Somehow it has been nearly four years since I visited this little corner of the interweb. That alone overwhelms me, because that is nearly four years of our life that I have not documented.. and the thought of somehow trying to catch up is impossible. Maybe it seems silly, but I love having this space to look back on with my kids.
Today is Payton's 11th birthday. Her birthday is always an emotional day for me.. wanting to go the extra mile to celebrate her life, while thoughts of her birth continuously linger in my head. I don't remember much in this life, but I remember every single detail of her birth day. I remember when they laid her on my tummy in her seriously dusky state.. it seemed that I was the only one concerned.
I remember asking the doctor why she was purple, only to see a team of doctors and nurses rush into the delivery room. I remember them taking Payton off to the side of the room, rubbing her and blowing air over her face.. trying to get her to cry and breathe. I remember them telling me they would have to take her to the NICU for observation, while I was left without my baby. I remember them wheeling me through the NICU so that I could take a peek at my baby girl.. and all I saw was Down syndrome. I knew.. her eyes, it was all in her eyes. I remember sitting there silent, with tears running down my cheeks.. I didn't say anything to anyone. I remember the doctors coming to my room and telling us that there were a few things they were watching.. and I remember saying to them, "You think she has Down syndrome."
Our world was turned upside down and I'm not sure we even realized what was happening. I was discharged after two days.. leaving our baby girl behind while she was being cared for in the NICU.
Payton was born on the seventh of January and her big brother's birthday was on the thirteenth. That was the day we were to bring her home from the hospital, but first we had a small party for her brother at Chuck-E-Cheese. He was turning two years old.. we were trying to make life as normal as possible for him, even though we felt like our life was being blown up in our face. I remember so vividly just sitting in the booth during his party and crying. I couldn't stop the tears.. all I could think about was how she would never fit in at a place like Chuck-E-Cheese.. other kids would look at her funny, they would tease her. My heart was breaking at the thought of how this tiny human would be treated by society. I was so scared.. I loved her so much, but felt like my fears for the future were going to break me.
Fast forward 11 years.. although we have definitely experienced everything I feared in those early days and more, the joy this chick brings to our life by far outweighs the hard times. She makes us laugh like nobody else can. Her joy in the simplest things in this life is seriously addicting. She has not a care in the world.. well, other than maybe just wanting to be included in everything. She tries her hardest in everything she does and while it may take her longer to do many things, she always brings her own version of success.
Happy birthday, my chick. You are so beautiful.. I live this life for you. I will always be your number one advocate, your number one fan. I will fight for you until the day I die. Here you are.. doing it.. living this life and spreading your love all around us.