Monday, December 31, 2012

In the beginning...

A friend asked me a question today that had me looking back through early pictures of Anabelle to find the answer.  I realized, as I did it, that we had never really publicly shared those images of the early days.  Anabelle spent the first two months of her life in the NICU at AI Dupont Hospital for Children, and, as first time special needs parents, we didn't know how much to put out there.  Would it scare our friends and family to see our baby hooked up to a bunch of machines?  Would they be uncomfortable, in those early days, when we still didn't know what was wrong or what the prognosis would be?  Would it turn out that some people in our lives would not be as accepting as we thought, would make fun of our daughter's tiny head, or be repulsed?  These are the kinds of things that ran through my head back then.  Before Anabelle made me brave.  Before she made me strong.  Before I knew any other special needs families or had any idea how gorgeous and amazing she and her friends were.  Before I knew how much everyone in her world would fall in love with her.  A friend reminded me today that Anabelle's name means "easy to love".  We sure hit that nail right on the head!

And so now, for the first time, I give you: Anabelle's first 60 days...

Minutes old.  At this point, we still have no idea that there is anything at all wrong with her.

Hours old.  The madness begins.  Seizures force immediate transfer to AI Dupont.  I was discharged 12 hours after giving birth to follow her

One day old: first EEG

 First time Daddy gets to hold her

 First time we see eyes

 Three days old.  This was D-Day (that's diagnosis day for those of you without SN kids.  A day you will never forget)

 In the beginning, Anabelle was snowed with anti-seizure meds.  She was only awake about an hour in a 24 hour day.  This one was at 3 am...

 Clasping hands

 The first time she wore anything but a hospital gown.  18 days old

 Nothing like a super tiny baby to make a postpartum mommy feel huge!

There was a complication with Anabelle's gtube surgery that required a second, open belly surgery.  We couldn't hold her for weeks.  P.S. if you are interested in what 2 1/2 years of SN parenting does to a person, compare this photo with one of me today...

 The chunk begins...

 After weeks of oral therapy, finally has SOME suck reflex

Cozy monkey

The nursing staff says goodbye, exactly 2 months old, finally heading home

 One of my favorite pictures of all time.  Sissy helps Daddy bust the baby out of the hospital

Tomorrow we begin a new year, and one in which my family is still all together.  I know now what these photos will mean to those in our life, how they will be received and treasured.  Happy New Year, friends!  Looking forward to many more memories in the new one...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this Kate. Even if some people can't "handle" were blessed with a wonderful gift and sharing that gift is awesome!!!!