Dear Genevieve Emilia,
You my sweet girl are a crazy miracle we never knew we needed. You see, after your brother was born we were told that the odds that we could get pregnant and stay pregnant were fairly low. I had some medical things going on that would make a pregnancy impossible. Your dad and I accepted this news. We didn’t really grieve it. We jumped into the life of your brother. He was born earlier than anticipated and needed some extra help with things. I will also admit that I went crazy because I wanted to keep him healthy and safe. The NICU life will do that to you that’s a road I pray you never have to go down.
Whitman never slept dear girl, your dad and I were in survival mode. Somedays he slept the normal amount of time for his age and sometimes he’d go days averaging 2 hours of sleep. It was not ideal. When your brother turned 3 we got him into preschool. The day before he was to start I didn’t feel good. I thought for sure I needed my gallbladder out but thought I’d take a pregnancy test and sure enough it was positive. I yelled for your dad who entered the room like he does with the scowl of why am I here he had your brother in tow naked with one cowboy boot on, you know it rolls around this house. I showed him the test and while it took him a few minutes to come around he was excited. We kept you a secret we didn’t want to get our hopes up and have you not make it. I bought a t-shirt for your brother and we decided at Christmas we would tell everyone. Mainly because I couldn’t stop puking and it was making hiding you so much harder.
Everyone was thrilled and I’m sure one day when you’re older we’ll whip out the videos we took of everyone’s reactions. We went to our first few ultrasounds to keep an eye on you. We marveled at the way you moved. We stared at your ultrasound pictures. We talked about hopes, dreams, and the life we hoped we could give you.
On the day we found out you were not going to be a Wells Tyler or a Wyatt Jason you were going to be Genevieve. We named you after your MeeMee. She is my favorite person and we knew that you would have a fierce personality like her just by watching you on the monitor. We couldn’t decided on a middle name and your dad said: “What about Emilia, so her initials will be G.E.” You my amazing girl are named after your MeeMee with the initials of your Papa. He was an amazing man who loved you fiercely. I feel like you got robbed because you won’t remember his greatness. But trust me when I say he loved you.
You, my dear, sweet, feisty, Vivi have always been a follow your own rules type of girl. At week 34 you decided that you needed to come and meet the fam. We weren’t ready we needed some more time to prepare. You needed some more time to cook. When the midwife at the hospital realized that I was having consistent contractions and that you were breech she did an ultrasound and we saw it. You standing in my stomach the midwife laughed and said: “I’m pretty sure she’s giving me the middle finger.” We stopped you from coming for a few weeks and just like everything you have done since you came into this world with drama and excitement.
We brought you home and our lives began. I always had this picture of you and your brother playing. But a few weeks after you born we found out that your brother has something called Apraxia and that makes talking hard. Mommy wants to apologize to you because after that diagnosis she went into advocate mode. She gave up trying to pump for you because Whit’s therapy came first. Someday if you have a baby you’ll understand that there’s this mom guilt that hits. Your brother needed a little extra help and you were thriving so I picked and chose.
You spent a lot of time with your Omie, Aunt Flo, and Aunt Chris. They took care of you while Mommy and Bubbas went to therapies. You were so happy and content. After your brother’s Autism diagnosis something happened. Your brother was picked for a special school to meet his needs and we began our journey. You became my sidekick. We spent hours together at the rehab facility. We ran errands and then sat in the corner by the bathroom away from everyone. People would marvel at your cuteness and sass. We would color, play games, and watch movies on the iPad.
We would pick Bubba’s up, grab lunch, and then you’d be apart of the therapy sessions. You began to crawl but only on your knees. You did this for months. You wore out every possible pair of pants. And then one day on the second floor of the rehab center right in front of the elevators you walked to a sweet little boy and said “aye boy” and ever since you have run all over. I wish we had a better Vivi walked story but sadly our life was around the rehab center. We lived there 5 days a week.
There are many days when I feel like you deserved better. You deserved zoo trips and library reads but the truth is Mommy is a chicken. She knows that trying to do an activity with the both of you can be impossible. But we are getting better. I feel like on the daily I somehow have failed you because for so long I was in survival mode.
I promise as you get older I’ll get braver by myself and take you on more adventures. You deserve all the things baby girl. You are hilarious. From asking your daddy if he is pooping on a zoom to your ummmm Mommy’s and insert whatever observation you have to telling Whit’s OT that you just weren’t going to do dat when she asked you to play a game.
You keep us on our toes and you make life so much better. Like I started this letter you are the best miracle we didn’t know we needed. You saved us. We were living in a hard world and God knew just what he was doing by giving us you. Thank you for being you.
The world is cold Genevieve. You make it a better place, you advocate for Bubba’s on the daily be it for cookies, Sprite, or more screen time. You force him into your world with a sass and grace that I admire and fear because your teenage years will be here eventually. You make me feel like I maybe doing something right. The jury is still out on that because a lot of days I feel like I have failed you. I love you sweet Bibby Boo.