Friday, February 27, 2009

Letter to Gillian

Dear Gillian:

As your 3rd birthday is fast approaching, I honestly don’t know where the time has gone.

I still remember October 21, 2005 when I found out that I was expecting you like it was yesterday. That day my life changed forever (your Dad’s too). We found out on January 31, 2006 that we were expecting a girl; I drove down to Albany and surprised your Dad to tell him because he was at the Academy for his work. We thought we had tons of time to decide on a name and prepare the house for your arrival because we knew a princess was on her way. But to our surprise, we didn’t have tons of time.

I had been sick my entire pregnancy and the goal was to get to 30 weeks, the doctor told me that it was safe if I made it to 30 weeks. On March 13th, I started to get really sick. I was admitted into the hospital and the doctors weren’t sure how long I would make it. They let me out on the 16th in hopes that I would make it 1 more month. On March 20th, I was admitted into the hospital and immediately sent to Burlington, VT and I was told I would not be coming back this time until after you were born. On the 21st, I had to meet with a doctor that told me everything that could go wrong with the delivery and the risks that you would face…I explained to them in the nicest way possible that you were to get the best treatment and you would be fine. On the 22nd, Uncle Sean, Emma, Aunt Jody, Grammie Miner, Grumpie & Grammie Brooks all visited me. It was also the day that Daddy and I decided you would be named Gillian so everyone was thrilled we wouldn’t be calling you Gerty anymore. The night of the 23rd is when the promises began….I knew I was very sick that night. I had a hard time moving around and I knew I was getting worse. I promised you that you just need to make it through the night and Daddy would be there to visit us and we would make sure that you were taken care of. I promised I would help you make all your dreams come true. To no surprise I was woken up on March 24, 2006 by Dr. Capeless asking me to get your Daddy to the hospital that we would be parents that day. Most of this day was a blur due to medication. I alerted your Dad that he needed to come straight to the hospital. I contacted both sets of grandparents, all the aunts and uncles and close friends. You were born at 2:35pm, crying which we were thrilled about because we had been told you wouldn’t be strong enough. It was then that your Dad and I knew you were good. We fell in love with you at first sight.

I was not allowed out of bed for 2 days but I was assured that everyone was taking excellent care of you. Your Dad was with you and was bringing everyone in to meet you. I was later told by the nurses that were part of your delivery that you had the most people waiting in the waiting room for your delivery. From birth everyone wanted to meet you and fell in love with you. You spent 93 days in the hospital. What a rollercoaster ride that was…there was happiness and many tears along the way to get you home. The doctors told me on June 24th that on the 25th you would be leaving with me and to make sure we were ready for you. I was ready; I couldn’t wait for you to be home with me. Your Dad was still working downstate and wasn’t able to be there on the 25th so I brought Grammie Brooks and Grammie Miner, Grumpie and Grampie were waiting at home to come visit you. We said our good byes to the staff (they were amazing people) at the hospital and headed home. It was a huge day because in the hospital there were tons of rules and no one had been able to hold you except your Dad and me. So your Grandparents were thrilled to get their hands on you.

I was very protective of you. I didn’t bring you out much or let a lot of people come over to visit. Probably too overprotective looking back but it took so long to bring you home, we didn’t want to go back there. We had worked out a plan with your Grandparents that they would watch you when your Daddy was downstate. So every other week you got to spend the week with Daddy and opposite weeks with your Grandparents. I think everyone benefited from this arrangement.

Your 1st 3 years have not been typical years. You had 2 different physical therapists at 2 different times (December 2006 to December 2007 & June 2008 to December 2008) and a speech pathologist (November 2007 to August 2008). The first winter you had to get special shots that cost $1200 per shot. For the 1st 2 years you had to be seen by a doctor in Plattsburgh and another one in Burlington. When you read your baby book and compare it to when the so called experts say a baby should do something, you always did it 3 months later (this is normal for preemies). You have seen a heart specialist and had your first eye exam was at 3 months old. Anything and everything you needed, we made sure you got. The nurses in the hospital told me I was your advocate from birth, I did tons of research so I knew what to expect and look for. This made me partially insane but when any of the doctors had to tell us anything I had some idea what they were talking about which was good. Your Dad and I found every joy in every milestone you have had and I know this will continue. Your success has become like a success to us.

You are a miracle to us. We look forward to watching you grow….constantly wondering what career path you will take, whether you will play soccer and softball, your 1st day of school, wonder where you will go to college. We want to take you to see different places (I’m pushing for Disney right now!) You are the sweetest, most well behaved child. You touch the hearts of everyone you encounter. I could not be prouder. Whatever road you choose, your Dad and I will be here for you, cheering you on. We love you Gillian!