Wednesday, July 7, 2010

she's 4...

Four years ago tonight i was on this very couch-having contractions. Not real ones though. I was scheduled to be induced the next day and in preparation for it, a foley was placed in my cervix to dilate it to 3cm. Not a fun procedure and I was in pain-counting the minutes between my contractions like a silly first time mom. We woke up early the next morning and went in for the induction. I was 41 weeks 3 days pregnant and READY for this baby to come out. My poor little feet weren't used to carrying that load around-plus it was HOT. Many of you know the story of Avery's birth so I wont go in to detail here. I was basically on pitocin forEVER and then ended up with a C-section for failure to progress. Everyone there told me it was an emergency-but I didn't notice.
The nurses who had been working with me knew about my silly hatred of odd numbers and how bummed I was that the baby couldn't have come on her perfect due date: 06.28.06-all evens! I had hoped my Dr would let me be induced on june 30th but she wouldn't. So we had to have the 7 ruining everything. At least we got the 8th.
I'll always remember how cool I thought it was that they were cutting me open and I couldn't feel a thing. I was amazed. I also remember thinking-wait-shouldn't it be dark in here like the OR's on Grey's? Who knew operating rooms were so bright!?
Then she was here. And Red got to look and see that it was a girl and he told me with a cracking voice "It's a girl" because he knew how badly I wanted the baby to be a girl.
She didn't cry right away and I got concerned asking "is she ok, is she ok?" And she was. All 7 pounds 9 ounces. The nurse whispered to me that she was born at 8:44 (all EVENS!) yay. They asked for her name... Avery Anne! I announced through chattering teeth (from the anesthesia)
We stayed in the hospital an extra day (even though they tried to kick us out) b/c Avery lost 11% of her birth weight, wasn't latching well and was jaundiced. None of this sat well with me and refused to leave her there while we were discharged. So we stayed. 5 days. I was afraid to leave. What would I do without the nurses and the pain meds and... the nurses!?
We were both so overwhelmed when we got home and I couldn't look anyone in the eye without bursting into tears. Whose idea was this? What were we thinking?
And now she is 4. These past fours years have been wrought with heartache and tears and questions and googling. I lost my mom when Avery was 7 months old and part of me is so glad she never knew that anything was different about my Aves. She would have driven us all nuts if she had!
Anyway-I realize now that I have been avoiding the subject of her birthday in my own head. We aren't having a kid party for her this year. She isn't in her day care anymore and summer school just started this week-so there aren't any kids to invite. We could do a party with the children of our friends but then Im just throwing them a party and not one for Avery-but then am I? Even if she isn't participating in the fun is it getting in somehow? So I feel like crap. Im really sad. We are having family over for dinner and cake on Sunday. Everyone that loves her the most will be there so I guess there is something to be said for that. But I should be throwing her a huge princess frilly party with pedicures and tiaras. (When did that trend start? I didn't get my first pedi till I was in my late 20's!)
Most moms with kids this age are lamenting that their children are "growing up" and "getting so big" and "aren't babies anymore"...guess what? Thats the point. That is why we have kids-for them to grow up and move on and become their own versions of themselves.
I'd give anything to be sitting on this couch feeling sad about my baby growing up. Instead Im sobbing because my 4 year old still seems like a baby in so many ways. She has only a handful of words, screaming and crying are her main forms of communication, still wears diapers and sits in a highchair while I spoon feed her all her meals. I dress her in clothes that I pick out and put her shoes on and take them off. She should be dressing herself in hilarious outfits with two different shoes and sunglasses on her head.
Again, I have to say-please dont read this and think we are ungrateful. We know we are so lucky in many ways but sometimes I just need to be sad about it. I know it doesn't do me any good. Or maybe a good big cry every so often is better than tears everyday. yep, that's it.
Happy Birthday to Avery Anne, our hero. So many people love you little girl and you give us so much. You are getting so good at hugs and kisses. Those dimples are ridiculous (thanks Daddy) and that HAIR! I hope every day that we will be able to take this all away from you and we can know what you are thinking about. I hope every day that we are doing an ok job at being your parents-I know sometimes Im not a great mom and you might want to fire me and get someone else for the job-but you don't. Thanks for being patient with me as we figure out this new life.
Next year-princess party. Im starting the planning now.


The MacDonald Family said...

Yes, exactly. Exactly how I feel! Our girls will get there, just in a different time but Birthday's are so so painful. Sending hugs!! Happy Birthday Sweet Avery much love from Annie and I!!

Tina said...

Erica, This is so raw, so heartfelt, simply beautiful. Happy birthday to Avery!

mj said...

why did i read this? now i'm sobbing. i didn't love leah's birthday this year. i put on a happy face for all her friends, but i hated every second of it. next year will be better for us too.

and we are coming to your princess party next year. k?

Ann Marie said...

I totally get it. I was feeling the same way in April. Birthdays are bittersweet. I hope she enjoys the attention she gets on her special day. Happy Birthday sweet Avery!!

Dawn said...

Oh Erica, hugs to you. I have tears rolling down my face because I get it...I know that pain. We didn't have a birthday party for Reagan this year either because I just couldn't cope with all of my friends children running around while Reagan watched from the sidelines. Avery is very lucky to have you for a Mommy and one day she'll be able to tell you! Happy Birthday to your sweet baby girl!

Angie said...

Birthday's are so bitter sweet for me. After 7 years they've gotten better but they're still hard. Gabriel's brother's had amazing birthday parties, we basically skipped those types of parties with Gabes for the reasons you stated. You're doing an amazing job. Yes, wine sounds good...when?

Anonymous said...

I felt the same way on Riley's birthday this year. Happy Birthday, Avery!!

Catriona said...

How lovely, Erica - you express the 'birthday thing' so well. (Haven't caught up with anyone's blogs - my own included! - for several days now.) I understand completely about the bittersweet birthday feelings. Amy's going to be three in a month's time, and I feel just the same. I think we'll have a (small) party for her though - Abby's insisting on it! But I was just thinking last night that I have no idea what to give her as a present...

Erica said...

love all you ladies so much!!!

Kim said...

beautiful post. rarely do i see my words coming out of someone else's mouth/fingers? but wow this is exactly how i feel every birthday. hell, probably every day.
(((hugs)) lily turns 8 next month and how i wish i were griping about her wanting a cell phone and itouch.