Yesterday was Harper's tenth birthday. Ten. 1-0. A decade.
How can ten years have gone so fast? I remember the day (June 25th) I took the pregnancy test in the bathroom of a Wegmans. I had to know. I couldn't even wait until I got home to take the test. When those two little lines showed up, I was ecstatic. We were going to be parents to another little one, and Emma was going to be a big sister. The best big sister!
For as easy and uneventful as my first pregnancy was, this one was equally as difficult and miserable. I was constantly tired. As soon as the Hubs was home from work, I'd give Emma to him, and I'd go to bed and sleep until the following morning. From about week 18, I was uncomfortable. No position was a good one. I suffered sciatica and craved Diet Coke, which was off limits. I counted the days until March 1, 2006 when this little one was predicted to make her debut.
On February 13, 2006, I was pleasantly surprised when she decided to make her grand entrance into this world just 91 minutes shy of Valentine's Day. My heart swelled beyond belief. My fears of not being able to love another child as much as I loved the first were quickly replaced with an overwhelming love. She stole my heart from the second I set eyes on her.
These ten years have been a rough ride. She was discharged from the hospital with a heart murmur. On the day of her discharge, rather than heading for home, we went straight to an award-winning pediatric cardiologist. A few months later, we found ourselves at a physical therapist after Harper was diagnosed with torticollis. She underwent 3 months of physical therapy to correct her neck muscles. At eighteen months, Harper's pediatric dentist informed us that Harper was tongue tied and would require minor surgery to correct the condition which affects speech development.
Once she started pre-school, one of her instructors voiced concern about her hearing and her speech. We took her to an otolaryngologist who told us she had fluid in her ears that was affecting her hearing and in turn, her speech. We scheduled surgery to have tubes put in her ears and to have her tongue surgery completed. Six hours after the surgery, she was speaking and hearing so much better.
When she was seven, she suffered a bad fall at gymnastics that resulted in a compound fracture in her arm. She was in a full shoulder to wrist cast for 4 weeks and an elbow to wrist cast for another 4 weeks after that. Meanwhile, our older daughter skipped through life with nary a scratch.
And then two years ago, when we thought she had been through it all, Harper was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after we noticed disturbing symptoms such as frequent thirst, rapid weight loss, and bed wetting.
When I look back on the hand of cards Harper has been dealt, I can't help but to feel somewhat resentful. But that feeling quickly passes when I remember how she has persevered. She is one of the strongest, most resilient, and courageous people I know. You will never hear this one complain. In fact, it's just the opposite. You will hear her giggling infectiously. So much so that soon you'll be giggling along with her.
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