Julia turns 4

It feels like a lifetime ago that I sat in a hospital bed wondering if we would ever see a fourth birthday. Looking outside of that snowy hospital room window, I couldn’t even imagine what life could be like without her. Little did I know what would unfold in the early hours of February 6, 2016.

After what felt like a lifetime, I was finally able to hold Julia 2 entire days after she was born. Exhausted from the chaotic events leading up to her birth and afterwards, I sat on a hospital recliner propped by pillows, sore from surgery and held my girl for the first time. I sat in a confined space with my husband by my side and took in every little detail. Every smell, every noise around us, and the magnitude of the moment I was in. It was surreal- I guess you could even say it was overwhelming. Machines beeping, cords everywhere, nurses giving each other report at shift change, and the smallest little miracles surrounding us. I never imagined meeting my daughter in an environment that felt terrifying. As new parents we saw babies surrounding our daughter’s isolette that were so small, fighting the biggest fight of their lives.

Holding her at just 2 1/2 pounds, I imagined what her life would be like. Would she be able to see? To run on the playground with friends? Would she be able to breathe okay without assistance? This wasn’t the warm and fuzzy experience I had hoped for when I got a positive pregnancy test the summer I found out I was pregnant.

But here we are, 4 whole years later. FOUR YEARS. Let that sink in, because time really is a thief. I watched Julia in the NNICU for 50 long days, and then subsequently at home. Left my job. Turned my life upside down as any new mom does to take care of their new baby. Breastfed her for 18 long months to give her what I thought she missed out on coming so prematurely. Beat myself up and suffer(ed) from Post Partum Depression and PTSD from her traumatic birth. But I learned to see life through her eyes. Cheering her on every step I could, and watching her achieve milestones that blew us away. Watching her be on par with her peers her age has been my greatest joy. Watching her walk for the first time, to say her first words, roll over, or to laugh for the first time took my breath away. To say I am impressed With how much she has achieved in such a short time is an understatement.

Sitting here at my kitchen counter, and making sugar cookies for her birthday tomorrow- I am brought back to that moment where all of this felt impossible in my hospital room. To the moment when I thought this was all a far fetched dream.

Happy Fourth birthday to my not so little baby girl, it has been one of the biggest joys of my life to watch you grow and evolve into the little princess you are today. I know you are destined for greatness because of your fiesty spirit, your persistence, and empathy at such a young age.


Sign up to be notified of future posts