8.24.2012

Happy birthday, Maybelle!

The New Mama
Four years ago today.  We're in the NICU.  That's the smile of a woman who knows she's supposed to be happy but is scared to death.  And she's holding a very, very small person (5 1/2 pounds) who, at that point, was still named "Baby Girl Piepmeier." 

Happy birthday, Maybelle!
Here we are this morning. Biffle and I are looking a little more road-worn, and Maybelle is a legitimate big girl. Certainly not a baby anymore, and not even a toddler. When we showed Maybelle some of the old pictures this morning, she said, "Teeny baby."  We said, "That's you!" and she angrily replied, "No!" As the page she's reading below says, she's now a "very very very very very very very very big girl."

Reading with Boppa

And here she is at school, a thoughtful person carrying her lunchbox, wearing her Marvel comics t-shirt, wearing her Really Big Girl Underwear, eager to go hang out with her friends.
Thoughtful birthday school drop-off

If I could say something to the woman in the top picture, the woman who was thinking, "Parenthood! NICU! Down syndrome! Holy [expletive]! [Expletive expletive]!", I'd tell her to wait just a little while. This parenthood thing is tough, but it's great fun. I'd tell her she's going to be able to recite the entire Mary Poppins movie, line for line, and sing along with the Wiggles' repertoire.  She's going to learn quite a bit of sign language.  And she's going to love Maybelle more than she can imagine it's possible to love anyone.

Happy birthday, Maybelle!

14 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Happy Birthday, adorable Maybelle and happy Birth Day to you, Allison!

Deborah said...

Happy Birthday, Maybelle!

Jen Howard said...

Happy happy birthday Maybelle!!

Michelle said...

Happy 4th birthday to the very very big girl Maybelle!

Meriah said...

*sniff* this teared me all up.

Happy birthday, Maybelle!!

xoxox And happy birthing day, mama!

(PS - today is my niece's birthday and it's also my great-grandma's birthday - it's one of my favorite days for birthdays, ever)

erniebufflo said...

Happy Birthday Maybelle!

I'm only 5 months in, but I too have photos of a scared shitless new-mom me, completely terrified of this whole new "I have twins and they're a month early and one has spina bifida and is having surgery at two days old" world. Just the other day, as I sat with that baby with the SB in my lap, completely healed from surgery and performing her absolute favorite activity next to eating: smiling and being smiled at, I thought, "Man, I wish I could show THIS baby to the me at 20 weeks pregnant who got a scary diagnosis and didn't have a clue what she was in for." My baby girl, both of my baby girls, are beautiful people and I love them more than I ever thought possible. And I get to help them become thoughtful, curious, kind, little activists. So amazing!

lifeversiontwo said...

Happy Birthday, Maybelle, and Happy Birth Day, Alison!

Anonymous said...

oh, this is so wonderful! congratulations...and yes, isn't it strange that we aren't shown pics of the happy, loving, and amazing kids when we are given "THE diagnosis"... ps my son is 19 today! the baby has grown! grace

claire said...

Happy Day Maybelle -- pretty soon you will find tiresome the ways in which we adults are simply amazed (and I am amazed!) at how these tiny tiny bundles of tears and poop and up being people in the world! It is an incredible process.

Cindy said...

Happy birthday Maybelle!!!

starrlife said...

And now I get to a real computer so that I can Wish properly! What a wonderful day to celebrate a wonderful life! I'm sure you all had a great time together! WooHoo Maybelle!

mary said...

happy birthday x4 maybelle!

krlr said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAYBELLE!

Cassie said...

Happy (belated) Birthday, Maybelle! May there always be a smile on your face, balloons to send into the bright blue sky, and friends with you to laugh and watch them go up.