Yes, it is!

Friday, November 1, 2013

She's Nine Years Old!

I can't believe my beautiful little girl is 9 years old.  Nine!  She truly is a miracle.  She was a miracle from the moment she was conceived.  When I reflect back on these years, I can't help but be so thankful for the miracle of her life.  

Before I got that positive test, I thought for sure that I was not pregnant.  I didn't have any symptoms of pregnancy and on top of that, I thought I was having a cycle.  But when I went to the doctor for a follow-up appointment for a recent issue, the doctor ordered a urine and HCG pregnancy test, even though I insisted that I was NOT pregnant.  After all, I was bleeding.  I was shocked that the urine test was positive and I was assured that it was not a false positive. (Apparently, false positives don't exist, false negatives do). I called Tim and told him the news.  A couple of days later, I had another HCG level taken.  I got a phone call that evening from the doctor's office that I needed to have an ultrasound done soon because my HCG levels were rising higher than typical for the stage of pregnancy I was at.  I was a bit nervous about having the ultrasound.  

Until now, I have not been very open about Jackie's twin.  We never shared about it with our family and only a couple of my friends back home knew about it.  

So, the ultrasound showed that we were expecting twins.  I was very nervous. Since I was still having issues with bleeding, I was told to go back for another ultrasound a few days later. That ultrasound showed that one of the twins was lagging behind in it's development.  I was told to return for another ultrasound the following week.  The twin's growth was still behind where it should be and it's heart rate was very low.  I was warned that the likelihood of this twin surviving was very low.  A few days later, another ultrasound confirmed that this twin had died.  I was very sad but thankful that the other twin, who would ultimately become Jackie, appeared to be doing well.  However, I continued to bleed. I was eventually diagnosed with a chorionic hemorrhage.  This is what apparently led to the demise of Jackie's twin at 8 weeks.  Unfortunately, the chorionic hemorrhage affected Jackie, too, and I was gently warned of the very real possibility that Jackie could end up suffering the same fate as her twin did. Even though I was never too sure of having children until then, I begged God to save my baby.  Our prayers were answered. 

After a somewhat higher risk pregnancy,  Jackie was born 3 weeks early, by c-section.  I will never forget the overwhelming love I felt for my baby as soon as she was placed in my arms.  Unfortunately, post-partum issues creeped in, in addition to a very colicky baby.  I hate that I don't remember very much from that first year.  I remember, though, the fear I felt when Jackie was diagnosed at age 6 months with cerebral palsy, possibly due to in utero or post natal stroke.  Of course, Jackie was delayed with her motor skills.  I couldn't help but hurt for my baby when babies her age were crawling, walking, running on time.  Jackie just sat there, helpless.  I'm so thankful for her therapists at that time who provided so much support to not only my baby, but to me, too.  

Jackie has proved and continues to prove doctors wrong.  I know it's partly because of her strong-will.  She receives top grades. She is very well-liked at school by students and staff alike.  She is intelligent and quite talented.  She is sensitive and compassionate.  She is beautiful and perfect to me.  She is the apple of my eye.  (Well, most of the time).

Time has flown by so quickly. I'll never forget all those people, including strangers, who would say to me to enjoy this time because it passes so quickly.  I never blew those people off because I knew it was true.  Every now and then, Jackie will do something or just have a certain look that will throw me off guard.  And it reminds me... she's growing up so quickly.  It makes me gulp sometimes. I'm looking forward to watching my beautiful little girl grow up into a beautiful young lady.  But I sometimes wish I can turn back the hands of time and have a do-over.  

I pray that her self-esteem will not suffer so severely like I did. That is why it is so important to me that my daughter knows just how beautiful she is, how gifted she is.  And especially, how special she is to not only me, but to God and so many others involved in her life.  I pray that Jackie and I will continue to have a close bond.  I want more than anything to make things different for her than it was for me. 

Jackie is so precious to me and I don't often convey that to her. I want to change that.  Jackie has been my inspiration lately for why I'm so desperate to change some of my ways to be a better mother.  I want Jackie to look back and appreciate the effort that I made to be the best mother possible.  She is the reason why I don't give up completely on God.  She truly is a believer, mostly without my help. 

There have been many times where I have gone into Jackie's room at night just to stare at her.  As I watch her sleep, sometimes sadness overcomes me because I fail so often.  And sometimes, tears will come to my eyes because I'm just so proud of who she is and what she has already accomplished despite some of her adversities.  

Lately, I've come to the realization that the estrogen has started coursing through her veins already.  Her emotions are all over the place.  She is even more moody. And lately, she has become worried that certain friends aren't really her friends. She often feels left out, lately.  She sometimes will even ask me if I love her. She has become so much more sensitive lately.  I have to admit that I get frustrated because I just don't know how handle it when she becomes so sensitive and uptight when it comes to dealing with her friendships. I just try to comfort her.  (I sure wish I had the right example of how to deal with all of this).  I'll have to hold on and pray.

So on this day, November 1, Jackie's 9 year of life, I can't help but dedicate one of her favorite songs.  This song speaks to me as well.  I am determined, with God's help, to be by Jackie's side as she (and I!) navigates her way through what is already promising to be a tumultuous few years as she grows into a young woman.

Happy 9th Birthday, my beautiful Jackie!

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