Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Dear Ellie,

When you first came into the world, I looked at you and saw a fetus stranded outside of the womb.  A foiled miscarriage, ready to perish at the slightest shift in conditions.  I was mortified at the idea of touching you.  I didn't dare hold you or tend to you with my untrained hands while you were so frail.  At that time, there was no room to feel anything but wounded love and a resentment toward whatever gatekeeper of fortune caused your early birth.  Whenever I looked into the future, it seemed murky and bleak.  At your lightest, you were 1 pound 1 ounce.

Now, I look at you and see something very different.  A healthy baby that needs a little extra help with her lungs.  I relish the opportunity now to touch and hold you.  I change your diapers and take your temperature and don't feel as though I lack the proper training, because you are so big.  Now, there is no room to feel anything but warmth and pride and I'm grateful that your unexpected extra time outside of the womb has been so easy for you.  Whenever I look into the future, it is clear and promising.  Now, you are more than three times your lowest weight: 3 pounds 10 ounces.

You were born only 9 weeks ago but it already seems as though you've been with us for years.  When I look at you now and then think back to you as that scrawny little tent of bones, it feels like I've watched an entire phase of your life go by: like baby to toddler or teenager to adult.  In two short months, you've transformed in such a way that you have become unrecognizable from before.

I feel like I've transformed, too.  I'm not afraid to express how I feel anymore.  Or perhaps more fundamentally, I'm just not afraid to feel.


  1. Love this newest picture!! Ellie is SO adorable!
    Can't wait for her to get big enough to hold and cuddle...and to see where life is going to take her. She's got the fight and you two have got the support to get her where she needs to be. Was pleased this morning when my students wanted to know the latest about her.

    1. Always love to hear from you, Debby! There will be many more pictures and updates to come. Also, thank you for the gift this weekend!

    2. You are more than welcome! I figured mom and dad needed something, too. Ellie's turn will come when she's home. Sometime Bob and I would love to take the two of you to dinner and get to know you both better. Between Ellie's needs and our wacky "two-high-school-seniors" schedules, we'll find a time that works.

  2. Hi baby girl! I wish I could have been there the first week or two to see just how tiny you were. I used to try to enlarge the photo on the computer screen to try to get a gauge of the full sized Eleanor. There was one photo very early on where I enlarged the photo to the point where my hand was the same size as the nurse handling you....it was alarming and I quickly proceeded to shrink the photo back to it's original size because it just didn't seem possible. This is when you were your tiniest.
    I'll be coming home in August for a good long while, and the first thing I thought of was seeing you! At this point I imagine you will be out of the hospital and will be the size of a typical baby, although a few months behind, but no one will know the difference unless you told them. I love you Ellie Bellie. Can't wait to give you lots of kisses. Auntie Andy