The Hailey Herald

The Hailey Herald

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2nd So Different than the 1st

This might sound peculiar, but Hailey's 2nd birthday is so different than her first.  The first year was so much about fear, survival, sadness, the unknown, and exhaustion.  Having basically every aspect of your world turned upside down.  Hailey being diagnosed with Down syndrome wasn't what we "expected" or "planned".  It wasn't "our dream" for our 3rd child.  Our only daughter.  Just with Ds, we were thrown into a facet of life that we were never a part of before.  I felt like a needed a dictionary just for the new terminology that was thrown around from day one....hypotonia (low muscle tone), palmar creases, EI (early initiative), IFSP (individual family service plan), physical therapies, etc.  Then add to it, eating and breathing issues she had to overcome to just graduate the NICU to come home to her brothers.  The NICU was a new experience for us, as well.  There was March 17...the day our little one came home.  The second time my world had stopped in 3 weeks.  The day we found out that she had a congenital heart defect and would definitely need open heart surgery in a few months.  Having someone tell you to watch for the signs of congestive heart failure in your 3 week old, makes you fear sleeping.  What if something happens in the night?  What if I miss something?  Following that was other specialists that we started seeing regularly...audiologists, ophthalmologists, physical therapists, developmental pediatrician, occupational therapists and speech therapists.  We were fortunate with Hailey...her list is relatively short compared to some children with Ds.  Added to that was the pressure I put on myself to try to nurse Hailey.  It didn't work so I made myself pump for 6 months.  Every 3 hours for 6 long months.  I gave myself one heck of a guilt trip after 6 months when I physically and mentally couldn't go on any longer and quit.  Her hospital visit for OHS was short...we were only there 3 1/2 days but I think I aged 30 years that week. 

When Hailey's first birthday arrived, we were so happy.  We made it.  We survived!  Don't get me wrong, it was not a miserable year.  We had a lot of good times that year also, but it can be a challenge to overcome so much all at once.  To adapt.  We had a huge bash for Hailey's birthday last year.  We celebrated with family and friends that were on the journey with us.  It was a celebration for them as well.  We had all learned so much that year and we were so proud and in love with Hailey. 

This last year has been different.  I didn't dread her birthday this year.  I didn't get the huge emotional wave that I did on her first birthday.  The memories are still quite vivid.  I can almost replay every minute of her birth and first day, but the rawness doesn't exist.  This year has been fun.  More and more of Hailey's personality has emerged.  We are getting a true glimpse of who Hailey is.  In her mannerisms, her play, her interaction with people.   I have been truly excited for today.  So excited that my little girl has turned 2!

So what does Hailey do on her 2nd birthday?  Not a lot.  Everything is much lower key this year!  She had swim lessons this morning with big brother.  She is napping now with Daddy.  This evening she will have a huge plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce (one of her favorite foods...just make sure you have time to give her a bath afterwards).  She will finish the night off with cake and presents with mom, dad, and her two brothers.  She'll spend today like most of her days....laughing a lot, sharing loads of kisses and making as many messes as humanly possible!

Here's to celebrating 2!  I love you more than you will ever know baby girl!

Having a lengthy conversation with Papaw on her play phone.

Putting her baby down for a nap...complete with blanket that she covered the baby's head with.

She seems quite happy that she has full control of the remote control.


  1. Your first year reflections compared with the second sound SO much like my own. It's funny how much our girls' first years paralleled one another. Happy anniversary to you! (And of course, Happy Bday to your little love!)

  2. Happy birthday, Hailey!!!! Love her adorable, personalized outfit. Very sassy! Yes, that first year is such a roller coaster.

  3. How can our little ones be 2! Time flies!