We've moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, June 18, 2010

D Day

Charlotte Amalie-

Today, little girl, is your due date. One hundred and eleven days ago, you surprised us all with your grand entrance. But today, today my little one, was to be the anticipated day.

In reality, I no longer have any attachment to this day. It doesn't really mean anything, other than it comes after June 17th and before June 19th.

It marks what could have been. And you'll soon learn, that your mother loves to think on "what could have been."

I think about how my parents would have driven here to wait for your arrival. They would be sitting in the waiting room, talking on the phone to every family member, giving updates and keeping people informed. They would not have noticed the family sitting in the corner, waiting to go back, one by one with the baby's father, to see their grandchild in the NICU. They would not have noticed the mother missing, somewhere waiting in recovery. They would not have noticed that the family coveted my parent's joy, my parent's surety, in this moment.

How could they notice? We do not notice what we do not know.

I think about how we would have left the hospital. Never, ever thinking about the babies who are not going home with their parents. Never thinking that we were doing something special. We would have taken pictures of you in the car, we would have hugged our nurse goodbye and we would have driven off-- never noticing the mother or father walking by with tears in their eyes. Never noticing their empty arms, or their hurried pace on the familiar way to the NICU.

How could we have noticed? We do not notice what we do not know.

I think about giving you your first bath, and how I would have taken a million pictures of you with washcloths censoring your body. Your father would be telling me to stop blinding you with the flash. We'd pull fuzz balls from between your toes, and we'd gently caress your smooth belly. Never noticing how much your toes have grown, how strong your skin feels, how healing it can be to take care of your own baby.

I would be making charts of how often I changed your diapers and on which side you last ate. I would not have noticed what a miracle it was for you to eat on your own. For you to be able to eat the way nature intended.

I do not notice the things I do not know.

(I would give up on said charts in about 16 hours.)

People would greet us with, "Oh how sweet! Does she sleep well for you?" We'd answer yes or no, but we'd answer, never noticing that some parents sleep right through the night. We'd never realize that to be sleep deprived is something one would do anything for.

How could we? We do not notice the things we do not know.

How could anyone?

And so today, little girl, instead of celebrating your arrival, we celebrate your lessons.

We celebrate the way you've taught us to think outside the box, if only for a moment. We celebrate not taking things for granted. We celebrate miracles on all scales. We celebrate babies and families-- no matter how early they arrive, no matter how soon they leave us.

We celebrate the norm, we celebrate our desire to someday live within it. We celebrate our ability to live without it.

We celebrate the world you've exposed us to; the lives you've touched. We celebrate the people we've come to love, the people we know only because they have been forced to "notice" as well.

We celebrate you. We celebrate one hundred and eleven days of you. One hundred and eleven days too early.

One hundred and eleven days of lessons.

One hundred and eleven days of noticing the unnoticed.

Happy Due Date little girl.


  1. This is beautiful Amanda. Your little lady is so strong and I am so happ she is doing so well!

  2. I love this post. Such tender words of love. Hugs!

  3. There are no words... only tears... thank you!

  4. Dearest Amanda,
    Late last night on our way home from Maine I was able to stop at the hospital and hold our little Charlotte for the first time. It was a miraculous,tender moment that I will forever treasure. I am reminded to be grateful for the many blessings of life.
    I love you! Mom

  5. pretty much sums it right up. you're a fabulous woman.

  6. Amanda, Keep strong. This is beautiful along with you, Charlotte, and the rest of your amazing family. Love and miss you.

  7. um. wow. I had preemie twins in the NICU with a 20 month old sister and I know exactly how you feel. I am Ellen DeMarco's sister in law and she has told me about you. I now know how this feels also in terms of a miscarriage- the mommies leaving their first dr. visit, happy to have heard the heartbeat- not noticing the Mommies crying who have lost before they even have known.