Wednesday, August 19, 2009

happy birthday sweet baby=)

yep. today you turned 1. i can't even believe it. i'm staring at the computer screen and i can't come up with the exact words i want to say. i feel emotional. i'm sure it's partially because my tiny baby is not so tiny anymore and is a whole year old, and partially because i've been recounting the events of this day last year moment by moment with anybody who will listen to me, and also because a sweet friend brought her very special and very precious little girl into the world today. her name is macy brooks tucker, and her parents have been walking the last few years hand in hand with Jesus through unimaginable heartbreak...multiple miscarriages and delivering their son still-born at 39 weeks...i can't begin to comprehend how you recover from that. what an understatement. so needless to say-today represents hope fulfilled and prayers answered and grace and mercies tangible for them. and to so many of us who have had the privilege of witnessing their journey. thank you ashly and denny, and sweet macy brooks, for letting us be a part of your lives...
and now onto MY birthday girl=) mommy had to work last night, and as mentioned before, i made my coworkers listen to what was happening as i went into labor...sweet bridgett (sweet? yes, sweet. but bridgett is also so many other wonderful adjectives;) one day you'll have to ask her "why your hair so curly???") was one of my nurses when you came into the world, and she was just as patient with me last night as i blabbered on as she was when she had right leg duty a year ago. i came home from work around 7:15 this morning to a sweet sleeping birthday angel. i hurried and took my shower so i could scoop you up as soon as you decided you'd had enough sleep. here's a picture from when you finally woke up-you are quite the morning person=)

i brought you into my bed with me and we read some books, then daddy came in to smooch on you and sing happy birthday. then we took you into the den to see miss veronica and start your day. you were, as always, very excited to see her. here are some pictures...

grinning while you pick your toy of choice...

sweet baby playing with her giraffe music box

you are pretty excited to see elmo!

i love this sweet look on your face when you started playing with veronica!

so mommy slept, and that afternoon when daddy got home sara, daryl, and betsy came over and brought you birthday surprises...massive ballon that sings happy birthday with an elvis twist, pretty flowers, and a fabulous blossom hat=) here are some pictures from that part...

you've started pointing at people with your suction catheter like it's a wand or something.

reading your card from sara and daryl

i had to sneak in a kiss=)

you weren't so sure about the blossom hat at first...give it time=)

daddy was a bit more excited about opening presents than you were...sara wouldn't even bring her present over until your actual birthday because she said she knew your daddy would open it as soon as he saw it...

pretty green and pink monogrammed dress from miss kristy and her hubby dave...i think daryl's doing a great job of looking interested!!!

little sweet thing=)

you love miss betsy! and she sure loves you!

our first attempt at a group shot on your birthday-i kinda love your face here...and i should mention that i think there might be something wrong with your daddy. what a goof.

there's an unfortunate similarity between yours and your daddy's face in this picture...

dancing with daddy to the singing balloon-waving to miss sara=)

i don't know.

there we go! finally on board with the blossom hat!

you started to love the massive singing balloon once daddy started bonking it against your head!

we have sweet friends here. they love you so much. they were so excited to be celebrating your birthday with us and all night long they were letting me play "this time last year" where i would tell them what was happening at that exact time one year ago. it's one of my favorite games. i play it even when it's not your birthday (before you were born i would always ask daddy to talk about our wedding day with me...his favorite part, what he remembers most, what surprised him the most, etc, etc...and ever since you came along we play the same game, only with the day you were born=)). of course we wouldn't want to leave you out as we replay our memories from your own day of birth, so here i go telling you, in pseudo-bullet form, the main events i remember from the day you were born:

-contractions starting around 1:30am waking me up...i am fully convinced that cleaning the house and other activities from the night before put me into labor...

-trying to sleep but finally getting up around 5:30 to write you a letter. i am so thankful now that we have that one...i think it's fun to re-read my jumble of thoughts 17 hours before i got to meet you=)

-daddy getting up around 6:30 and realizing i'd been up all night. i called the hospital just to see if dr lucas was there and if so maybe i would tell him what was going on. he wasn't, but i told my nurse friend kim (who also trained me when i came to work there) that i was hurting, hadn't slept because of it, didn't think i was i labor, but heads up anyway. we took showers and thought about actually paging dr lucas, but instead we went to chick-fil-a and target. go figure. daddy ate breakfast because i most definitely did not feel like eating. at target we got a huge pink and brown polka-dot body pillow for me-it seems ironic that we finally bought one of those the last day i was pregnant...on our way out of target i stopped walking when i had this one contraction and i guess my eyes were closed and i looked like i was in pain (which i was) and this lady asked daddy if she should stay with me while he went and got the car. we said no thanks, and after my contraction was over i made my way out of the building and out into the parking lot. i think i scared a few people that day. nobody seems to be interested in delivering a baby in some random retail store or restaurant...

