Friday, October 06, 2006

Our Sweet Caroline - One Year Old!

One year ago I was nervously anticipating a scheduled c-section... anxious about the surgery but so looking forward to meeting our sweet girl. We were so excited to conceive this baby, especially after a loss a few months earlier. Then the pregnancy became my lifesaver, as the doctors took seriously the symptoms I had been having (which of course turned out to be cancer but so far luckily still gone). It was an easy pregnancy, outside of having major surgery in the middle. But even during that, baby stayed to herself and just kept on growing, strong and healthy. At 34 weeks, the ultrasonographer told us she had a lot of hair, as did the OB when he looked at the screen. So we knew we had a fuzzy, active baby on the way. She was even more active in utero than her sister; Rebecca slowed down the last couple of weeks; on the other hand, Jim and I sat together in pre-op watching my tummy jiggle right up until I went to surgery. About two days before her birth, we decided on the name Caroline and the nickname Carly.

The day she was born, I sat at the edge of the operating table,waiting for the anesthesiologist to give me my spinal block, and thought, "I don't think I can do this. Maybe I can just go home and come back another day". But I knew that Jim and all the grandparents were waiting just outside and we were all looking forward to seeing this miraculous person. Jim came in just in time for the surgery to start. As they began to pull her out, she screamed and screamed. This was music to my ears since her sister had been born not breathing. They checked her quickly, gave her to Jim and he brought Caroline to me. I had an oxygen mask over my nose and mouth so I couldn't kiss her, but I did talk to her. She turned and looked at me, and Jim told me that was the first time she'd opened her eyes. I fell in love that minute, with this tiny girl with blue eyes and a full head of dark hair.

Caroline spent the first few weeks of life sleeping; she was not interested in waking up and checking out the world yet. But once she did, she started smiling and hasn't stopped. Everywhere we've gone all year, people have commented on her smiles. She has big blue eyes and long lashes like Rebecca but a rounder face and body; she's definitely not a clone. She's also kept her hair; it started out as a dark fluffy chick-like fuzz which has lightened to a pretty light brown. The top section is very long, so for the past few months shehas sported a Pebbles Flintstone-esque ponytail. We've talked about cutting it to make her hair even in length and because she fights the ponytail some mornings. But ultimately my stylist talked me out of it; instead we'll trim as needed until the rest of the hair catches up. This morning I combed her hair with a middle part to see how it looked and Jim and I were both surprised to see how different her whole face appears with her hair down.

She and Rebecca are already the best of friends; they play togetherand roll around on our bed hugging each other. Becky is very sweet with her; helpful and tender almost all of the time. She loves to fetch things for her, to feed her bits of her own meal, and so on. And Carly saves her best smiles for her big sissy.

We all have so much fun together; she is so interactive these days andyou can tell she's interested in everything and wants to be involved in everything. She stands, can walk while pushing things or holding on to furniture, and can climb like nobody's business. We hear partial words all the time from her; "dau" for dog, "doe" for Dora being some frequent ones. Dora is a big favorite, from Becky's influence. Carly likes to clutch the sides of her Dora toy hamper and kiss "Doe". She also loves to hug and kiss a big fluffy duck that lives in the girls' room. We human family members are treated to kisses at times, too.

I can't imagine our life without her and am looking forward to many more years of love and laughter.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Just clownin' around

I was fiiiiiiiiinally able to download the photo Becky and I took at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Tour...