Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!


Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! For us, Valentine's Day will now always have a secondary meaning: last year, Valentine's Day was the day I had my ambulance ride down to Marquette. It was the scariest day of my life, in retrospect. The day before that, I was still in denial about what was going on. I was still thinking, "I can't believe they're making me stay in the hospital overnight...I can't wait until this night is over can I can go home." I thought I'd maybe have to take it easy for awhile and then I'd be able to go back to work and everything would be normal again. But Valentine's Day, the night's test results were bad, and they told me an ambulance was coming to take me to MGH. It all happened so quickly-once they told me that, they put me on the magnesium drip and the ambulance was there within minutes. As they were loading me onto the stretcher and my doctor and the nurses were saying good bye, my doctor said, "this baby will be lucky to make it a couple more days before being born", or something like that. And that's when my denial ended. I realized this was really serious. Then Josh and my parents said good bye, and I was facing a 2-hour ride with a very quiet paramedic. I still felt physically completely normal. I kept trying to make small talk with the guy but he was all business. Every 15 minutes he took my blood pressure and checked Willow's heartbeat. I cried a little as reality was setting in. I remember when we arrived at MGH the nurses were surprised at how non-sick I was acting. I actually felt completely fine (other than the gross feeling from the "mag"), up until the night before Willow was born. That's why it's so scary to think about what could've happened if we had gone on our trip to Key West; the same day a year ago that I had my ambulance ride was the day were were supposed to fly to Miami for our week-long vacation. I now know other preemie moms who had HELLP who didn't know it until the very end when they felt crappy and went to the ER. If I had waited until I felt crappy, we would've probably been in a tent camping in the Everglades. We would've been far from a hospital. If we would've made it to one before my liver and kidneys shut down or I had a seizure or something like that, it would've been a hospital in Miami! If Willow would've made it, she'd have been in a NICU down there, we would've had to live there for months, I probably would've lost my's crazy to think of the what-ifs. I was this close to not calling my doctor about my cankle. I always tell my coworker Grace that she probably saved my life (and Willow's) by taking my blood pressure and then encouraging me to call my doctor about it. It's not really an exaggeration! Thanks Grace!!

Anyway, enough reminiscing for now. We are very, very lucky people. Willow is healthy and happy, and so am I. Here are some photos. (Just a warning: I may be reminiscing a little more on the next post for Willow's birthday!)

Willow is quite a handful these days. She's such a busy girl. Perpetual motion, yet she still can't crawl. It frustrates her to no end. I think the crawling is not far off, then we're in trouble!

Here's Daddy demonstrating crawling technique:

There are so many things to see and learn and grab, it's hard to even get her to hold still long enough to nurse sometimes. She'll take a few good swigs, then lift her head and look around, or try to sit up. She still doesn't like baby food much, though we did find out she'll eat fruit much more readily if we mix it with yogurt. She likes that. Here she is with some blueberries:

One of Willow's favorites toys is paper of any kind, but especially cardstock-type paper. At her second PT appointment, she was tired and crabby, and the PT was trying to get her to reach for toys and stuff and she wouldn't. Then we gave up and the PT got out some paperwork for us adults to go over. As soon as Willow saw the paperwork, she got real interested and started reaching for it. So we ended up using paper to motivate Willow to do her exercises - ha. Of course, we have to watch her closely if we let her play with paper, or she's likely to take a bite out of it. Here's a video of her with a business reply card from a magazine. These are the best toy ever. This also shows how she's getting better at standing. We have the perfect coffee table for a baby - it's the perfect height, has a ledge to grab on to, and has no sharp edges at all.

Speaking of PT, she has figured out how to get onto her tummy from a sitting position now, though she can't yet get into sitting from lying down.

Here she is reading a valentine she got in the mail from auntie Jill:

In her "union suit" long johns:

And a few more pictures:

In a few weeks Josh and I are both leaving Willow for the first time: we're going to Cleveland for our friends Cam and Liz's wedding. (you long time readers: they are the ones who would make the "word art" in the blog comments). When we bought the plane tickets several weeks ago, I didn't think much of it, but now that the trip is almost upon us, I'm gettng sad about leaving Willow. I don't know if she (or me!) is ready! I know I left her for a couple days before when I had to go to Wausau for work, but I wasn't breastfeeding then, plus Josh was with her. We're leaving her with Josh's parents when we go (we're flying out of Minneapolis). I know they'll do an awesome job,of course. I just have to realize that Willow will be fine. I just wonder if I will!

Anyway, that's all for this week. Willow's birthday is on Friday. I can remember back during the lowest low points of her NICU stay, thinking that I wish I could just fast-forward to her first birthday. We're almost there! Have a great week everyone!


Robin and Bill said...

What a great post! And FANTASTIC pictures!!One year old already! What a cutie!!

Chad Fluegge said...

I know what you mean about remembering when you got shiped to MGH I think about that a lot.
I am just hoping that I will not have to go through that again with this baby.
Happy early Birthday Willow!!!
And mom and dad you have done a wonderful job with her.

Jody said...

So glad that everything is going well. Willow is a doll and you guys are doing such a wonderful job as parents. I'm sure she will enjoy her time with Grandpa and Grandma.... you enjoy your time away

Sharon said...

I echo a thank you to Grace. I remember a call from you, Linds, saying you had cankles and we just brushed it off as one of those pregnant things that happen. How things could have been different without her input.

I just had a great dream about Willow last night. I turned on Letterman and Linds & Willow were touring on the late-night circuit. Letterman was saying, "And introducing, from Michigan, Willow Jenson! Willow was born almost a year ago, under two pounds, and look at her now! (Insert radio announcer voice)" The crowd was oohing and ahhing. Good dream, eh?

Great pics. Nice work on standing up Willow!

Auntie Sharon

jannahope said...

Happy Birthday Willow! Earlier this morning I was thinking back to one year ago and remembering what a scary day that was - and now look at you!

Have a very happy birthday, can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks!!!

Auntie Janna

Emily said...

Happy Happy Birthday Little Willow! Tell your mama and dada to give you a big hug and kiss from me! You are growing up so fast, I don't know what to do! Eat a lot of cake, I bet that is one food you will really like!