-i tried to take a nap when we got home. daddy tried to get a paper finished. we went to get shelly from the airport around noon. i remember walking into the airport and having to stop again and sit on a bench when i had a contraction-i found sweet shelly and filled her in. we got back to the car and i ended up crying a little with a few of the contractions on the way home. yowsa. those things are no joke.

-we got home and shelly ate one of daddy's hamburgers, which to this day she says is the tastiest burger she's ever had. went straight to his head. (but they REALLY ARE GOOD!). shelly told me later that she would look over in the kitchen and suddenly couldn't see me anymore-she walked into the kitchen and realized i was bent over holding onto the counter waiting for a contraction to go away. i can't imagine what was going through her head as she watched her goofy friend do this...daddy sat outside most of the afternoon trying to finish up some work before our family and friends started coming into town. shelly and i layed on the couch watching the emperor's new groove (that's one of my favorite details of the day. "WRONG LEVA!!!") and i napped between contractions. we heated up the baked spaghetti that my other nurse friend kristen (who was my main nurse when i had you) had made for us...daddy finally convinced me we should at least call dr lucas and let him know what was going on-i talked to him a few minutes later and he said to meet him at the hospital and he would at least give me some pain medicine to help me sleep since i hadn't the night before. (side note: dr lucas was not actually on call that night. another reason why i love that man) daddy and shelly wolfed down a couple bites of baked spaghetti, we packed a tiny bag and the new body pillow "just in case", and out the door we went.

-(another side note: i had always wanted to go natural when i had babies. call me crazy, (and most people do;)) but i just never wanted to get an epidural. i'm definitely not the kind of person who tries to talk everyone else into going natural-by all means they created epidurals for a reason-but i just didn't think they were for me. so during this day of what i thought was false labor, i thought, "forget this! if it's only gonna get worse, there's no way i can go natural!". i was quite relieved when we finally found out it was indeed real labor, i had gotten through most of it at home, and i had dr lucas to talk me through the rest of it without pain medicine. i fully admit i sound like a quack as i read this back to myself...what a weirdo. but i'm glad i was able to do something i always said i wanted to, and i guess i'm goofy enough to want to do it that way again next time...but i do wince a little as i say that...)

-we pull into the hospital parking deck. i see jackie, yet another nurse friend (who shows up to work every now and then with a sweet gift for you. i've loved learning that side of jackie) and tell her "oh it's nothing! i'll go home in a couple hours!".

-i feel like this is a good time to justify why i was trying to brush off the contractions. 1) i had had lots of braxton hicks contractions-i knew they would last about 12-16 hours, and then they'd go away. i thought this was the same (yes-even though i had never stayed up all night with them and none of them had brought me to tears before...). 2) i was terrified of what would happen to you when you came out, and was therefore in a bit of denial. and 3) perhaps there was a little bit of pride in there. you never want to be the labor and delivery nurse that shows up thinking she's in labor when she's really not.

-we get settled into room 9 a little after 7 pm. it is CRAZY busy that night. kristen comes to see us. so does dr lucas. someone yells down the hall that dr diaz needs him in the OR to help her. he goes to help. doesn't come back for about 2 hours. in the mean time, kristen sees that i am legitimately in pain, she asks him multiple times if she can check my cervix just so we know what's going on, he keeps saying "i'll be there soon." (he has since told me that, to this day, i am the only patient who has ever "fooled" him-that he could always tell if someone was really in labor or not but i had convinced him i wasn't...) he finally comes in around 9 to check me. we're all watching his face. he pauses. he says "katie-you're 8 1/2....". kristen doesn't believe him-keeps telling him to stop it and that's not funny. he tells her he's serious. that goes back and forth for a minute and i'm just kinda confused by their playful banter...when i finally realize he was serious i start for a split second to freak out. he calms me down, tells me i can do this, i realize i really can, and i do indeed calm down. he goes out to call dr farhi (the neonatologist that dr lucas had asked to be there for my delivery. we love this man too.) yet another side note: dr farhi wasn't on call that night either. but he was there in about 10 minutes. the nicu team bustles into the room to get everything ready-brings in the little transport isolette-and i really do lose it. at work it had always represented sick babies and seeing it in my delivery room reminded me all over again that you had the fight of your life ahead of you. i cry hysterically into daddy's chest and kristen's shoulder and shelly holds my hand through it all. (i think she's also at this point furiously sending text messages out all over the country letting people know it was happening then, not in 2 days as scheduled.) i'm so thankful they let me cry for a minute. then i get it together and start talking about how awesome my toes look between contractions (i had gotten a pedicure the day before and was apparently super proud of it). dr lucas breaks my water. labor gets about 40 billion times more intense at that point and the scary pain starts, he tells me minute by minute what's coming next and what to expect...i push for maybe 10 minutes-you come out at 10:18 pm and give a little squeal. (dr lucas told me several months later, when we knew you were going to make it, that he cried a little too when he heard you cry. the last diaphragmatic hernia baby he delivered didn't cry when it came out, and it also didn't live to get out of the delivery room. hearing you cry gave him hope that you would make it.) they worked on your for a minute-we watched and waited patiently. dr lucas finished with me, dr farhi brought you over once he got you intubated and "stable" for the moment and let me look at you for about 5 seconds and give your sweet face a kiss. then they whisked you off to the nicu.

