Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lilly's First Birthday

April 11th, 2009

Lilly turned one on Sunday, April 11th.  Naturally, Jim and I kept thinking back to this time last year, and couldn’t believe how quickly everything has happened.  I kept thinking back to the night of April 10th—my due date.  That Friday came, and that Friday went, or so I thought.  When I got into bed on Friday night at 11:30pm, I’d had a few little contractions.  After lying down for just a few minutes, I told Jim that I thought this was it; that we wouldn’t be going to bed that night!  Most of our family and friends know how the night unfolded, but in a nutshell, my contractions got really strong really fast but the timing never matched up with what the doctor had told us regarding how long they should have been before going to the hospital.  But at 4am, I knew that this couldn’t go on for much longer and thought it was time to get moving and head to the hospital.  Jim thought otherwise.  After all, in our childbirth class, they told us that husbands ALWAYS want to go to the hospital too early, and that if we wanted a natural childbirth, our best bet was to stay at home as long as possible.  So, when I thought we should be going to the hospital, Jim decided to have a shower…and asked me to cut his hair…and do all those things that could have been done just a little bit earlier in my mind.  But, they distracted me for awhile, and then I knew we didn’t have any more time to waste.  I think Jim realized it as well, and it became apparent that we had to get to the hospital sooner rather than later.  I relive that drive to the hospital often!  I really thought that we were going to have a baby in the car—I didn’t think we were going to make it.  When Jim called the hospital to let them know that we were on our way and that I was pretty far along, they didn’t take him seriously enough.  When we arrived, my delivery room wasn’t ready, but they soon saw that ready or not, this baby was coming.  So, after arriving at the hospital at 5:30am, Lilly was born at 5:50.  It wasn’t a very relaxing 20 minutes either…the nurses were yelling at each other, yelling at me because there wasn’t a doctor there yet.  Thank God Jim was there, calming them and me down and keeping everything under control.  But, when little Lilly arrived, the previous 6 hours became a memory—and they are hours that I would relive any time if I knew that Lilly was the end result.

We loved her from the very first minute.  When the doctor placed her on me, it took awhile to process that this was our daughter!  That was the first time I had used that word in relation to me, and it didn’t sound real.  One year later, Lilly is running (she likes it better than walking) around.  She loves to play games; everything is a game!  She’s a great little eater and will try anything.  Sometimes, it takes her a few times to like it, but so far, we haven’t found anything that she doesn’t like.  And, most importantly for Jim and me, she’s a fantastic little sleeper.   From the first day we brought her home, she would sleep at night for about 4 hours at a time.  And, while some nights were definitely better than others, she slept from about 11-5 when she was 5 weeks old.  So, now we have a little one year old, who sleeps from 6:30 at night until 7 or 8 in the morning, and we can’t complain.  But you only have to spend a day with Lilly to understand why she sleeps so well.  When she is awake, she never stops.  From her earliest days, we would bring her onto our bed in the morning, and she would lie on her back for ages, kicking her legs.  When I visited DC with Lilly when she was about 6 weeks old, I would bring her onto Mum and Dad’s bed in the morning.  Dad said she looked like she was in a bike race and was exhausted just watching.  He would often go back and take a nap when Lilly did!  When she started crawling, a couple of days before she was 7 months old, she never looked back.  She had a whole new world open to exploration.  And now that she’s walking, she’s everywhere, checking out everything.  So no wonder she sleeps.

We had a few friends over for Lilly’s birthday.  It was a gorgeous day so we sat outside, had lunch along with some beer, wine and champagne and chatted while we watched the little ones play.  Lilly wasn’t feeling too great by the afternoon, so she ended her party by going down for a nap, while the boys played bocce and the girls sat and drank more champagne!  It was a lot of fun for us, and Lilly seemed to enjoy it all too.  After all, she was the center of attention all day...what more could she want!  She had lots of people to wave to and babble away to.  She loved all the balloons, and even though her favorite game was to crawl up to them and dive head first into one, miraculously, none popped on her.  Her first cake was a success; she just needed a little help from Jim to get going.  After all, if her dad eats it, then Lilly wants it!

When everyone left, Lilly woke up, opened her presents, and I burst into tears!  I couldn’t believe that our little baby was one, and all of a sudden, it just hit me.  That, and I was exhausted, Lilly was sick and we were leaving for Italy in a week.  It was a lot to process at once.  Lucky Jim; he had a sick baby and an emotional wife on his hands!  So, we did what we’re best at, and all went to sleep ridiculously early that night.  It was a first birthday to remember.



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