Monday, January 11, 2016

Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today, this little one was 31 days old. 
Two years ago, this little one wouldn't nurse all day. 
Two years ago, Leslie's dog ran away from my back yard. 
Two years ago, Dimitri went out looking for her dog and when he came home I looked at her sleeping right beside me and said, "something isn't right." 
Two years ago, she let out an ungodly yelp, eyes wide and holding all the darkness and wisdom of a newborn.
Two years ago, she turned grey and yellow. Ice cold in our arms, ice cold on our chests as we tried to warm her. 
Two years ago I hesitated. A guilt I'll always feel. As we waited on hold for a nurse I panicked, "this is taking too long!" And knew we should have called 911 instead. 
Two years ago, her heart failed. She stopped breathing. She went unconscious. The dispatcher yelled CPR instructions over speaker phone. 
Two years ago, paramedics kicked our shoes and furniture out of the way, brought us into the ambulance, taught me to hold an oxygen mask, tried to get an IV ready but the ride was too bumpy. 
Two years ago I learned the hollow wail of an ambulance siren against the empty buildings of the city late on a Sunday night. Wishing they could go faster. 
Two years ago I saw a team of ER doctors and nurses at each of her limbs struggling to find a tiny vein. I saw her heart rate climbing on the monitor. I saw her stop fighting. I saw her getting tired. 
Two years ago I wondered if I'd ever hold my baby alive again. 
Two years ago I promised her to hold her through a thousand sleepless nights just for the chance to hold her again ever at all.

Two years ago the doctor approached me and told me to sing for her as they worked. He told me the medicine was supposed to stop her heart and restart it again but they'd given her an adult dose and it wasn't working. Two years ago I saw them use electric paddles to stop her heart and prayed out loud that it would beat again. 
It did. 
Today she sits on my kitchen counter licking honey off a spoon. 

Today she sends cars down tracks and builds towers out of blocks. 
Today she drums a song on her stomach yelling Belly Belly BELLY.
Today she spends 15 minutes taking off and putting on her hat.
Today she finally walks, toddling all around the house carrying toddler treasures - a Lego person and a tube of hair conditioner.
Today she sings me songs about bananas and some other mumbled words.
Today she is vibrant, and funny, and bright, and yes - electric. Her heart beats out a rhythm at a steady and beautiful pace. She asks for kisses and hands them out just as freely. Her blue eyes smile warmly and she loves her brother more than anyone in the world. Two years ago I thought we'd lose her before we knew her and she changed my world. She is the kind of magic person I never knew I was lucky enough to meet.