Sunday, March 30, 2008

Who can turn the world on with her smile?

Mary is a very happy baby. She smiles easily and giggles without much prompting. It's just the girls this weekend - the boys took a road trip down to Memphis. Mary is great company.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Grandest Lady in the Easter Parade

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit

The night before Mary's first surgery, our pastor came and baptised her. It was not at all how I pictured any daughter of mine being christened. There was no font, first of all. And no gown. My parents were there, and my younger sister. Charlie and Sam were there, too. We stood around a NICU bed, staring at a tiny baby, who I felt I didn't even really know. Yet, my heart was breaking at the thought of anything happening to her. She was so tiny. My dad wanted to take a picture of her, but I asked him not to - I didn't want to remember her like that. Little did I know that I would forever have the image of her hooked up to so many machines, burned in my memory. At one point, during the 5 minute rites, Mary stopped breathing. Her little chest stopped moving and then the alarms went off. The nurses had stepped aside to give us some privacy, but when the dinging started, they came back over. I heard someone ask, "Do they usually bag her?" And I was like, "Yes!" while thinking, why don't you know this already???? I told my mom to take Charlie and Sam around the curtain, so they wouldn't be scared. The nurses came, 'bagged' her, Mary started breathing, and we slowly resumed her baptism. The whole thing, even with emergency interruptions, took less than 10 minutes.

Last night, at the Great Vigil of Easter, we presented Mary to our church. Along with the baptisms and new members, Mary was chrismated. Our pastor also prayed a blessing for Mary's upcoming surgery at that time.

Today I was speaking with the wife of the pastor who baptised Mary in the hospital, and she asked if the presentation made me happy. I felt beyond happy last night. I felt blessed.

As you can see, she got her gown. And so much more. Here she is with her Godparents and big brothers.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

Save the Date

Well, we finally have a date for Mary's surgery. When I first heard it, I felt torn between immense relief and overwhelming anxiety. It's good to finally have a date, a finite time to look at on the calendar, instead of this vague darkness overshadowing our days. However, it really does feel like our family's personal D-Day. I must remember that however horrible I think this might be, it probably will not be nearly as bad. Mary is an amazingly strong little girl who I am confident will come through this with flying colors. Charlie and Sam will once again prove how resilient they are while I am in the hospital with their sister. All of the doctors and nurses at Loyola have already given our family outstanding care, I know they will this time, as well. We are surrounded by so many loving people who have blessed us, and will again, with help, both practical and emotional. We will survive. And hopefully thrive. Why, then, do I feel like I'm going to vomit?

Mary was once again subjected to a blood test today. Whenever we walk out of the lab, I feel like I've just been through a war zone. My hair is a mess, I'm sweating, and I've got loads of adrenalin pumping through my veins. This was by far the worst time yet. Mary cried hysterically throughout the entire procedure. She did wear her Amber Teething Necklace. If only there were phlebotomy jewelry.

Oh, the big day? Friday, April 11.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Gathering No Moss

This little girl rolled over for the first time ever, on her 4-month birthday, with a room full of admirers!
We've been (not so patiently) waiting for her to do it, and she appeased us tonight while we played Apples to Apples with Aunt Darlene, Luke, Madeline, and Grandma. She had several false starts and when she finally made it all the way from her back to her belly, we scared her with our delighted applause. Mary cried for a few minutes, but a little later, when we put her down again, she did it once more!