Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Beth!

My big girl, baby had a birthday yesterday. She is now 27 years old, a fact that flabbergasts me!

I vividly remember the day she made her appearance into the world. All 5 lbs, 3 oz of her!

  I couldn't believe that at long last my second dream had come true, (being married was my first dream, I was, after all a very traditional girl). She wouldn't open her eyes to look at me, except momentarily, but I knew she just had to be the most beautiful baby in the world. My whole body was shaking violently,( something it did after each baby was born), and I was afraid I was going to drop her. I was kind of relieved when a  nurse took her from me with a worried look and put her in front of some oxygen.

Many times in the following days, I had wished that I hadn't been so eager to put her down. There were times when we didn't know if we'd ever get to hold her again.

It went downhill from then on. She ended up in neonatal ICU, which would be her home for the next month. It was touch and go for several days. When John gave his life to Christ, Beth started improving and only had one setback. She came home weighing in at a whopping 4 lbs. She was so tiny that she could wear Cabbage Patch doll clothes.

With a strict regimen of eating every 3 hours, even if we had to wake her and thump her foot to keep her awake and eating, she grew and developed. As she grew, so did our love for our first little girl.

The first time she smiled at me, I shouted and scared her so much that that first smile quickly turned into a scream.

Always been happy at the beach

I kept a close watch on all the development milestones. Being 2 months premature, she could have had many different types of delays. Beth never displayed any problems from her traumatic start. She did take her own sweet time walking, though. But now I recognize it was her perfectionist tendency.

She wasn't about to walk until she knew she could do it and do it well. We've seen that trait played out throughout her life.

One thing she learned to do early and very well was speaking. She said her first word at 9 months. We were coming home from the beach, having visited John's parents. Beth was an absolute terror on car rides. She would literally scream for hours in a car seat. I discovered that I could appease her for a short time with tiny pieces of Nilla Wafers. She said, "ca-ca" out of the blue.,  her word for cookie. She's always been a talker, people would be amazed at the vocabulary this little sprite had. Goes to show that some things never change!

She became the ultimate prissy little girl. She loved to dress up.

When prompted to "model", she'd prop her hands on her hips, get this serious look on her face and sashay from side to side.

She loved being a ballerina.

Ahhh, my prissy, prissy first born. She wouldn't fingerpaint, but had to use the stick, lest she dirty her hands.

Touch a fish?? Of course not! (Even after she had caught it).

I can't believe how the years fly by... the fun elementary years where Mom and Dad are wonderful, the scary teen years where Mom and Dad aren't so wonderful, the maturing college years where Mom and Dad gain a little of the wonderfulness back and now the married years where she's on her own and Mom and Dad think she's pretty wonderful and are so proud of what she's become!!

We love you more than you'll ever know, Bethy! God blessed us so richly that afternoon 27 years ago!

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