Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday!!

It's impossible to believe that one year ago, on December 27, 2007, these two precious girls came into our lives! It feels like just yesterday, and yet, a lifetime ago, all at the same time. I remember laying in the recliner in the living room Christmas night last year, trying to get comfortable, wondering how much longer it would be, and waking just a couple hours later, feeling the contractions, wondering, again, "Is this it?" I remember timing the contractions, and as usual, they were coming one on top of another. I remember thinking, "I could go to the hospital, but I'm afraid they'll try to stop labor, and I know these babies need to come out! So I'll wait for my OB appointment at 10:00!"

I went to my appointment the next morning, and sure enough, I was 2 cm dilated already, and sure enough, he wanted to stop labor, since I was only 34 weeks. But I made my case, stated my concerns about Mackenzie's failing to grow and my gut feeling that she needed to come out, and he agreed to let me labor. And labor I did. For 39 LONG hours. But he let me have my wish to try for a vaginal delivery, and I was able to. It was a scary one, for once Makayla was out, Mackenzie crashed, and for 15 of the longest minutes of our lives, we didn't know what was happening as the doctor worked frantically to get her out and I pushed with all my might. Just when he said the words, "We're doing a c-section," her little head appeared. She wasn't crying, she was pale and limp, but she was out, and once she was out, she perked right up! And the doc's first words - "Oh, you're a tiny thing - it's a good thing we got you out when we did!" Mama's intuition was right. Babies needed to come out!

It's unbelievable to look back at the NICU pictures and remember. It's amazing how tiny they were. Mackenzie was still only 4 lbs, 4 oz when she came HOME from the hospital at 29 days old! Wow. What an awesome year we've had.

I loved putting them in the swing together - they slept SO much better this way! But we had to get them in there at the right time, together, otherwise they woke each other up! And this picture was just the best - it wasn't staged at all - Makayla totally put her arm around her little sister. So sweet.

And here we are, a year later.

Makayla is taking her first steps, saying, "More, more!", putting everything in her mouth, and shaking her head in a definitive "NO!" to vegetables. She has two teeth on top and two on bottom, and uses them regularly while nursing! Ouch! She rarely sleeps through the night, she's a total mama's girl, and she's got the best giggle. She's quite the ham and loves attention, though she's not much of a cuddle bug - she wants to know I'm near and that I'll pick her up whenever she needs me, but she's constantly on the go. She adores her big brother and follows him around like a puppy dog. She's a drama queen, and gets jealous when I'm giving her sister or brother more attention (or food) than she thinks they should get. She's pretty easily quieted, though.

Mackenzie is quite the little smarty pants. She may be a bit behind in some of her physical milestones, but cognitively, she's ahead. She's doing things 13-14 month-olds do, according to our early intervention teacher. She signs "more," says "mama," and waves "hi" and "bye-bye." She loves to play pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo, and will mimic several other signs. She loves to snuggle and be held; she's much calmer than Makayla and will sit on your lap for a long time. She does have a temper, though, and can through QUITE a temper tantrum, already, and it can take a LOT to get her to calm down when she gets herself worked up. She fights sleep like it's her worst enemy, but she does usually sleep through the night once she goes to sleep.

We had a little party to celebrate their first birthday, with a few friends. They were spoiled, of course! Their daddy had gotten them some little Santa's elf dresses, which were so cute. Mackenzie wasn't in a particularly good mood, since she had fought her nap and had only fallen asleep about 45 minutes before the party.

We gave the girls each a cupcake - their first. I wasn't sure what they would do with it. Anthony, on his first birthday, didn't really know what to do with his, and didn't really care for it. Yeah, I shouldn't have been concerned about Makayla - she knew EXACTLY what to do with it, and in a matter of like 90 seconds, hers was completely devoured! Mackenzie picked a little at hers, but pretty much just left it alone.

It's been a year of miracles and wonder for us. I can only imagine the blessings these girls will continue to bring us. We have so much to be thankful for!

For those of you who may not know, Mackenzie will be having her palate repair surgery on Monday, January 12, so please keep her and us in your prayers. As you may or may not know, the recovery from her last surgery was difficult, complicated by uncontrolled pain and agitation as well as pneumonia, so we are praying this time goes much more smoothly. Thanks!

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