Her daddy got to see her shortly after her birth as she was being prepped for intubation and transport to the NICU at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. I was immediately transferred to the ICU there the hospital where she was born, Providence Portland. I met Elise the next evening once I had been transferred to St. Vincent. We later found out that they normally never deliver babies as small as Elise at Providence Portland. But there wasn't time to transfer hospitals. We also just recently found out that she is the smallest baby that the midwife who works with my OB has delivered.
Click here to read the full story of Elise's birth and first 36 hours of life.
Amidst all that went on that first evening of Elise's life, we were asked multiple times whether we understood what was going on because we were so calm. As I've read stories of other parents of preemies, they mention the shock that was going on at the time and how it took a while for it to all to sink in. I've thought about that and pondered whether that shock occurred in our situation. But we actually did understand what was happening and simply had complete peace that the Lord was in control.
We had been praying for a few weeks before she was born through portions of James 1 as our church was going through a sermon series on James. We sought the Lord's wisdom and praying that we would remain single-minded followers of Him as He provided that wisdom, even in trials. We definitely had no idea that this prayer would be answered in such a life-altering way. But when it happened, we both knew that the only thing we could do was trust and pray. So we each prayed silently as the whole thing unfolded.
Kit was told by a couple of the medical staff after my C-section that we came within 15 minutes to an hour of both Elise and I dying. That reality is something I am still processing through, especially as we prepare for the birth of our new little girl. But today we rejoice in thankfulness for both Elise's life and mine. Elise is truly a demonstration that "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father..." (James 1:17).
Yesterday we celebrated Elise's beautiful little life and first year with a big party at our house. We were joined by many family members and friends and were blessed to share in the celebration with so many who have loved, supported and prayed for us this past year. Thank you to everyone who celebrated Elise with us! And thank you for all the wonderful clothes, accessories, toys and books!
I'll post an official update of all Elise's stats and what she's doing in the next couple of days. (Her one-year pediatrician appointment is tomorrow.) For now, here are some of the photos from her party. Not sure why our camera was having trouble with eyes and making them look a shimmery. But I'm sure I'll have more to post as we get them from the friends and family who were taking pictures on their cameras (hint, hint...email them to me).
Getting ready for the cupcake!
Not thrilled with everyone singing the happy birthday song. Grandpa thinks it's because she could hear how off key the singing was.
Watching daddy blow out the candle. Again, not too thrilled.
Tentatively touching it.
Her first bite of frosting.
Starting to dig in.
And the eating by the handful begins.
"Hmm...this stuff's pretty good."
After literally months of planning Elise's party, I managed to neglect to take any photos of the decor (streamers, balloons and almost 120 photos of Elise), food (including nearly 70 cupcakes), drinks (pink lemonade and regular lemonade options with blueberries that managed to clog the drink dispensers - oops, water and coffee) and candy table (where you could fill treat bags with various candies). So this morning I took a few photos of the decor. I'm hoping someone has more photos of everything else.