Saturday, March 19, 2005

Storm of My Heart: Eight Years of Joy

My Favorite Photo of Abi

Abigaille, first born girl.
Tiny storm and gentle rain.
My eyes delight in your smile
Mother of a daughter now
I’ve never been the same

The test came back positive. I remember clearly the doctor letting me know that there was a possibility that the child I was carrying would have Down Syndrome.

In order to be sure I would need to go to Seattle, the nearest military base hospital that was equipped to do an amniocentesis. I was in Idaho. I would need to fly. By myself and pregnant—fly.

4 months pregnant, I watched as the airport disappeared sending me far away from my son. What if I didn’t return? Why do I always think that way?

I stayed in small room on the military base. I remember thinking to myself what it might be like to live on my own how nice it might be. But there was no escaping what was to come.

At the hospital I was told to wear a green gown and lay down in a semi reclined hospital bed. I remember them telling me that I could refuse the test, that there was a chance that I could have a miscarriage if I went through with it. But I was here for a reason…we wanted to know. So I said yes. A local anesthesia was applied.

I saw the needle. I couldn’t watch. I didn’t feel it, but tears streamed down my face anyway—pure fear—on so many levels. Holding onto the bed rails because I couldn't hold my swollen belly. Alone with nameless doctors--me and my baby enduring this together from two different worlds.

The fluid from my womb was taken; it was a clear yellow color. I wondered if they took too much and my baby was hurting because of it. I was told that my body would make more fluid--not to worry. They would test it and then let me know the results. They sent me back to Idaho.

I now had to wait twenty four hours to find out if I would miscarry. And then I would have to wait another week for the results of the test.

The relief of finding out that my baby was healthy was only surpassed by learning that my baby is a girl. The amniocentesis was undeniable. No guessing this time. We decided to not tell anyone. Let it be a surprise. That lasted a week. A GIRL!! Girl names were tough, when she was born I didn’t get to name her because I simply couldn’t decide.

I’m in labor. But not for long. I was at the hospital and giving birth to my baby girl in less than two hours. I opted for the epidural, but a little too late. This one was arriving NOW. The doctor barely had time to get his gloves on.

She was so tiny. She has such soft skin. The hair on her head was like down. I brushed my lips to her forehead all the time to smell her baby scent and to feel that soft hair on my face. I did that so much that her hair rubbed away…she looked like a balding old man…so I stop to let her hair grow back.

She didn’t want to breastfeed, and she was so petite already. I tried for two months and then gave up. She was losing weight. I wanted her to grow. To finally be fed. She didn’t cry, she screamed. Always hungry…My body couldn’t give her enough.

3 Weeks old. She has to see a cardiologist. She may need heart surgery. The heart murmur is very large…and she is so very small.
We won't go to Japan if she needs surgery. She is monitored…and eventually the murmur gets smaller as she gets bigger. Why is she so small?

18 hour flight. We are in Okinawa. I hated the mosquitoes. The…mosquitoes carry diseases that cause neurological problems. She kept getting bit. I was sick with worry all the time.

18 hour flight back to Idaho. Driving from Idaho to Michigan. On my own with my children… come what may. She yelled the entire time. Zac and I played travel games…and yelled along with her.

Four years old…I’m working full time. She attends daycare. Thankfully at the home of a good lady. She is growing so fast. I am missing so much. She won’t be small forever.

Today Abi turns 8 years old. She is my little firecracker.

She says she'll never leave me. She will take care of me forever. She says that she can't go away to college because she wants to live with me. I tell her that she will probably change her mind...she cries and fiercely denies my claim to reality. As much as I know that someday she will grow up and leave, I am happy for the fact that she is so strongly set against it right now.

…she adores Jesus…she has a beautiful laugh…she cries when I cry…she has a terrible temper…her sense of humor is amazing…her wit is surprising…she loves to live…she is generous...she is still small…but her heart, the weak one that God gave her…is strong with love…there is nothing in the world like a daughter.



At 02:02, Anonymous Scott C. said...

Simply touching...

At 20:01, Blogger Susie said...

What's the html tag for "tears rolling down my face"? You're really quite something. I wanted to tell you when I read about Kimi at dooce's, how brave I think you are. How much I admire you, mom to mom. So here's me telling you now:) and
Happy Birthday, Abi!

At 20:09, Blogger Susie said...

Kassi, I was just wandering around here some more and saw that your little one is a SNOOG. My daughter was/is/always will be a SNOOG, too. I thought she was the only one? Is yours short for something else?

At 21:18, Blogger Kassi said...

Susie thank you! I am sure that you can totally relate to how amazing it is to have SO MUCH LOVE for another human being. Especially if you have a Snoog of your own!

At 21:26, Blogger Susie said...

Hi, Kassi,
Well, Kimi is a Snoog, so she should declare it. When LG was a baby, I started calling her a Snoogasaurus, and a Snooglepuss, and other variations, which were shortened to "the Snoog." She was snoogly and she snoogled with us, too. A very multi-purpose word.
I do enjoy your writing. So real, so honest and with so much love.

At 09:18, Blogger Fin said...

Happi Birthday to Abi

The font of amusement,
The queen of drama
The super-cleaner of dirty rooms, and
The joy-nado of her mama's heart.

Much love and recognition to YOU Kassi, for your successfull mothering.


Post a Comment

<< Home