Wow, it’s really hard to believe it’s been 3 years already since Brooke decided to make her first debut into the world!
I remember it like it was yesterday… The night before Brooke was born, Brielle and I baked Christmas cookies and after I put her to bed, I assembled our new double stroller with anticipation of filling that second seat. Oh… and did I mention Eric was out of town for military training that he needed to complete before he would be deployed to Afghanistan in just 4 short weeks (Jan 2009).
I woke up at 1:00am feeling like I had to go to the bathroom… but I couldn’t hold it. It stopped so I went back to bed and then it happened again. How annoying! :) I talked to the doctor on-call because I wanted her to reassure me that it was totally normal and to go back to sleep. Unfortunately, she assured me that my water broke and told me to get to the hospital right away so she could admit me. I started crying and she asked me what was wrong with a puzzled voice. She probably figured a nine month pregnant woman would absolutely love to go into labor 2+ weeks early! I said, “My husband isn’t here… he’s in Texas for training. This isn’t supposed to happen. He comes home in two days.” She empathetically said, “I’m so sorry but you need to get in here as soon as you can.” So I quickly gathered my hospital bag, called my mom hoping that she would pick up, frantically calling Eric, calling our friend, Norine, to see if she could come over and watch Brielle. I was in a frantic state of panic… but we all whipped into shape after seemingly running around like chickens with our heads cut off in the middle of the night.
Thankfully, our friend Norine drove over to our house in the snow covered and icy roads so that she could be there for Brielle early that next morning. My mom lives really close so she drove me to the hospital. Then, at 4:40am Brooke was born! I hardly had time to get settled in a room! Brooke was ready to come into this world on her terms and she was not going to wait for when it would be convenient for us!
Luckily, Eric was able to fly home the next morning and he rushed right to the hospital so he could hold his new baby girl. It was a day I will never forget. :)
This year, as Brooke turned 3, she still has that spunky spirit and expects things to happen on her terms! She wanted to have a Cinderella themed birthday party so we invited friends and family over to celebrate and had a “real princess” visit to sing and dance with the girls. Brooke’s eyes were as big as saucers as she watched Cinderella enter the room. As she got closer, Brooke studied Cinderella’s hair, tiara, dress and “glass slippers.” After they finished singing and dancing, everyone sang the “Happy Birthday” song to Brooke as she blew out her candles and made a wish. It was a wonderful birthday celebration that I hope she will remember when she gets older.
On the actual day of her birthday, she received a phone call from the REAL princesses from the castle in Disney World!! First she talked to Cinderella, then Belle and last but not least Sleeping Beauty. She told them how she was 3 years old now and she blew out the candle on her cake by herself (something she couldn’t do last year!). What an awesome birthday gift - thank you to the princesses for taking time out of their day to call Brooke!
Here is a special video they made for her too!
Later that evening, the Pediatric Outpatient Rehab Specialists (where the girls get their therapy) had their annual holiday party at Bounceland! We decided to go and bounce, climb and slide down the air filled structures. It was quite a workout to carry, lift, hold, bounce with the girls but it was totally worth it to see the smiles on their faces! Brooke absolutely loved every moment and kept saying, “again! again!!!” She even had her arms up and hands above her head on the BIG slide!! She is such a daredevil and I just love her zest for life!
There was a surprise visitor that made an appearance at Bounceland too! Santa Claus!! Brooke sat right on his lap with no qualms and when asked, she and Brielle told him that they wanted, “lots of toys” for Christmas this year! :D This was the first time Brooke was actually excited to see Santa and wasn’t afraid of him. She wanted to touch his beard and talk with him.
Our baby is growing up so fast. It makes me reflect on how much she has gone through in the past 3 years. We have been through so many difficult situations with the worst being the diagnosis of a terminal disease but you would never know it if you met her in person. She is incredibly brave, has a strong personality and a perseverence to push the limits. Yet she is the sweetest, most forgiving and loving daughter that a mother could ask for.
I am so thankful for every single moment I’ve been blessed to share with her in these past 3 years.
Happy Birthday Brooke, I love you very much! -Mommy