This is my daughter Abbey.
She was born in September of 2011, under very strange circumstances.
You see, I did everything right during my pregnancy. I ate good food, took my prenatals, got exercise and even lost weight! I loved being pregnant. Every. Single. Second of it. But don’t ask my husband, he will spin you a yarn of a different tale. He’s crazy, crazy I tell ya!
Despite me doing everything perfectly, something went wrong. The last place you want to end up after you give birth is the NICU, but that’s where my perfect little thing ended up anyway. When you’re sick, you have levels in you of what is essentially “sickness”. It can be anywhere from 1-10 and your body would fight it off, and from the outside you would look and feel fine. Everyone, everywhere is always fighting off some sort of sickness. It’s what healthy bodies do. Abbey’s sickness level was 69.9 and rising and no one knew why.
As a new mom, I worried every single second and never left her little bedside until forced by nurses and my husband to take a break, eat a meal or sleep for a few hours. But despite all the odds, she started to get better. A spinal tap (yes, my 4 day old baby had a needle in her back) ruled out meningitis, and all her other tests ruled out anything more serious. She was just sick.
After what felt like an eternity in the NICU (but was really 6 days), Abbey was released and I was allowed to bring her home.
When you’re a new mom, nothing makes sense. It’s all new to you. It’s like being promoted to the CEO with literally no experience except maybe reading up on the job description a few months before your promotion. I don’t care how many books you read, nothing prepares you for motherhood more than jumping in head first and hoping the pool’s full.
Abbey was bright right off the bat. She rolled over at only a few weeks old, got teeth at 4 months, crawled early, talked early, and walked all before her first birthday. She knew her entire alphabet by 18 months old. She could count to 10 shortly after. She danced, she sang, she was the wonder child. I relished in her achievements and reassured my friends that their children were right where they should be, and my crazy child was just super humanly advanced for some reason.
Looking at her today, you would never fathom for a moment that she was so sick, that she could have never left the hospital. The kid can sing EVERY song from Frozen and she’s not even 3 yet. She’s got attitude, and moxie, and reasoning like you wouldn’t believe. She tells it like it is and wears her little heart on her sleeve.
She gives me “true love kisses” (thanks, Disney!) which are both absolutely adorable and super awkward at the same time. You haven’t lived until a 2 year old cocks her head to one side, places her tiny hands on your face, closes her eyes and plants a sloppy one right on you. The look of shock, horror and confusion on my face tells it all.
“That’s a true love kiss, Mommy!”
She drives me crazy and tests my patience everyday and sometimes I wish I could send her to sleepover camp on the moon. That’s usually when grandma steps in for the evening and lets me refuel my tank. Being a mom is tough work, but being a mom to an extraordinary kid is my dream come true.
You should know all too well too. What makes your kid extraordinary isn’t the amazing things, it’s the tiny little small things. Your kid is extraordinary because they exist. Show them how much you enjoy every moment together by creating a special video of your own! Check out our video here!
Stanford Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has been the top-ranked children’s hospital in Northern California for over a decade, with an exclusive focus on children and expectant women. So if you’re in the Bay Area, you not only have an extraordinary kid, but access to extraordinary care at your fingertips!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.