Happy New Year. Remember me? I'm here, barely. It's been since July that I've slept through the night and I feel and look as though I've aged nearly 10 years since I found out I was pregnant just 14 months ago. I keep telling my husband that a little sand, some sun, and a warm ocean breeze would work wonders on my spirits, not to mention my looks, but he's not buying into it. I'll chalk it up to unconditional love.
Anyways, life has plopped us into 2012. And I'm so glad. 2011 looks really nice in the rear-view mirror. It felt like a rough 365 days. High risk pregnancy, questionable health of our unborn baby, the sudden and tragic passing of my dear Doberman, Oia's surgery and a consuming summer therapy schedule were all bumps in the road. But, silver linings do exist and they were always present when I remembered to just stop and look for them. Life is good like that.
The toughest decision we made in 2011 was to have Oia undergo lengthening surgery while I was nearly 8 months pregnant. To date, it's been the best decision we've ever made for her. And trust me, we've made a lot. Cutting her hamstring and Achilles tendon did more than just release the tone in her leg... it provided our girl the freedom to be, to bloom with some ease. CP still does and always will have a mark on our girl but moving around post-surgery without having to fight muscles does wonders for a developing 4 year old. Oia's tolerance for the surgery, the recovery, and for the summer of subsequent therapy simply amazed me.
The absolute highlight of 2011 happened on the morning of July 20th as we became parents all over again. My pregnancy was riddled with fear, anxiety, and tears of all kinds. But in the end, our sweet baby Esme is proof that prayers can be answered. Born with a heart as unique as she... the most beautiful, alert, brown-eyed baby we've ever seen. To think she's all mine, all ours ~ it just baffles me.
There have been ups and downs over the last 12 months but no life would be complete without either. I am here, able to reflect, able to look back. Looking back is only possible if you've been fortunate enough to make it through. And that I have. With all the strength and wisdom another passed year provides, I move on a better person and into 2012 as the blessed mommy of two extraordinary girls and as the lucky wife to a man I don't deserve. 2012 will bring great things to this party of 4. I will make sure of it.
Photos by Kari Davis Photography, October 2011