Friday, February 12, 2010

Celebrating a Miracle

Thinking back several years ago, to a time when we were told our baby most certainly would die before or shortly after birth, given a mere 1% chance of any kind of survival, the risks outweighing any hopes--"so would we like to terminate the pregnancy?" asked of us many times throughout those 4 uncertain months, sequestered to a bed in a hospital, alone and away from my family, though cherishing every minute of the pregnancy because each of those minutes were moments my baby was still alive, all the while feeling a love and a peace and a sense of calm greater than any I have ever experienced before as I was forced to lay it all down and rely solely on God for strength, endurance, hope, and life. "The best of times" in some ways and "the worst of times" hands down, all rolled together. The end result? This beautiful, resilient, spunky 6 year old we celebrate today.

Laura has been looking forward to her birthday for a very long time. Talks about going to Build-a-Bear, having a party with all of her Kindergarten friends, getting lots of presents, having relatives visit, cake, ice cream, games, prizes, decorations, fun, all have pervaded her conversations in the last several weeks. And for this special Miracle Girl of ours, one day of celebration just did not seem to cut it. We had to go for two.

Laura and the rest of the kids were given the day off due to teacher workshops(or something), but we like to think it was more appropriately given in celebration of Laura's Birthday. We filled the day with fun, fun, fun, for certain!

The morning began at Grandma's house (we had stayed overnight after an evening of watching Crispy play hockey at the Excel Energy Center---more on that in a hockey post later). Grandma made a special breakfast of blueberry pancakes......Laura ate 6 large pancakes! This was a huge treat, as breakfast at our house is nearly nonexistent.

We then headed to Build a Bear for the third time in a row on her actual birth date. Though we had driven to MOA, Laura was quite certain from the start of exactly what she wanted, made all her decisions quickly, and was finished creating "Heart" in less than 30 minutes. A new time record for sure. And because she was the only one allowed to make a critter this year, combined with some discount coupons we received in the mail, we ended up leaving the store with a rather nicely outfitted puppy, complete with sunglasses and shoes, all for under $15!! Um, that was a staggering savings compared to our usual three digit receipts from this place!
A special beating heart and "iCarly" music button make Heart unique.

After a stop over at IKEA to grab some pillows for a craft for Laura's party on Saturday(ohmygoodnessthiswassostressfulandtooklongerthanbuildabeardidanditwasonlyjonnyandi
andalliwantedtodowasrunawayfromthatplacescreamingiamgladweareoutofthere), we headed to the Children's Museum with Grandma and Grandpa C to meet out friends, the Smiths, for more than 5 hours of jam-packed fun. We HAD to have Laura's favorite lunch first.......McDonald's Chicken Nugget Happy Meal. She REALLY loves this....seriously could eat it every day of her life if allowed to.
Laura climbed under the table, hiding in sheer embarrassment as we sang "Happy Birthday" to her at precisely 2:50pm. (I think the cold she had awoken with made her uber sensitive today)
We played at the Museum.
So much to do. So much fun.
We could spend days and days on end here.
And no one would complain a lick about that.
Laura's favorite place is the make believe grocery store.
We stayed for pizza dinner AT the museum. Pizza is Laura's most favorite dinner! Pepperoni, all the way!
And besides a seating confusion problem, it was the BEST dinner we have ever had for $2/person.
We had birthday cupcakes.....chocolate, of course!!!

Then we played some more. We played until the museum closed at 8pm. And I am not sure we even played with everything there was to do there.....but it was close. We love the museum.
The kids were thoroughly exhausted as we headed back to Grandma and Grandpa's. So we decided to stay overnight again instead of taking the 60 minutes to drive back home. Laura opened some of her presents. She was so thrilled to get American Girl doll, Molly from G & G!
Then it was off to bed, so that we would be well rested for her party tomorrow. Grandma held the baby until 1am while I cut up fleece for our pillow project. I don't think I would have ever gotten that done without her! Bethany has been extremely clingy since her hospital stay, and I have been unable to set her down at all....even if I am on the floor with her, she still cries and kind of freaks out. I think she is too smart and remembers all the hospital trauma.
It has been so amazing to me to reflect on Laura's life this year and how it all began 6 years ago. Sometimes it all seems as fresh as yesterday, while other times it seems like an impossible story that occurred a million years ago. But daily, even amidst the struggles and challenges, I am so overwhelmingly thankful for this special, unique, loving, creative, brilliant, social, amazing little girl that continues to bless our lives on a daily basis. Whereas once, I couldn't imagine she would ever be a part of our lives, I now can not imagine our lives without her. We just love her so much.

Happy 6th Birthday, Laura!

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