-all the troops started rolling in within 30 minutes of your birth. robyn and emilie were supposed to arrive that night, but my parents and the davis family weren't supposed to arrive till the next day. mom had suspected when i talked to her earlier that you would be coming that night, so she and dad cancelled the hotel reservation they had made halfway between here and atlanta and just drove on through. the davises all randomly hopped on a plane a day early (i think there was a reason for this too, but it's one of the few details that has escaped me...;)) and they got there around 11.

-josh hook and jeff jennings showed up around the same time. have i mentioned what great friends we have in richmond??

-there was the most incredible peace in our room while we waited to hear what was going on with you. we were able to genuinely celebrate with our family and friends. we weren't worried-we weren't anxious to hear from dr farhi (i think i'm telling the truth)-we knew you were in good Hands. that's not to say we couldn't wait to see you, but still the peace we felt was pretty incredible. we have no doubt where that peace came from. God had carried us so perfectly up until that point, and He provided in ways we never imagined that night. i want to hug His neck and thank Him over and over for that.

-dr farhi came back about an hour later and gave us an update. he said the chest x-ray was pretty impressive (not the good kind of impressive)-that the hernia was just as severe, if not more so, than anticipated...and that more than expected was up in your chest (all of your small intestine, stomach, spleen, and part of your liver). but that you were doing ok so far with all the support they were giving you...since we knew he wasn't on call that night i thanked him, kind of thinking that was it for him, and he looked at me a little funny. i asked what he was doing that night and he said "i'll be right here. i've got a date with catherine!" yet another reason why we love him=)

you snuggling with dr lucas

the first time you got to see dr farhi since that first night in the hospital!

you and two of our favorite men=)

-mommy got cleaned up and miss kristen took us to room 248. (they had reserved room 246 for us too, since they knew we had a herd of people coming in town. grandypa and uncle kelly slept in there that night. i figured if i'm telling you details, why not include that one...). our family and friends went to whatever house they were staying in, and daddy and i got to go see you. we couldn't believe you were there in front of us, that we were touching your feet, looking at your sweet hands and face. we got to give you kisses and talk about the different features on your face. it's funny that we do that, because those features usually change so much so quickly! they were making sure you were sleeping peacefully, so we decided to go do the same. we went back over to labor and delivery to eat the leftovers from megan's wedding shower (mommy's other nurse friend). there were two beds in the postpartum room, one for me and one for daddy. the staff laughed at us (sweetly) because daddy pushed his over across the room next to mine so we could feel like we were sleeping in the same bed. that's another one of my favorite details from that day=). i still tell some of my patients that-i know they don't care, but i still tell them=) we went to bed and somehow slept peacefully...

this is yet another understatement, but it amazes me how sweet God was to orchestrate every detail of that day. as much as i tried to plan the day you were born, i could never dream of that day going as perfectly as it did. there is no doubt in my mind that He did that on purpose. what a sweet gift=)

Catherine Marie Davis

August 19, 2008


6 lb 15 oz 19 1/4"

this was the first picture we took of you.

here you are a year later laughing and playing and crawling around on my living room floor. =)

i still can't really wrap my head around this last year. or the 9 months before that. and i honestly don't know if i'll ever be able to wrap my head around the magnitude of what your little life means. i want to so badly. i pray that God will never let me celebrate one of your birthdays without remembering what it means that you're here. that He revealed Himself to us more intimately than ever before. that He provided for us a peek into the depths of His heart-that He desires to delight us and delight in us. that His ultimate goal for us is to reflect Him. i can't imagine knowing another little life that radiates Jesus so much as yours. i believe that God will blow us away with the ways He reveals to us more of Him through each of our children. i can't wait for that, and i can't wait to meet these little brothers and sisters of yours. but i can't possibly express how the past 21 months has changed me. i am so grateful that He let us be a part of whatever He's been doing in bringing you into the world and making sense of your insides. i'm sitting here shaking my head in disbelief-who am I that He chose daddy and me to be your parents? to witness His hand at work in forming you, healing you, growing you to be this perfect little 1 year old? i'm completely amazed and forever thankful. i love you sweet baby. words can never express...

happy 1st birthday=)


"...we praise God for the wonderful kindness He has poured out on us..."

