Monday, March 10, 2008

happy 1st birthday calla!

it's hard to think a year ago today we welcomed calla elizabeth johnson into the world.

brand new

5 lbs, 2 oz - 17.5 inches long

calla decided she likes sunbathing at an early age

she was so little...and we went two weeks without her being home with us. it's now hard to imagine going a day. it's been interesting over the year the times we have mourned those weeks we lost. even just going through pictures to post flooded me with emotions & put me right back in evanston northwestern a year ago. being a premie isn't something that defines calla, but it will always be a part of who she is. as many new parents know when you have children, you start talking with other parents about when your children were born (early/late), labor, parenting tips, etc. with calla's story, there is always the fact that she was over 6 weeks early. it's just a part of her story. but as her parents it was painful to visit her every day & not take her home. i can remember just sitting at the hospital, holding her & crying because i knew at the end of my visit i was going to put her back into a box...and when would she be held again? who was going to just love and cuddle her? all i thought about was that if she was home we could just hold her all day long if we wanted to. i remember people saying, "just be thankful you are sleeping"...let me tell you, i would rather have been up all night long and have her home. but i also knew that the longer she stayed in the hospital, the healthier she got & the less likely she would need to return to the hospital. and she is healthy...and happy. so while the two weeks were what she needed, it will always be remembered as a tender time.

and calla today, on her 1st birthday:

taking her first sips of real, whole milk

she likes it!

the birthday bib (greta wore this one too...what will we do if we ever have a boy?)

getting her birthday cupcake

diving in! i think babies eating messy cake and frosting is one of my favorite things. i love watching them discover the texture, mashing it around in their fingers, spreading it all over their faces. it's too fun.

happy birthday calla...we love you!


ann-marie said...

happy birthday, calla! so glad to see you so happy and healthy. now if only we could see you (and your family) more often!

Melissa said...

What a touching post, Sarah. I can't imagine how difficult Calla's early delivery and those days that followed must have been for you. I'm so glad your girls are both healthy and happy. Happy birthday, Calla!

The Process said...

Sarah, I can never imagine how you and Mike pulled through those first two weeks. You have been amazing parents to both your little girls since day one

Happy one year of livin' Calla! We're so glad you're here!


simplicity said...

Happy Birthday Calla! Can't believe it's been a year! You're a great mom Sarah and I miss you...a lot! I always love our phone chats, we should have one soon?

Orrange said...

hey sara,
happy birthday to your little girl! already one! Reading your story was so reminiscent for me. I remember those feelings. I'm glad you guys had the grace to get through it.

Mindi said...

i know i am late on this but what a year huh! How fast time flies and how fun it is to watch what God does through all of it. And look at that precious face now!! I can't wait to see you soon!

Becca said...

Sarah - what a beautiful essay and way to honor and lift up your sweet Calla. You always have an encouraging and courageous perspective on life - it is a gift and something so special that defines you. Thanks for being an inspiration! I love you and your wonderful family. Miss you dearly - Becca.