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Monday, November 10, 2008

Yesterday a child came out to wonder...

Ellie turned 6 yesterday.

I can't believe that much time has gone by since that rainy, scary Saturday when she was born in 2002. She has come so far and I have learned so much about love. My heart always get choked up on her birthday because images of her birth and that day are still so very vivid in my mind. Like flashbacks they were popping up throughout the day as I watched my daughter, my beautiful Ellie as she is today I couldn't help but see the tiny blue body lifted out of me 3 months too soon. Dave pacing outside the door of my recovery room tears streaming, and frantic as I massaged my legs trying to get the feeling to come back into them quicker so I could go see her as he raved outside the door into the abyss as our lives changed forever. Not feeling the pain of the emergency C-section and the adrenalin to get to my baby.

And that first moment seeing her in the incubator with 3 wires coming out of her belly button, breathing tube down, IV's in each leg, raw fragile skin, baby white hair on her perfect round head. The on the spot breakdown, feeling that I had failed her horribly. Pain. She was in pain. I could feel it. My poor baby thrown into the world too soon, too fast without air. I don't think I will ever really get over that. I think that's just the way it is. It servers as a dark contrast to all the good that has gone after. A reminder to appreciate everything and anything that is good in the moment and know that everything she accomplishes is against the odds and a blessing.

We choose to celebrate her birthday each year with gusto. Celebrate her life and the fact that she is still here with us. We like to have a party for all her friends, teachers, therapists, nurses and care givers, family, and other parents from whom we have learned so much, to say thank you. Without all of these wonderful people we would be lost.

Ellie, who started with so many challenges has achieved so much and there is no stopping her. She reads, she dances, she sings, she signs, she laughs and tickles, and does subtraction and addition, and loves and loves some more. I am so lucky to have her in my life as she brings me so much joy. This birthday I was really struck by how many people love Ellie and us and who are in our lives supporting us and taking us along. We have our village and it's a great one. We are truly blessed and grateful.

Too all of you who called and could not be there yesterday, we missed you and love you and had the vanilla cake with the vanilla icing, and it wasn't the same without you. ;-) Scroll down and see the montage for more pictures of the day.

Special thank you to Carla, the lovely lady by the key board in the picture above, who volunteers every day at Ellie's school to conduct music classes for the children. Thank you for coming to Ellie's birthday party and playing all her favorite songs. Ellie LOVES music more than anything in the world and your being there to play the songs that she knows and loves made a huge difference. Seeing all her classmates and their siblings dancing and rocking out together was pure joy and could not have happened without you. Thank you doesn't even cover it!

Thank you too to Bonnie whose help in the morning and during the party allowed us to keep our sanity and get all ready and for doing Ellie's hair. The french braids were perfect with the flower crown. Ellie looked lovely. Thanks for all your help and love you give Ellie on a regular basis (and for "hiding guy" and new and improved Bear Hunt both of which she won't put down!)  

Thank you as well to Liz and Marla for all the balloons and signing and "water bottle smiley" and keeping more than one child from near immanent self destruction with all our open shelving as well as all the love you give Ellie regularly. I still can't believe you found a new "raggedy" which is a feat beyond OTT and Ellie has not put her down since. Between Raggedy, "hiding guy" and new and improved Bear Hunt (the last two thanks to Bonnie) we had trouble getting Ellie to stop playing and go to sleep last night! 

Thanks to everyone who attended and for all the gifts for Ellie. It was great to share with you this happy day.  

Happy 6th Birthday Ellie-luv!!!!