There are only a few hours left of 2008. As I look back, I could never have even come close to predicting what this year would bring us.
I found out about you on January 12th. Your sister knew you were in my tummy before I even knew you were there. It was just a simple comment from her when she was lying on my stomach — “Mommy, there is a baby in there.” How did she know? Daddy and I just looked at each other wondering if perhaps this explained what turned out to be morning sickness. At that time, you had already been a part of me for 9 weeks. I remember being freaked out. After all, it had been 7 years since our last infertility treatment. After 4 IVFs and three miscarriages, I was just in shock that you were in there. Sure enough, a pregnancy test the next morning confirmed with Little Girl A had already known.
We had a rough third trimester, you and I. I remember breaking down when at 29 weeks Dr. S. said that you may need to be born that week because my blood pressure was 210/110. I never had high blood pressure before that week. But after two months of strict bedrest, I’m so glad that we were able to hold on until that 36th week.
When you were born, you were perfect. As soon as Dr. S. lifted you out, you started crying. Such a welcome sound since we didn’t know if your lungs were developed enough. But you were ready to make your mark on the world! Apgars 8 and 9. Ten fingers, ten toes.
We only shared one day, the first day of life, that was stress free medically. From the second day of life, you have faced so many challenges and scares. You proved to the NICU doctors that you were a strong girl. You have been poked and prodded dozens of times in your short five months, and you handled it better than I ever could have. Even after that horrific skin biopsy and laryngoscope experience, you still recovered within minutes and showed me that beautiful smile of yours while I was still shook up from the experience.
You are such a charmer. You have a way to make everyone who meets you fall in love with you. I remember when Dr. G., your genetics doctor, first met you. He was very straight-to-the point until you smiled at him. He melted like a puppy and totally changed his whole tone of conversation. You are such a beautiful girl. You even have your big brother and big sister wrapped around your little finger.
I love your touch. I cherish every moment we have together cuddling together, even when it is for more than an hour. I just love having you around me. I love the smell of you. I love the feel of your fingers and little hands, especially your toes. I love stroking your hair while you lay on me just staring into my eyes. I love when you just stare at me for long periods of time…what are you thinking? I love the fact that you get excited when you see me come into a room. I love that you feel instant comfort in my arms when you are upset and crying. I love watching you sleep on your daddy like you are now. I love watching your brother and sister try so hard to make you laugh and then watching their face when you do.
There has never been a day that I haven’t worried about you. I worry about your future. I worry about your pain. I cry often just thinking about you. The doctor’s think that you may have a horrific and debilitating disease that would take you away from us in just a few years. I just cannot accept that right now. I have a hard time believing that God would give you to us just to take you away from me. There is a reason that you are here.
But no matter what the diagnosis is, I promise you this. I will fight for you. I will fight night and day. I will do whatever it takes to find a treatment and cure for you. I will reach out to every person in this world if I have to just to find the one needle in the human haystack that can help you. I promise that I will make you comfortable and keep you as happy and painfree as possible. I will never, ever give up on you.
I am so in love with you, my dearest little Hannah. I hope that 2009 brings us good news.