She Wasn’t Much Bigger Than A Butterfly

posted by Momo Fali on December 28, 2007
Tomorrow is my daughter’s ninth birthday. Unlike a lot of parents, I can’t look back on the day of her birth as the happiest day of my life. Instead it was terrifying. Terrifying, because tomorrow is December 29th, and she was due March 10th. I went to the hospital for a routine ultrasound and my doctor didn’t let me leave.
To say the least, the experience wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies. Okay…I’m not saying labor and delivery is sunshine and butterflies. It’s more like torture and gore. But, at least if you deliver a full-term baby you have a pretty good idea whether or not your kid is going to live. When you have emergency surgery, more than ten weeks too soon, and your 2 lb. 9 oz. baby is whisked away to have a breathing tube put down her throat, you’re not real sure what the future holds.

One of her preemie diapers.

She didn’t wear the apple…it’s just to give perspective.

We were some of the lucky ones. After five weeks, and after gaining a pound-and-a-half, we brought her home. That teeny, tiny baby? Well, she was a fighter. That sure hasn’t changed much, though now she mostly just fights with her brother. She’s nine, going on nineteen.

We still can’t be sure of what the future holds, but one thing’s for sure…this sweet daughter of mine is (aside from that fighting with her brother stuff) pure and unequaled perfection. Her heart is so big, I don’t know how it fits in her chest. And, though the day of her birth was the scariest day of my life, she’s given me sunshine and butterflies ever since. Happy birthday baby girl!


  • Bec

    I haven’t read your whole post yet as I’m about to run out the door, but I wanted to say “I know”. Or at least I will. I’d really like to stop time for a while to get back the things I’ve missed.

    Sorry. I’m having a bad day today.

  • Stephen

    Wow, a miracle baby, to be certain! Glad she’s doing well.

  • mikster

    My baby is 18 now (we didn’t have to go through what you did at birth though) and she’s the apple of my eye. Happy birthday to your daughter!

  • Corey~living and loving

    oh my…you just made this mama all teary. Happy Birthday to your precious child!

  • BusyDad

    Wow Momo… that must’ve been scary. Not that I would know anything about birth, normal or otherwise. I do know, however, how precious my kid is to me and anything that would ever introduce any shred of doubt on his well being would rock me to the core. Happy birthday to the apple of your eye!

  • Childlife

    What a sweet post! Happy birthday to your birthday girl! We did some time in the NICU with our oldest too, so my heart just connected with this post – so glad she is doing so fabulously well now : )

  • Amy Turn Sharp

    that is a beautiful post 🙂
    “how it fits in her chest” broke my heart in a good way.

  • Avery Gray

    Ah, she’s got your moxie! Happy Birthday to her!

  • Misty

    truly beautiful post! What a wonderfully amazing beginning your baby girl has had! Here’s to many more amazing and miraculous years of wonderful!

  • piper of love


    That sounded like a gratitude post to me! I love you! And this was an amazingly powerful post, well done. Baby girl is a miracle, and she’s got an AMAZING life ahead of her…she’s your kid, so she is going to be a rockstar!


  • Jo Beaufoix

    I can’t believe how tiny that nappy is. You must have been terrified. Hope you all have a wonderful day and that she has a fab birthday. 😀

  • Mr Lady

    9 is such an awesome age. I heart 9. You will, too. Happy birthday, little girl!

  • Meleah Rebeccah

    She is an absolute MIRACLE.

    Wow. That was such a great post. Im a little teary over here.

  • M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey

    WoW! 9 years old…I like to hear stories of children, especially ones who beat the odds…my daughter was full term, but at 15 was diagnosed with cancer…her fight lasted 2 1/2 years with daily chemotherapy- but she won and is cancer free.

    Happy Birthday!!

  • Jill

    So sweet! She’s lucky to have such a great Mom! I can’t imagine what you went through-but the story has a happy ending-YAY!

    Hope her birthday is tons of fun-enjoy…

  • Patty

    Happy Birthday to your precious gift.

  • Rachel

    What an amazing miracle!!
    That was so sweet, and that diaper… holy hell that’s tiny.
    Nine going on Nineteen, I’ve got a 4 year old pulling that same trick.
    Glad y’all were some of the lucky ones!
    Happy Birthday to her and Congratulations to you!

  • holly

    hey girl! 2#9 is a popular number. that’s queen of hearts’ as well. she was born in may but due august. i totally know what you’re talking about with the fright. and she’s never ever been less than as-precious-as-gold.

    happy birthday to your fantastic kid.

  • Serina Hope

    Happy burthday to your miricle butterfly!

  • bmg

    What a beautiful post. Happy Birthday to her!

  • Kimmylyn

    Beautiful. I can’t imagine how upside down your life must have been at that time.

    I wish your daughter a Happy Birthday and a huge hug for you because I am sure every birthday that passes you think of how tiny she once was.

  • Jen E

    Happy Belated Birthday! Ya know, it wasn’t until I had babies of my own that I realized the real meaning of a birthday. I hope you had a great day with your wonderful daughter.

  • Erica

    Oh – Happy belated day to your angel! I’m so glad you get to have her in your life. What a joy.

  • newnorth

    wow, the apple really does put it in perspective.

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