I’d had a mental post all ready to go about fools and freaks (hat tip to Sabre), but I don’t have four hours to write. 😉

So instead, I’ll honor a special little girl who turned 3 years old today, my niece Alex. Here she is with the caterpillar book that I’d bought for NICU bonding sessions. She was two full months early and was at 4.6 pounds in this photo. Her veins had shut down and the NICU nurses had to shave her head and hook up her IVs that way. Which, she promptly ripped out, the brat. 😉

Whenever I want to get all pity-partyish about my own widdle life, I remember this kid’s entry into this world. I remember her mom, my best friend, borrowing money from her parents so she could run out and buy a video camera because the doctors told her that Alex likely wouldn’t live through her second night on this earth. I remember the horrible pregnancy and the almost-relief that at least when Alex was born, my friend could feel better physically, even though she was dying emotionally, watching this baby fight every minute of her life to stay alive.

Alex spent the whole first year of her life on monitors and medicines. I can count on about 12 hands how many overnights were spent in the emergency room because of her breathing or heartbeat or chronic pain that came from having nodes and needles taped to her fragile skin at all times.

And today, she’s 3. It’s been that long since I drove maniacally to GW Hospital to get to see her the afternoon she was born. I wasn’t able to hold her for months — with the stress and the mental exhaustion and the 24/7 care, my friend sort of dropped out of sight for awhile. We are both alike in that if things are going REALLY terribly, we fade from view. It worried and it scared me when she’d go silent, but I understood.

Actually, I take that back. I’d just had surgery a month after Alex was born and was fairly suicidal about it. When I woke up in the recovery room, Alex was on my chest and my friend was at my side. Both of us were hooked up to IVs and monitors, and it was just a moment I won’t forget. I figured if she could get through all her crap, I could get through mine.

Alex doesn’t like anybody other than her mom and maybe even her dad holding her. But she took to me instantly. (Per Sabre, all babies do. And I suspect she might be on to something with that.) I always joked that she heard my voice throughout the pregnancy as her mom and I made big plans for her and for ourselves. That had to be it. Alex is my girl, plain and simple. I would have given her my heart if it would have helped her to get better. And believe me, she holds onto that heart tightly. When she wasn’t flipping us all off, of course.

She never wants to go to sleep. It’s always an ordeal. (Yes, I am the reason for every piece of denim that child owns. Denim rules!) We theorize that she doesn’t want to miss a minute of life. And while we don’t blame her, I hope that when I have a kid, it enjoys taking naps. Because I know I would if I had the chance!

And today, she’s a happy, healthy and completely energetic kid. No complications, no nothing that the doctors had forecast. She’s even got an adorable little brother. So, happy birthday, Princess — don’t grow up too much between now and October when I get out there to see you!

One Lonely Response to 3

  1. Sabre :

    What an absolutely beautiful little girl, and what a wonderful post. 🙂