Friday, August 04, 2006

Ella-palooza!



Dear Bella Ella,

I have been waiting a year to write this post--happy 1st birthday, Ella Rose! Seems like yesterday you were in my belly whispering your secrets. And now you are a beautiful, healthy child. God, what a difference a year makes.

I always knew we would get to this point but there was I time I wasn't sure. When you were two-weeks old, you were diagnosed with a serious heart condition called a coarctation of the aorta. Since I have posted about it before (here and here), I want to spend my time talking about good things. But please allow me this digression, and confession.

The night we saw symptoms, coincidentally on my mother's birthday, I brushed it off. It wasn't strange that you were spitting up ounces of milk because that's what babies do. It also seemed normal when you were crying and restless before bed. But when you just stopped crying and went limp, and when your lips turned blue and your legs felt cold, your dad and I knew something was wrong. I'm so grateful my mother, your grandmama, was there. I was never more thankful that she had worked for 20 years as a nurse in the NICU than that night. (Thanks mom. Love you!) She urged us to take you into the emergency room. If she hadn't been there, I would have put you down for the night. I'll never forgive myself for not realizing how sick you were.

Everyone from the nurses and doctors at Beverly Hospital to the amazing medical staff at Children's Hospital Boston had a part in saving your life. (Another thing to be thankful for--living in a town with the Boston Red Sox and the best pediatric medical staff in the world.) The doctors were kind and didn't talk over our heads, and there were nurses dedicated to your round-the-clock care. You came home five days later and have been my sunshine ever since.

Sometimes when I bathe you I feel under your arm and along your back to your now-healed scar, and wonder how much you remember. Do you remember the poking and the prodding? How will such an experience shape the person you are becoming?

What I can say is that at one year, Ella, you are the most open, loving, funniest child I have ever known (which is quite a complement considering your brother is near perfect). Your laugh is a special event that stops adults in mid conversation. Soon, you'll be walking, then running away from me and toward your life. But I want you to stay my Pretty Little Ella Rose just a little while longer. I want to shower you with kisses every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Happy Birthday, Ella. I love love love you. I love you from the bottom of my heart. I love you a bushel and a peck. Thank God for you, Ella Rose. Thank God for you.

So now, it's Ella-palooza weekend. Let the celebration begin!

12 comments:

bostonerin said...

And thank God Ella Rose has such a caring, wonderful family surrounding her as she grows up.

Enjoy every moment this weekend.

Alex said...

What a loving, tender ode to your beautiful baby Ella. I need to meet her soon. What a great picture. Happy Birthday Ella!!!

Writing Blind said...

Happy Birthday, little one. January, you're both so lucky to have each other.

Jennifer said...

Ella palooza too cute! Happy B-day!!!

Dani said...

I'm choked up. You have such overwhelming love for your daughter and you made that come through the computer screen.

chiefbiscuit said...

A mum in love with her kids ... so nice! I hope Ella will read this when she's older. What a georgeous picture! She's so beautiful. Love her name too.

Catherine said...

She's gorgeous. Happy birthday, and congratulations to her mom who got her this far

deirdre said...

Happy Birthday to Ella Rose. She's adorable. What fire you walked through with her, and how lucky you all were, and are.

Bug said...

What a beautiful post! It's so full of love!

paris parfait said...

Happy birthday to the adorable Ella Rose! Thank goodness she had the right medical care and is part of such a wonderful, caring family. No doubt she'll be showered with love and fun on this special occasion!

ecm said...

What a beautiful girl! I am so glad for you and your family that she is healthy and happy.

FatCharlatan said...

That is the nicest thing I've ever read on a blog. Ella Rose is going to really treasure this letter someday.

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