Thursday, December 8, 2011

All I want for Christmas

Dear Loved Ones, this is a special day so am sharing a special Christmas memory.

As a little girl I always got a baby doll for Christmas.

I hear a rattle inside this thing - that must be the big old diamond necklace I ASKED for. Great way to hide it, Santa!

 Even when I asked for a troll or a stuffed poodle or an etch-a-sketch. I got those too, yes I was your typical spoiled youngest child growing up in the middle of the middle class. But always a baby doll too. As an adult I suspect this was more for my mom than for me.

Mommy, why are we bowing to the dolly?  It's not like it can come to life and bite us or... wait, you didn't buy it from that creepy store in the Twilight Zone part of town did you?

My mom was one of those born to be a mom women who felt there was no higher calling than motherhood (and she was good at it, my greatest blessing in life was having her for a mom and that blessing lives on now that she's gone in my heart and home and through my own kids).

My Mom with my sister many, many, many Christmases ago (to balance out the baby of the family spoiled thing - there aren't usually a lot of photos of the youngest and I was no exception)
All those years ago I never dreamed that I would one day have a real live baby born at Christmas time. Actually, I wasn't supposed to so the morning I woke to labor pains I knew there was a problem...

No, it's NOT Santa and that little round belly was not a bowl full of jelly!
My first glance of Natalie was only her foot as the ICU team whisked her away but I found myself thinking - if she's in such distress why did they take time to ink her foot for the birth certificate? Of course, they hadn't done that. She was blue from lack of oxygen. With that my sweet girl went from the birthing room to a world of oxygen, feeding tubes, IVs, and 24 hour lights to fight jaundice.

We couldn't hold her. Her eyes were covered so she couldn't look at us much of the time. We couldn't do much more but stand by the unit and stroke her arm or leg. Days went by without much improvement. They began to have a hard time drawing blood. She couldn't seem to get her breathing right. The docs were running out of ideas.
I believe that's why God gave us have nurses.  Natalie was almost a week old that night, well after midnight, when I wandered down to the nursery to just be by her.
An experienced nurse saw me, glanced around, then motioned me to sit in the nearby rocker. "We've all been talking about your daughter," she said. "And we all believe in the power of hearing her mother's heartbeat and feeling the rhythm of your breathing. Every baby needs that."
And the next thing I knew she had lifted Natalie from the unit, with the oxygen tube at hand and the monitors still attached, and placed her in my arms. She told me she'd be at the station a few feet away to make some notes and left us alone.



 I can still feel the weight of my daughter in my arms. The way she turned her head toward me, even with her eyes closed, in response to my voice telling her how much I loved her and then I began to sing to her. The nurse came in to check on us and asked me, what lullaby I was singing. It wasn't a lullaby, it was my fondest wish for my struggling child... I was singing - "I'll be Home For Christmas".
 

Someone must have heard my song, because here is Natalie with me at my mom's home, her first Christmas Eve
 From that night on the nurses convinced the docs that my hubby and I should be allowed to hold her and she turned the corner.I am grateful to all the professionals who worked with Nat then and over the years but none so much as that wonderful team of nurses who prayed for her, cared for her and understood the healing power of love. Natalie came home that year just in time for Christmas.

 

And today is her birthday.


Best Gift Ever.

15 comments:

  1. Hello Helen:
    What a joyous tale this is. How proud you must be of your wonderful daughter. Love does make the world go round, it is a power beyond all others and you have living proof to show.


    Happy Birthday to Natalie and many, many happy returns!!

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  2. SO sweet. Great story with the best kind of ending. Enjoy her day!

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy Birthday Kiddo!

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  4. THIS is a Christmas story that warms your heart and makes you stop and remember what it's all about. What a scare all of that must have been for you! Thank the good Lord everything turned out just fine, and you were able to lavish those same creepy baby dolls on YOUR daughter! :-) Happy Birthday to Natalie, and I wish you both a wonderful Christmas season!

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  5. Thanks Jane and Lance - I will tell her you wished her well.

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  6. Thanks, Ya'll and Alycia - oh, I have a creepy baby doll story, next generation. It involves something called Newborn Baby Shivers, an epic search and a pricey doll that worked for a day and half before breaking and being tossed aside. Life does go on.

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  7. I came here expecting to laugh and ended up in tears. (But it was Happy TEARS) So I woun't be mad at you! *lol*
    That is a very touching story I am so glad your Daughter made it through with all the love and prayers. Her baby pic is absolutely adorable.

    Happy Birthday Natalie!!

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  8. Aw. I had to go get a tissue ...my eyes were so full of tears. This was a beautiful story. Happy Birthday to your baby girl!~Ames

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  9. Beautiful story...beautiful daughter. She must make your Christmases very special. It give a new meaning to "the gift that keeps on giving."

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  10. Ok. I'm crying again. What a beautiful post. I'm ready to start enjoying the holiday season after so much "life" this past week in our household.

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  11. What a wonderful post, a smashing tribute to a beautiful girl. Happy birthday, gorgeous! x

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  12. Oh Helen, i have silent tears of joy rolling done my face right now and im not joking either. What a beautiful memory and a beautiful daughter thank you for sharing. Happy birthday to Natalie, dee x

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  13. Well Helen, you're making me cry. But they are good tears. So happy for you. She's beautiful!

    Happy Birthday Natalie!

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  14. Awwww, what a great post to visit tonight. Proves the power of love to the max. Happy birthday Natalie, hug your mom for me too:)

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