delivery didn't go quite as planned so instead of welcoming Katie into the world to the sounds of sports fans cheering and soft lighting, her welcome was a quiet, cold, bright white room (there's just no ambiance in these operating rooms.  Ugh.).  She gave a cry as the doctor pulled her out of my c-section incision and I learned that the ultrasound had been right (whew, yay for the already painted pink room), we were finally Parents of a Baby Girl.

The nurse held her over me and I kissed her fuzzy head.  (My first moment with her and I wasn't at all icked out by the "residue" I'm sure was still on her, even though the nurses had wiped her off.  Really.  Not at all.  If "at all" = a little tiny bit.)

My parents were the first to hold her in the recovery room.  Katie was beautiful (even with the rakish scar over her left eyebrow - casulaty of the surgery) and quiet.  Content being held and cuddled.

A day or so after Katie was born, we noticed her eyes rolling oddly.  It just happened once or twice.  When we mentioned it to the nurse, just in passing, she quickly took Katie to the neonatal unit so they could observe her.  I guess menangitis was mentioned.  After 3 spinal taps (they had to repeat the test because it didn't work the first times.  Please note that we don't discuss this around Katie.  Ever.  That girl has a memory like an elephant.) and a brain scan (is that what it's called when they attach all of those sensors to the head?), Katie was declared healthy.  We were so relieved.  (What an understatement that is... I can't even think of words to describe how fortunate we felt the day we left the hospital with a healthy baby.)

She was picked up and cuddled pretty much from day one.  If she was fussy, sleeping, alert, drowsy, we were holding her.  She was the sweetest armful.

She never had colic, though there was that one night she cried and cried.  I held her, rocked her, danced with her, and still she fussed and cried.  John held her, rocked her, danced with her, and still she fussed and cried.  We didn't know what to do.  Finally, I think she wore herself out.  I remember her in her swing, fast asleep while me and John laid on the floor in the dining room, exhausted and afraid to move in case she woke up!

Doctor visits, shots, growth charts.  Birthdays, holidays, family events.  Such a joy for us to watch her grow.

Finally this week I took her to her appointments with the doctor and dentist, trying to fit them in before school started.  Surprise (or not really)!  She's a healthy 5-year-old. 

  Vaccinations? Check!
      Eyes and ears tested? Check!
        Cavity free? Check!

Knows her phone number, address, and full name?  Check, check, and check!

Proud mommy that her Katie managed the dental x-rays? Check.

Adult molars coming in? ... Ummmm, what?! *sigh* Check.

Mixed in with all of the excitement of getting supplies, a backpack, writing all of the school events on our calendar, is a little bit of sadness that we can't go back in time.

She'll never again fit snugly in my arms, never again have that baby smell, never again be that tiny.

Soon she'll march off to Kindergarden and make new friends, learn new things, explore more of the world, and do it all without us right next to her.  She handled preschool like a pro so this should be easy peasy... for her.  For me?  I'm not sure.

She's already going to her first "school friend" birthday party this weekend... I'm going with her, of course, because, well, she's still only 5 (even if it sometimes seems like she's 35).  They're going to some really cool play center.  I plan on wearing comfy clothes though in case I have to crawl through the tunnels.  You know.  In case it looks fun.  I'm sure she'll have a great time, and I'll get to watch her with the other kids.

Growing up faster than I want.

And I guess that's okay.  Because she's growing up to be more than I ever could have hoped for on that day 5 years ago when I felt the doctor pull her out of me and announce,

"It's a girl".