A little piece of my heart walks outside of my body with each of my children. I remember rubbing my stomach and talking to her when she was growing in my womb. I remember reading to her and singing songs to her. I wondered if she would recall my voice when she came into the world. I remember telling her how I loved her and would protect her, how I would be her best friend and her biggest cheerleader, how I couldn't wait to hold her in my arms.
When my water broke five weeks early, I knew she was in a hurry to meet us. I knew she would take on the world head on, she would be a fighter, she would be brave and secure. I sat on the floor and continued to unpack, we had just purchased our house a couple of weeks earlier. I remember crying and panicking. Would she be safe? Would she need a NICU stay? Why was she coming so early? Didn't she know we didn't even have her room together?
It was fast and furious! Getting to the hospital, waiting for test results, calling the NICU, close monitoring of me and her during labor. Nothing like how I expected or plan to give birth, that all went out the window when my water broke. My plan now was to keep this girl and myself safe. We did just that. Twelve hours later, a little dark haired string bean baby was born and immediately placed on the warmer. Her daddy held her fingers and talked to her. She was calm and observant, her wide eyes looking around. She was beautiful. I watched them both in awe. How could I have loved this baby so much more now that I saw her when I already loved her so much? How could I fall in love with my husband a thousand times over again?
Today, six years later, she is all of those things I expected. She is fiery and feisty, sassy and secure, brave beyond words, she is a lover of all, an educator to those she meets when they ask about her limb difference, she is patient and kind. I admire her ability to not take offense when people stare or ask questions. "Mom, they just don't know and I have to tell them"she says when they stare or ask the same question over and over. She knows when to ask for help from adults in these situations, she knows when to walk away and she knows when to ask for space from people touching and looking too much or too long.
(This is her showing you that she's six)
I'll continue to love and support her in any way that we can. We have a network of support throughout our community and throughout the United States. We are blessed beyond belief to have the friends and family that we do. We are lucky to be able to reach out and ask "how do you help her ride a bike?" or "Can you show me again how to help her tie shoes?" (Which by the way, she mastered after Camp No Limits earlier this year). I feel more confident and calm as her mother (and a mother in general!) with the systems that we have in place to help us along the way. These people help us learn and grow and be better.
Today for her birthday, I'm asking you each to consider donating a dollar to our paypal account so that we can go to camp next year. I have over 700 friends on Facebook, if each of them donated a dollar, that would allow her fees to be paid for next year at Camp No Limits. Share this with your friends, with your friend's friends, your coworkers, your network of support. Camp No Limits is a large network of our family, our friends and our support. Each year we go, we learn something new and she gains more confidence. Please consider supporting us on our journey to attend camp again in 2016!
You can find our paypal link on the side bar of the page. Thank you for considering her on her day!