Finally, after what seems like an eternity, I believe everyone in our household is feeling at least decent enough to coexist with the public! I'm so tired of coughs, fevers, vomit, lack of sleep, diarrhea, and runny noses! I guess that comes with the territory of mommy-hood though! The last five days have been the worst, because that's when I finally caught it. And I got it bad!
I must say that I'm frustrated with myself right now. I made a commitment to God for lent to avoid carbs. But, have you ever tried to recover from a stomach flu on a high protein diet? Just in case you are wondering, it doesn't work well! So, I went to my old faithfuls..saltines and "get better shakes" which consist of sherbet and ginger ale. They were kind of my "warm up carbs" and that led into many more starchy snacks. But, tonight, I hereby declare, that is of the past! Back to veggies and protein baby! I'm ready to be obedient again!
Yup! Ready to be obedient, just in time for Lydia's birthday! (Seriously, I have BAD timing for turning back to the Lord! HAHAHA! Just kidding!) I know tomorrow will be a struggle. We have plans to walk to the ice cream shop tomorrow. But, I will remember how good being obedient is! It's way better than anything topped with whipped cream and nuts! Celebrating Lydia's life is so much more than a trip to the ice cream store anyways!
Infact, tonight, David and I had a sweet talk about our baby girl, who really is becoming quite the little lady. Do you mind joining me in reflecting on Lydia with me? Celebrating her life in the way it should be? Not by gobbling cake and ice cream, but rather marveling at the creation God has made her!
Lydia was born on March 11th, 2009. The timing of Lydia's birth was crucial. There were questions about her size, her lung development, and both of our health. The doctor did agree, and at 1:30 in the afternoon, our beautiful baby girl was born. Her blood sugar levels were low, but she was able to avoid the NICU by 1 point every time they checked her!
It wasn't long after Lydia was born that I knew something was not right with me. I couldn't stay awake. I was in pain, but I couldn't even figure out where the pain was coming from. I couldn't feed her. I could barely hold her. One of the nurses figured out I had a spinal headache, and I was sent down for a blood patch. That helped me get back on the mend, and we went home on time, despite a few set backs. Micah loved his new baby sister, and while I do not remember a lot about those first days, I do remember Lydia was a good eater and a good sleeper. She slept 5 hours straight our first night home! We could not afford a bassinet for her, so a friend of mine fashioned an adorable wicker basket into a makeshift bassinet. She was the tiniest little peanut, and she was just so sweet to watch sleep.
About a week after Lydia was born, I started to feel funny again. We went to the hospital that night, in which they did several tests on me. The CT scan came back with questionable results, and they believed that I had blood on my brain. I was terrified, holding my 7 day old baby hearing the possibilities. After an exam by a neurologist, it turned out that I just have a thickening of my brain...which is kind of comical now, but what a scare! We left that night with a diagnosis of yet another spinal headache, and an appointment was made for another blood patch. The next day, my friend Adriane came and took care of me and Lydia. I honestly have no idea who even had Micah in their care that day. I just remember sleeping with Lydia on my chest all day. I could not even open my eyes. The second blood patch was scary, but successful.
Finally, things seemed on the right road. I was feeling normal. I had a beautiful little healthy baby. Our family was happy and complete....for a few more days. When Lydia was about 2 weeks old, she developed a cough. She sounded terrible. I made an appointment for her right away and was told by our doctor that I was being overprotective and that all I needed to do was suction her nose and run a humidifier. Over the next few days, Lydia went through highs and lows. Some days she seemed perfect, other days she would hardly be stirring. I called the doctors office several more times, each time being assured that it was okay, and that I was overreacting.
Well, Lydia had been sick for about 4 days, but I felt like it was forever. We were out of groceries and I desperately needed out of the house. It was a beautiful, warm day. So, we packed up the kids, drove to town, and we decided that David would run in and get groceries, while I sat in the car with the children and enjoyed the sunshine. While at the grocery store, a friend saw us sitting in the car, and we made plans to go out to eat. We picked Dairy Queen, since there was a room off to the side that is usually empty, and Lydia would be safe from contact from others.
It was in that little room in Dairy Queen, on that pretty Saturday afternoon, that I felt like my world crashed down on me. As I was eating my lunch, I looked over at my baby girl, and she was blue. She looked lifeless. I have never moved faster in my life. I do not think we even said goodbye to Brian. We just ran and drove as fast as we could to the hospital. God knew what he was doing that day. Praise Him we were near the hospital. (Our home at the time was over 20 miles from the hospital. Dairy Queen was 2 miles.)
It took 9 days in the hospital, lots of drugs, lots of oxygen, and lots of patience, but our baby girl recovered from an awful bout of pneumonia. It was in the hospital that Lydia moved on to her next series of health issues. They included severe acid re-flux, food allergies, and suspected seizures (which were in reality her tremoring from pain from the acid re-flux). It took another hospital stay, countless more rounds of antibiotics, re-flux medicines, breathing treatments, and more laundry that one woman should ever face...but we made it through that first year. I still do not know how at times, but we made it. (Oh, and just in case you were wondering, we also switched doctors! NEVER tell a momma she's overreacting!!!)
Lydia's first year of life was honestly kind of miserable for all of us. She was in so much pain that she screamed constantly. I had to struggle to find joy in anything. I cried just about as much as she did. By the time she was one, she had made a full recovery, but I had landed in the midst of another battle.
Once again, so much of that next year is lost in my mind. I remember intense therapy sessions and moving to our pretty yellow house that God had given us. But, I remember so little about Lydia or Micah except Lydia was moody and Micah was compliant. I feel guilty about remembering it that way, but I was in survival mode. However, the great news is, that this last year, I have been able to make leaps and bounds in my mental health, and Lydia is doing wonderful! I feel like this is the first birthday I can really celebrate! I'm not in a cloud of sadness or worry!
And what a celebration it is. Our beautiful little red-head has moved from being constantly grumpy to the most energetic form of joy in our household! She makes us smile all the time. She has compassion for others that eludes even some adults! She loves her big brother and calls him her best friend! She loves to snuggle. Her daddy is her hero. Lydia loves to show her Papa that she loves him by picking on him! She loves her Gramma, Grammy, and Nanny. She loves to be doted on, the center of attention, and loves to remind us that she is a blessing.
And Lydia and me? Well, I think our relationship is just so special. We do everything together. She goes to work with me! She does devotions with me. We sing together. We snuggle. We talk. She prays for me if she sees me crying. We make each other laugh. She takes her pink blanky and rubs it on my face and tells me she "softing" me. I tell David all the time that Lydia is a 30 lb growth on my left side. Micah and Lydia are such motivation for me to be healthy, to live well.
So, for Lydia's birthday, I bought her a new coat, some new PJ's, and a beautiful tutu for our princess! But, really, I'm giving her something so much more. I'm fighting to be here for more birthdays. Because I love celebrating my baby girl (and my little man...but we will talk about him on May 2nd!). Who she has become. But, I also love celebrating who I am becoming because of her. The trials we've been through the last three years have made us all stronger, and appreciate each other more than ever. I'm just so thankful for her! For her birthday! And to recommit things to the Lord once again!