since my beautiful baby, Katie, was born. She’s still beautiful. Even sporting a haircut that would make a Marine (or a career Army guy) proud. She had a fun day today, I think. Ben sang her every version of the happy birthday song he knows (think, regular, Blue’s Clues version, Trout Fishing in America version, Imagination Movers version . . .at this point I’m thankful there aren’t more versions, or at least that he doesn’t know them). While she was napping Ben and I wrapped her presents. Well, I wrapped them once I wrested them away from Ben, though all three presents received his seal of approval. Then he and I made cupcakes. Our friend over at Overflowing Brain suggested a pile of icing on a small piece of cake to see if Katie would accept that. Miss Katie played with the frosting and that was about it, but we have cute pictures of her fussing about frosting on her hands, so that’s cool.
She loves her Baby Einstein Count and Compose Piano. She was thrilled when she figured out that pressing the buttons makes music. She’s big into the head bobbing, baby dancing thing at the moment. The doll was not as big of a hit, but she’s a bit young, maybe. Ben, however, adores it. He was busy all afternoon until bed time, feeding her doll, changing her doll’s diapers, and so forth. I wonder why it never occurred to me that he might like a doll of his own. Sigh. Well, there’s the option of Sam’s practice baby if he really wants one. Sam certainly doesn’t need it anymore (think babyproofing a dog — eh, I’ll add it to the list of things I want to blog about).
I think, for a one year old, it was about the best birthday one could hope to have. She will be having a party later with godparents, grandparents, and assorted friends, but that’s more of a thank you for supporting us this year than a true Katie is one party, though there will definitely be some of that, too.
And yet . . . all day I had a combination of happiness and sadness. I can’t believe it’s been a year. I can’t believe how much ground I still need to regain and it’s been a year already. I still can’t drive much past the interstate near our house. I haven’t been able to drive myself to my parents’ house in over a year. I fight bouts of dizziness that have nothing to do with my hair color (blonde, for those who haven’t ever met me); I get worn out easily. I feel like I’ve been flattened a million times over. I have less strength in my left arm than I should have and it is super pain sensitive (that would be the one where the IV infiltrated and left me with a pint of blood where tissue and stuff should be). My concentration is still weak. I have serious bouts of depression and anxiety. So intense that I can barely breathe. It’s just unreal to me that a year could go by and though I am miles ahead of where I was at this time last year, I still have miles to go before I get back to where I was on even November 16, 2008, and trust me when I say that wasn’t exactly the best place my body and health have ever been.
And even as I write this and think about what I have to do and where I have to go, I can’t help but think of Anissa Mayhew tonight and think about the journey she’s embarking on. Her road will be different from mine, but no less fraught with irritations, disappointments, and struggles. She has a fabulous support system and I hope, I hope that she gets the chance to be as grateful to hers as I am to mine.
So, to those of you who came and stayed with Ben, or who brought us things when we needed them, or who flew in to help my mom, or knitted hats for Katie to give to the hospital that took such outstanding care of her while her mommy couldn’t, we say thank you. And if you’re reading this and you want to help another young mother who is in a truly devastating situation, please go here: Help for Anissa and do what you can.