Saturday, January 2, 2010

Turning the Page...

I love turning the calendar to a fresh new page. Nothing but a few scribbles on the new page of January. It is such a nice feeling to start not only a new month, but a new year. It's almost overwhelming to flip through last year's calendar and wonder if this year's will fill up just as quickly and go by just as fast. But for now, I'm basking in the fact that we're only 2 days into January and so far, nothing major adorns our calendar. It's fun to start talking about vacations we want to take this year and people we want to be sure and see, but it's also a reminder of all the failed attempts we made at the same things last year. How can we not let life "get in the way" of all those things our hearts really desire to do this year?

We had dinner with some very dear friends before Christmas and they asked us, "what can we do for you in this new year to best help you?" It's a loaded question and one you would think you could rattle off multiple answers to. But my mind and heart were quickly reminded about how "unplanned" life is. If the same question had been posed to me last year, I wouldn't have answered it appropriately because nothing could have prepared us for what our lives were going to hold last year. So I hesitated to answer it this year knowing that we just can't know how we're going to need help this year.

Our biggest story of the year was definitely Anna. Last January began with a bang. After all being sick over Christmas, Anna found herself facing another illness in late January which hospitalized her for 4 days. The pattern seemed to continue with a new illness every 3 weeks. Just as Spring set in and we thought the illnesses were behind us we noticed that she had some nasal regurgitation when drinking liquid. An appointment in August confirmed a submucous cleft palate and quickly led to a startling diagnosis for Anna. In September Anna was diagnosed with Velo Cardio Facial Syndrome which occurs when there is a deletion on the 22nd chromosome. From September to December we must have visited the doctor's office at least twice a week. That liitle girl has been poked more times than I have my whole life and she hardly ever cries about it. She has no idea all that she has gone through this year, I do believe mommy has carried most of the burden.

Over the last 4 months Anna and I have bonded in a very special way. She became my best friend because we went everywhere together, did therapy together 3 times a week, stayed home an awful lot together, and I poured my heart into her. She has opened up a new part of my heart. She has taught me how to completely and selflessly love someone. I had to give up a lot of things I once found to be so important, to protect her and do what was best for her, and I got so much in return. As a mom I have grown this year, as a woman I have changed and reprioritized, and as a child of God I have gone deeper into an understanding of God's love for me. My faith has been tested once again and I'd like to think it's been strengthened.

So as we turn the page to a new month and year, I rejoice that the only doctor's appt. on the calendar is for Megan. I don't know if this will be a "quiet" year, I'd like to think we're due one, or if it will be another trying year. But I do know the Lord is teaching me to take every day one day at a time. He hasn't forgotten us, He knows what He's doing and at the end of 2010, I'll hopefully be able to see a glimpse of His bigger picture, just as I can now looking back at 2009!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009 in Pictures

Christmas was very Merry and Bright this year. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and the entire season. The best part of all was having our Megan with us to celebrate. What a wonderful way to spend Christmas, with a newborn baby!

Christmas Eve

We made it to service on Christmas Eve and then had the whole crew over to our home for our annual get together with yummy holiday food. Anna found a new friend in Mr. Nieter and enjoyed some quality time with him. Of course, Erin entertained the crew and Anna and Blake filled the house with lots of cheer and laughter. It was a fun time of being together!

Meeting the Big Sisters

Megan's big sisters were thrilled to meet her and get some snuggles in. Anna is very interested in her and is always bringing me her passy when Megan cries. Erin likes to talk to Megan on her own terms and doesn't pay her too much attention. The last picture was our first outing as a family of 5 on Christmas Eve - they all fit in the backseat with no room to spare! What a car full of girls!

Megan Joy Maggiore

Our third precious little girl entered the world on December 16th. After being my most difficult pregnancy (well 3rd trimester) due to the fact that she was breech, it was a welcome relief to be holding her in my arms. I underwent a breech aversion procedure at 37 weeks to have her flipped and luckily it worked so I was able to have a normal delivery. This one was different from the other two due to the fact that I was voluntarily induced one week before my due date since the thought of being in the hospital on Christmas didn't appeal to me. Despite labor being started for me, it went smoothly and quickly. It all began about 9:15 and we were holding Megan by 3:00. It was absolutely an enjoyable experience and a great one to end with!!!! The epidural actually worked this time and my recovery has been so much easier.
Megan is 2 weeks old today and we see her beautiful eyes a little bit longer each day. She's even attempting smiles already. I have to admit, I am enjoying this stage with her since Anna's first few weeks were so difficult. I'm trying to soak it all in and not rush it, although I would love to sleep 8 consecutive hours at night - I know that time will come. For now, we are just enjoying our days as a family of 5. Daddy has been off work for 2 weeks and most days we just stay inside and try to stay warm. It's been rather relaxing and all the girls are doing great!