We left the house around 8 because we had some snow on the ground and it was still snowing and we weren't sure how long it would take us. This is us on the way to the hospital...yes that's right, it was March!
Julianne was kicking like crazy on the way to the hospital. It was as if she was excited that she knew she was getting out! We made it to the hospital with time to spare and waited to get checked in. That time in the waiting room was long.........in actuality it was probably only about 15 minutes but it felt like an eternity. The check-in process took a long time as the nurse asked us a million questions, the anesthesiologist came in to introduce himself, my Dr. came in to check on me, and of course I had to get all gussied up in that attractive hospital gown! We were in what I like to call the "staging area" for a good 2 hours before they finally wheeled me in to the operating room. I was extremely nervous for the surgery itself...but so excited because I knew we would be meeting our little girl in just minutes now.
After I got the anaesthesia and it started to take affect I was able to relax a little. The anaesthesia is probably the thing I was most nervous about. Someone sticking a long needle in my spine was not my idea of a good time. Shaun came in and sat down next to me and I focused on him. He is extremely calm in these types of situations and always knows what to say to make me calm as well. The Dr. said "are you ready" and I knew I was. It was so fast. I think they started the surgery at 11:54 and at 12:02 out she came! I heard her cry and I felt so relieved. And so overjoyed. Tears came immediately. There is nothing that will ever top that moment.
A year. I can't believe it.
My dearest Julianne,
There are no words to describe the joy that you have brought to us. You have filled our lives with so much happiness. Daddy and I waited a long time for you and we know now that God knew just what He was doing. He was waiting.....to give us you. It is an honor and a blessing to be your parents.
You have taught me so many things this year. You have taught me patience, especially in those first few weeks when I couldn't figure out why you wouldn't sleep at night or why you couldn't go longer than an hour and a half without eating. You have taught me how to find joy in the simple things, like you do when you have an empty water bottle filled with rice or when the light comes through the curtains making fun shapes on the floor. You have taught me to love like I have never loved before. The love I have for you is unlike any other I have known. I understand things I never did before, like why my parents worried so much and why they still cry when they have to leave me. You have taught me how to have a new kind of fun, like when we dance together in the family room or spend an hour rolling a ball back and forth to each other. You have taught me what it feels like to feel truly fearful, like when I reach you seconds too late after a nasty tumble or when you had a fever of 102. You have taught me what it feels like to be truly blessed. Blessed that I get to spend everyday with you and see every new thing that you do. Blessed by your laughter, your smiles, your cuddles and your love.
You have done so many things this year. Even in your first few days, your eyes were open, searching and exploring the world around you. Later, you would lift your head and arms, trying for hours to push yourself up, wobbling, concentrating, and determined. It's so strange that just months ago, your hands were too small to even grasp a rattle and now you can pick up toys with one hand and throw them half way across the room. You learned to roll, to crawl, to pull yourself up, to walk while holding on to things, and to feed yourself. You've recently mastered the headstand and saying many new words like "papa", "uh-oh", "duh", "da (dog)", and you are trying so hard to say "I love you" but right now it sounds more like "I la eh". You try to mimic everything that we say and we love teaching you new things. You are very analytical and study things intensely. You love bubbles, and our doggies, and Jack's Big Music Show. You do not like to be more than a few feet away from me. You smile and laugh a lot and you are in a good mood almost every single day. You sleep. Boy, do you sleep. 12 hours every night and now, one nap during the day. We think you sleep so well because you play so hard while you are awake. You do not sit still for more than a few seconds at a time unless you are sitting in your high chair. Your biggest love by far is dancing. It has been since you were about 6 months old. You dance when any music is playing. I love that you love to dance because I love it too. I always have music playing whenever possible because you love it so much. You love it when your daddy comes home from work. You hear the door and go flying in to see him. I know it is the best part of his day. You love to get thrown in the air (I usually leave this to daddy because he is better at it). You are really tall and are wearing 18 month clothes. You love to watch American Idol. You love that your car seat now faces forward and say "hi" to me non-stop while I am driving now. You love to go shopping with me and wave and say "bye bye" to people when we leave stores. You love to be held. You walk with your walker and when we hold your hands but you are not ready to try it alone yet. You love to give hugs and pat our backs while you are doing it.
Mommy has many mixed emotions today. I am sad that you are growing up so fast but at the same time so excited for what is to come. So today, on your 1st birthday, we celebrate you. May this next year bring you many discoveries and many more fun times. May you keep the wonder and fearlessness that inspires you to climb on anything you can reach and go head first off the couch. May you always feel loved.
Daddy and I will always be here for you. When you want to play peek-a-boo, or snuggle or chase us. We will let you go, let you discover things on your own, but will always be right behind you. As we watch you grow and explore your world, always know that we are your biggest fans. We love you Julianne!
This is for you. A slide show of your first year. We hope that you can see in it the joy that you have brought us and that you enjoy it for years to come! Happy Birthday Jules!
Julianne Nicole's 1st year slideshow from Jennifer Senter on Vimeo.