Today at 11:54 am I was out to lunch with co-workers and Harper. Last year at 11:54 am I was in an OR delivering my baby girl. Today my co-workers "oohhed and aaahhed" over how cute and well-behaved Harper was sitting in her high chair. Last year the nurses and doctors (along with Andy and myself) were impressed at how healthy Harper was. Under 5 lbs, heart defect, and over 3 weeks early.
The day was a whirlwind and one that I remember every detail of. I was wearing black yoga pants, and a blue and white striped cardigan. My hair was in a low pony tail. Andy was dressed for work and joked with the nurses that he needed to transform into Dr. Clooney. He was trying to soften the mood. I'm pretty sure I told him to "knock the f*&# off!"
We knew the Friday before that we were most likely going to have H early. My OB gave me her personal cell phone number so I could tell her (before anyone else) what the specialists decided. She canceled her appointments for the day to come deliver Harper. Dr. Burns held my hand and wiped my tears away while I was getting the epidural. She didn't have to do that but she loved Harper from the beginning. She was proud of us and was the perfect person to deliver my angel.
Turns out that the whole hospital knew about Harper. They were expecting her in the NICU. They were ready for the baby girl with Down syndrome and a complete AV Canal defect. They were stunned and happy when she was too good for them. News spread fast. I found out this out not too long ago from a few different people. The hospital was proud of Harper without ever meeting her.
What a difference a year makes.
I took the day off today to spend it with H. Andy is traveling for work so it's just me and my girl. And as Kelle Hampton would say...today was made of unicorns and rainbows.
Harper slept in an extra hour, started whole milk today, started bringing her sippy cup to her mouth herself, made many more "close to crawling" motions, and actually put some weight on her feet.
I realize these are milestones that many "normal" one year olds have already mastered. But my Harper is doing things in her own time. And who cares? She is the happiest baby I have every met. She has a fantastic family, great friends, and many other people that love and adore her just the way she is. I wouldn't change her for the world.
Today she grew in front of my eyes. We sang. We danced (ok I watched Glee 3-D movie too many times this week), and we bonded.
She has found her voice for months now but, boy oh boy, was it out today. She was so talkative in the mall that 2 ladies had to stop and talk to her. Yep, that cool kid is mine. And she is wonderful.
Thank you to all who came to Harper's party and thanks for the gifts but I'm asking one more favor. Join Harper's Heartbreakers for the Madison Area Down Syndrome Society Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk on October 13th. If you can't walk...we will take your money too! No seriously, we appreciate every penny and every step you can contribute. Please visit here for more info.
You all know her story and you know how much paying it forward means to me. We have been welcomed in the Ds community with open arms and enjoyed educating/involving you along the way. Without events like the Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk and fundraiser, my voice wouldn't be able to be so loud.
Thank you for the love you have shown my family the last year. The comments and emails that I receive from perfect strangers have touched my heart. This year has been amazing (and fast) and we look forward to sharing many more with you.