I tossed and turned…I always do anyway, especially 8 months pregnant…can anyone really get comfortable that far along?! I had just turned back to a side when I felt a little gush. My eyes immediately opened…I was sure it wasn’t my water breaking…I had just worked that day, delivered a baby in a bathtub for goodness sakes…my baby girl was still 5 1/2 weeks away from her expected delivery date…it was too early for her to come. I quickly got to the bathroom, cleaned up a little, and just as I was thinking I was safe…here came another gush. I peeked in the bedroom and called out to Matt to “Wake up…my water broke”…he made a little noise…unbelieving, and rolled back over (no shame to him…he’s a hard sleeper:)). I called my co-worker, Susan, the midwife on call..told her what happened, and she stayed calm (just like always) and told me to head in to the hospital. I hung up…and I just cried…scared to death because it was me. I took care of folks like this pretty frequently, but it was happening to me… I was terrified.
I woke Matt back up…he was panicking a little now…we gathered a few things…gathered our 2 1/2 year old, Carson, and we headed out to the hospital. I knew the nurses on staff…they got me all settled, then I got Carson to sleep on the pull out sofa…he slept, and I labored. Up and down, and in and out of the shower…then at 8:20 a.m. with Carson in Matt’s arms wide awake…my two friends, and colleagues, Susan and Tamara in attendance, I pushed and quickly had a tiny 4 lb. 9 oz. baby girl in my arms…Effie Rose.
To fast forward 11 years to today and imagine all the ups and downs we’ve been through, well, that would be impossible. She is a fighter…she has been since day one. To try and convey just how sweet her little soul is…that would also be impossible. Frequently, I see parents, moms and dads, reminisce and saddened by how quickly kids grow up, and although I realize the time does fly, it doesn’t hit me the same way.
A few years back, Effie got into trouble in the car for unfastening her seat belt while riding down the road…I pulled off quickly, swatted her legs telling her how dangerous that was. Her response through tears, was “I just want to go live in Jesus’ house”. That statement hit me like a ton of bricks…to live with Jesus, would mean she wasn’t with me, and that was something my mind couldn’t process. She talked like that for a day or two…telling me she knew I would be sad, but it would be ok, and that she would see me again one day. I remember posting on social media that story, and saying something about I wasn’t ready to give her to God, and how much her saying that broke my heart. A friend from high school reminded me that God gave her to me, and she was His first. That rocked me…I knew it was true, but yet hard to hear. I remember keeping her in a little bubble for a bit…so very nervous of her every move…a true helicopter parent.
A good friend in high school played ball with my brother, and my boyfriend at the time. I went to almost every game I could, and I often sat near the mom of this friend…he was killed in a car accident in high school, and my heart ached so very bad for her. I didn't have kids at the time, but couldn’t imagine the loss and hurt that losing a child must bring. Another friend I work with today, lost her son a couple of years ago…I see her grieve sometimes even now. Another friend quickly lost her one-year old on Christmas Day several years back after more heartache than a little even before that. I can’t completely understand how they feel, but the pain is palpable.
So, as Effie is another year older today, and time really does fly…there isn’t one ounce of me that can post a crying emoji face, sad face, or hysterical crying face on social media…as I see frequently when kids of friends have a birthday. For us, it’s a celebration of life… a celebration of another year she is with us, and a celebration of all she’s able to do after the challenges she had to face.
I’m not even gonna lie…the teen years of my oldest are the most challenging so far, but even with it, there are such new and exciting things to take on and do as he gets older…new conversations, new things to be comfortable and even uncomfortable about…and every season, with every kiddo brings about those things.
This weekend, I watched and ran along side of her for most of 16.2 miles that she ran…a half-marathon at 6 a.m. then a 5K at 6:30 p.m. for a special shamrock medal…then she got first in her age group for the 5K with 24:36 time. I have watched her anxiety disappear so much over the past year, post brain surgery, and dealing with her scoliosis head-on…our running community has been an absolute godsend for her, and for Big Dog and Columbus Roadrunners, and those folks and fellow runners that support Effie, I couldn’t be more thankful…they are all amazing.
Today, I celebrate another year…and toast to another season of Effie’s precious presence in our life! No sad faces here…just hearts and love and pure thankfulness.