At this moment, ten years ago today, I was lying in a hospital room with a monitor around my belly watching pitocin slowly drip into my vein. I had less than five contractions before the doctor made them stop. He then proceeded to tell me that I would be having my baby very soon. Literally. Ten weeks too soon, to be exact.
My firstborn was delivered weighing 2 lbs. 9 oz. and she lost two of those ounces in the first day of her life. Her legs were the diameter of a highlighter, her ears the size of a thumbnail. If you’ve seen a preemie as small as mine, you know that her skin was so thin you could see her veins, and some parts of her body hadn’t even developed yet.
The first time I saw my baby, she had a breathing tube down her throat, an IV in her belly button, and wires covering her tiny frame. She was so, so small and I was absolutely terrified.
But today, on her 10th birthday, she is happy and healthy. She overcame a whole lot of obstacles to get here, but you would never know that her father once held her entire body in one hand. Happy Birthday, sweet girl.
Now I’m faced with the knowledge that in three years I’ll have a teenager, and I find myself absolutely terrified all over again.