~Ephesians 1:6

ps-it's actually august 22 now-it's taken me 3 days to write this letter. mommy's schedule is ridiculous. i just wanted to add that we saw dr rodgers yesterday, and we set next week as take the trach out week. tuesday we'll go to uva, you'll go to the OR and they'll do a bronchoscopy with you under anesthesia and he'll laser off any scar tissue that he sees. then you'll go up and spend the night on the pediatric floor to let the swelling go down from the lasering...the next day (wednesday the 26th) you'll go to the picu and i'll take out your trach (daddy can't come until that night). all the important people will be close by just in case you need any help, but they try to make it as low-key and normal for you as possible. so yep-the trach comes out wednesday. and the plan is to not put it back in please! (just kidding baby-you just let us know if you're not quite ready). they'll leave the little hole uncovered for a while and they'll watch you for a few days. if you're ok with it all, we'll go home friday or saturday! i can't believe it. i'm terrified and so giddy excited my stomach does flip flops when i think about it. so big week, huh? turn 1, birthday party #2 (tomorrow), baptized/dedicated (sunday), and get your trach out. all in one week. you can do it baby=)


Brooke Hammel said...

THANK YOU JESUS! What a precious treasure you have in little Catherine. We praise Him for His love and his mercy!

Hannah D said...

You are amazing, Donnie is amazing, Catherine is amazing, but exceedingly above that Our Heavenly Father is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Thank you for your beautiful writing, Katie, and the reminder of this. I cannot even wrap my mind around the past year and the incredible journey of Catherine's life, year 1. To say that God is beyond awesome hardly seems sufficient. I love ya'll so Davis family!

Kristy said...

What a miracle! I feel honored to know her and her amazing parents! Happy 1st birthday, sweet Catherine Marie! You have lots of love being sent from all over!! :)

thedunns said...

I'm reading this with tears rolling down my cheeks, like I do when I read most of your posts! You have such a talent for sharing your thoughts & feelings & I love that I can call you my friend :) Catherine-happy happy happy 1st birthday sweet girl! Meeting you a few weeks ago was truly an honor! We will be praying that next week goes smoothly for you & that you can come home trach-free!!!! Praise God! We love y'all!

P.S. Have fun at your party today!

Anonymous said...

Reading the details makes me sob just as hard as I did when I read that Catherine was here and was defying all odds one year ago! I'm so happy for your family and so thankful to you, Katie, for letting all of us be a small part of your journey. In 21 months your baby girl has been a testimony to God's grace, love, power, provision and peace than many people are in an entire 80+ years of life. We are so excited for your next step of the journey this week!

Christopher, Alicia, and Avery said...

I am just in AWE and trying to stop crying! Katie you said everything perfectly and Happy Birthday sweet Katherine!

Deb said...

Happy Birthday Catherine! Beautiful post, beautiful family! I'm so happy that I was there the night that Catherine was born. I can tell you that Dr.L checked on her more than a few times! You are right, there was amazing peace in what could have been a very unpeaceful time. That things went even better than anybody hoped is no accident! God has plans for this awesome little girl!

Tim and Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday Catherine!!! Wow. I really can't believe it's been a whole year. So amazing to see God's plan and faithfulness. Your story and Catherine's life give so many others hope. She is beautiful and I am so happy for your family! And also, you are a rockstar. My jaw was open as I read about your labor!!!! I felt like the scary pain was the whole, I am some kinda wuss, you are awesome! If you handled so well with Catherine, you may fall asleep during your next labor ;) Happy Birthday again, to sweet Catherine, i just love her.

Raych said...

Congratulations to all that Catherine and the rest of you have accomplished throughout this year! She is truly a blessing and a gift to this world. I am so excited for you to get to hear all her little noises each day! Rachael W.

Ashly said...

I didn't know our baby girls shared the same birthday, that's neat! 2 miracle baby's on 8/19! Thanks for praying for MB, we've lifted you guys up in prayer many nights too!

Thanks for sharing her with us.

Kaye said...

Oh my! I am weeping for joy at your story. God is wonderful and miracles happen every day. I am so thankful that you and your little family have had a blessing in the past year. Catherine is just beautiful!