Sunday, February 6, 2011

An Ode to the First Year

Today was Chubbs' first birthday, and I'm afraid to report that I completely let her down in making today awesome.

I was a bit under the weather all day (ironically enough, my body has lodged Feb. 6th as a day to be miserable), so I spent most of the day in bed, calling my husband to come home and take care of Addison. What did Addison spend half the day doing?

For the first time ever, I put her in her crib to play with some toys. Wow, I feel like a horrible mom. I could barely move and I knew she would get in trouble anywhere else.

When Daddy finally got home, he made up for it by taking her sledding (she loves to sled!), opened the rest of her presents, and she is now having reading time with Daddy after a warm bath.

I feel so guilty for not making this the special day that I had dreamed of for her, but my body seriously had other plans and would not cooperate with anything besides sleeping.

When I was thinking about it, though, we treat every day as if it is Addison's birthday. Seriously, that little girl is so spoiled...(-: So, starting tomorrow we go back to birthday treatment. Today was a bit of survival mode.

Back a few weeks, I made a video montage as an "Ode to her first year" of sorts. It took forever to search through six thousand pictures, but I'm glad I did. It made me cry remembering how much she has changed and what an incredible year this has been.

One year ago today, we weren't dealing with the news of having a baby with Down syndrome. One year ago, we weren't thinking about having an unhealthy child. We were just two brand new parents so anxious to meet our baby. We thought she would be healthy- according to the echo we had done- we were good to go. Obviously, the Lord had different plans for the first few weeks of Addison's life, but at this point last year, I was laboring, Aaron was watching an NCIS marathon while manning the ice chip station, and Addison was refusing to join us because she was so comfy where she was...It took 31 hours of convincing to finally get her here.

The room was full of people- OB residents, my doctor, NICU residents, nurses...etc. I guess with a high risk pregnancy, they have more people waiting in the wings to help your baby. I pushed for 2 hours and 40 minutes, so the joke was on them having to wait for so long....

She came out screaming. It was good to hear her make noise. I was happy with the satisfaction of knowing that I had finally done it. I had my baby......without an epidural so that she would nurse right away. I wanted her to be alert so that low muscle tone wouldn't stand in the way of nursing.

They pulled her away to clean her up, and Aaron stood there snapping pictures of her. That is the first picture on the Montage. After only a few minutes, she started to turn blue. They had no idea why.

I always had visions of having my clean baby wrapped in a blanket, handed to me for the first time. I always imagined looking down at pride at my baby who was safely held in my arms. She would stare back at me and my heart would swell with love. My thought would be, "I can't believe this baby is mine." I would then be wheeled down to recovery, holding my baby, beaming to the world at large. My proudest moment.

None of that happened like I imagined.

Aaron left with Addison. The whole medical team followed. I was left alone, unable to move a muscle because everything hurt. I also developed a fever and just started shivering and shivering. They brought in an entire stack of heated blankets and it didn't make any difference.

Around 2 or 3 in the morning (the details are fuzzy now), Aaron came back and I was wheeled down to recovery, passing a window which I was told my baby was on the other side of and that I could see her in the morning. No one really told me how bad it was. I was just told that they weren't sure what was wrong- that she just needed a little time and she would be fine very soon. This led to weeks of wondering and guessing to try to figure out how we could get Addison to breathe without almost 100% oxygen assist. I will post more in the days to come about the battle for health, but for now?

For now I just want to remember that one year ago tonight I became a mother. One year ago tonight Chubbs was born and our journey together started. Those first few moments may not have gone like I had imagined, but this past year has far exceeded my expectations.

I love you, Addison Lynnette Chubbs McPhee Smith. I look forward to celebrating many, many more birthdays with you....I promise not to be as much of a party pooper as I was today.

Behold, an Ode to the First Year:


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADDISON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We love you, sweet baby girl!!!!! oxoxoxox from all of the Rice's !

  2. don't feel bad babe...she's one, she doesn't know! If it makes you feel better we didn't celebrate Brooke's birthday for 10 days since the hubs was working so much! Take care of yourself and then spoil that baby tomorrow...
    Happy Birthday Addison! Look at how far you've come...

  3. Happy Birthday beautiful girl! I loved the pictures! Feel better Mommy! oxxo

  4. Beautiful video! Addison is going to love to watch it over and over again!


  5. I think every Mother has that perfect vision of what the moment they meet their baby will be like...And when it doesnt happen that way it can be very hard...I know one of the most difficult things to get over with Russell were those feelings of "this wasnt how it was suppose to be" And you being a first time Mom I imagine those feelings were very strong for you.
    Watching this video I am just in awe of Addison...Just look at all she has been through and everything she has overcome...She has come a long way! She is truly amazing!
    Loved the video, beautiful music, beautiful pictures :)

  6. What a beautiful slide show for a beautiful baby...I mean big girl! You've all come a long way in this last year! Hope you are feeling better today!


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