Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Audrey!

Audrey Marie Oscarson 2/24/03

Seven years ago today you entered my life. My daughter. My girl. You changed my world completely and I wouldn't have it any other way. Feb. 23, 2003 was a Sunday. Daddy and I went to church that morning and then came home and did a few things around the house. It was a beautiful day so I decided to go for a walk. It was during that walk that I began to wonder if my water had broken. It was not a big rush or anything, just a little bit at a time. I came home and Dad and I decided we'd better go in and get checked out. Sure enough, they confirmed what I suspected. But because I was not having any contractions yet, they sent me home to rest with instructions to come back at midnight. Do you think I rested? No way! I cleaned and tidied up. And I sat and rocked in your room. All ready and waiting for you.

We checked in at the specified time. I was so nervous. Yes we took the childbirth class but until you experience it you have no idea what to expect. By now my contractions had started but were not terribly uncomfortable. Dad and I spent most of the night walking the halls. When I was up and moving I hardly felt anything, but when I would lie down I would be in pain. So up we stayed!

Dr. Cook came in to check on us in the morning. I was only 3 centimeters. He felt that we needed to start Pitocin to get things moving (you needed to be delivered within 24 hours from when my water broke) and he recommended that I get my epidural first. I still wasn't having a ton of pain but I heeded his advice and had my epidural. The day was long. I dozed in and out. I had a wonderful nurse who was gentle and kind. At around 3:00pm Dr. Cook said I was finally 10 centimeters, but that we'd wait another hour before we started pushing so you could move down a bit on your own. Also during this time the nurses switched shifts. I was sad because I really liked my nurse and my first impression of the new nurse was not good. She wasn't very gentle or motherly - and she wore strong perfume. I reminded Daddy something I did remember from our classes - that it would be his job to speak up if I decided I wanted a new nurse. But as time went on I realized she had been hand-picked for me for the pushing phase of my labor.

I started pushing at 4:00pm. I had this crazy notion that after a few good pushes you would be out (guess I wasn't listening that day in our childbirth classes!). An hour later I was tired. And you weren't moving much. Dr. Cook started suggesting maybe we should use the vacuum to help you out. The whole idea scared me. He'd come in every 10-15 minutes and check me and each time he would offer the vacuum. But my new nurse, who I was coming to adore, would give me a pep talk and encourage me and tell me I could do this on my own. She wasn't motherly but she was tough and when she told me I could do this I believed her. We tried all sorts of pushing positions. Not easy being mostly numb from the waist down! But it finally worked. The nurse called Dr. Cook and at 6:02pm you were in my arms.

Now let me just say that from the moment I saw you I was crazy about you. You were beautiful and I was in love. But I was also scared to death. I didn't know anything about how to care for you or nurse you or dress you. You were so small and fragile. I was sure I would hurt you. And why were you crying? But Daddy was calm and confident. He would take you into his strong arms when I didn't have a clue. He would walk you around the halls so I could rest. He's was amazing with you, really. And slowly my confidence grew too.

We struggled with nursing in those early days. I can vividly recall one night when you and I were both crying - we'd been at it for hours and nothing was working. But I leaned down and whispered in your ear, "I won't give up if you won't." And we didn't. And this I promise you - I will never give up. Through the good times and the bad - I will always be here for you. Loving you. Holding you. Cheering you on.

You are growing up so fast. We have an ongoing joke, you and I. I'll say, "Would you please stop growing?" and you'll laugh and say, "Mommy, I can't." But truth be told - I love watching you grow. I love the person you're becoming. I could not be more proud.

So today you are seven my precious girl. I love you so much. You brighten this home with your smiles and songs and laughter. And I'm so glad you're mine.


Jen said...

Happy Birthday Audrey!

Courtney said...

Beautiful Rachel. You make me cry...I can hardly type through my tears. I love to imagine Audrey reading this when she's grown..or when she has kids of her own (then she'll be the one crying!)..Happy Birthday dear sweet girl!

Heather said...

Wow, this is beautiful and I'm crying too! Audrey is a beautiful little girl, my first pick for Lauren's best friend.
God is good and he has given you all you have needed to help groom and shape her into the delightful girl she is.

~beautyandjoy~ said...

Such a tear jerker and so beautiful. What a lovely treasure of memories for her. Just beautiful!