Thursday, March 26, 2009
Hayley Katherine-7 years
Hayley's birth was not at all what I had prepared for or expected. I guess seeing so many birth scenes on tv and movies, I expected screaming and craziness and commotion. The actual birth was calm and quiet. One minute I was watching One Life to Live and wishing that I had thought to brush my hair, and the next moment the doctor said I was at 10 cm and left the room to bring in the nurse. I just looked at Andy and said "This is it?" and he nodded and came to stand next to me. A few pushes and Hayley was here. There was some screaming (her, not me), and laughter (mine, not hers) and tears (both of ours) and they brought her over to me. She looked so familiar, she looked exactly how I'd pictured her. I held her for a few minutes and realized that Andy was hovering over us, waiting for his turn so I handed her over to him. I would have held on longer if I had realized that he had no intention of giving her back anytime soon.
We spent 2 days in the hospital, Hayley slept most of the time. I tried nursing, we dressed and changed her and stared at her. I should have told the nurses not to bother leaving the plastic bassinet because I don't think she was ever in it. Andy stayed awake the entire time and she slept on his chest (he did occasionally give me a chance to hold her, mostly when she seemed hungry).
She was such a good baby, she slept through the night at 2 months and smiled and laughed so much more than she cried. I remember so many details of that first year. I remember Andy discovering that if you tapped gently on her upper lip when she was just a week or so old, she would "smile". I remember bathing her on the floor of her bedroom, how Andy and I would do that together every night and then I would read her "Guess how much I love you" and sing James Taylor songs until she was tired.
I remember when she was 8 months old and she would pull up on boxes and make speeches, just babbling and gesturing wildly and pounding on the box for emphasis.
I remember her first day of preschool, when she was 2 and a half. We were so worried that she would be scared or lonely but when we went to pick her up, she ran to her new teacher, gave her a high five and said "Give me a hug!" and we knew she would be just fine.
I remember her seeing Ace for the first time, wearing her "I'm a Big Sister" crown. She just marched right into the hospital room and put out her arms to hold him. She told us that he was her brother and she was going to take care of him.
I remember all her birthdays, surrounded by people that love her. I think her favorite so far was the Tumblebus coming to our house when she turned 5.
I remember dropping her off at school on the first day of Kindergarten. I remember pulling out of the drop off lane thinking "Well, that was easier than I thought" and then pulling in the driveway and breaking down into tears, wondering how 5 years could go so quickly.
And last year, I remember her walking down the aisle at Katherine's wedding, with her flower basket. And staying up as late as anyone, dancing the night away.
She has provided us with so many moments, big and small.
She is smart and funny and she knows how to be a good friend to everyone. She feels things very deeply and spends so much time thinking of other people. She is talented in so many ways and even when she isn't so good at something, it doesn't stop her from trying and doing her best. I'm so proud of her, and so blessed to have her in my life and call her my daughter.