Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy 21, Chels!!!

To my Chelsea;

You are a fighter, my sweet girl. For those times that you doubt yourself, this I share this with you so that you know just how far you have come and that you can do anything you set your mind to. I am your biggest cheerleader because I have seen firsthand just what you are made of, Sweetie.


March 20th. marks your 21st. birthday. One that I know you have anxiously been awaiting! It is the first day of Spring...what a special day to come into this world!! The day God knew you would enter into it, but technically, it was 2 months earlier than you should have been born.


I became very sick while I was carrying you and the doctors had to deliver you early. Not only 2 months earlier than should have been, but they told me that you had not grown or received nutrients a good month prior to that. Honestly, I have never been so scared in my life. My belly was so small that some people did not even realize I was pregnant. I could not possibly give birth, yet! I loved you so much and wanted so desperately for you to remain in my belly until you were bigger and stronger, but it was not meant to be.

I was going to be a first time Mommy, but what was going to happen to my baby? There were at least 10 doctors and nurses crowded in the room when you were born and they all stood by with lots of equipment and ready to whisk you away as soon as I delivered you. And that they did. I could barely even get a glimpse of you as they took you to NICU. I did hear the words "it's a girl" and I was sooo excited about that because I really wanted a little girl!


You spent your first month of life in NICU getting stronger and then you were finally ready to come home to us! Oh, how excited we were!! My baby, who I had to leave each and everyday and come home to an empty nursery, was finally coming home!

They sent you home at just 4 pounds and on a heart monitor that you had to be hooked up to 24/7 for the first year of your life. That thing used to scare Daddy and I every time the alarm went off in the middle of the night! Thankfully, they were mostly false alarms!


Now, this is the part I want you to really hear. We were told over and over that you would most likely have delays. You "could have vision problems, you could have CP, you will not walk on time, you will be delayed", etc. We spent your first year going to specialists and having them come into our home. All mandatory for a preemie.

They monitored you very closely for all of the issues that could have held you back. But do you know what? You did not skip a beat. All of the "could haves" and "she probably wont's" were not in your mindset. You showed them. You showed us all just what you are made of. Nothing was going to hold you back. You kicked butt and you kept up with all of your peers who were born on time. You beat the odds, sweetie.


So, now you know where and how you started your life. Hold this in your heart and everytime doubt sets in, remember what you are made of. The sky is the limit and you are a fighter. And I will continue to be your biggest cheerleader, because I know. I know.



Honestly, I could not be any prouder of you. You are such a beautiful young lady, both inside and out. You have a loving and compassionate heart.

You are the best big sister EVER. Ella and Sophie are so blessed to have you. Who else would teach them all of the important things in life...manicures, how to dance, slang vocab and just plain "how to be cool". : ) How many 6 year olds know what Delta Phi Epsilon is and can spot their symbol a mile away?!





Even though Ryan would never admit it, he also knows you are a great big sis and that you got his back.








You are just plain fun and I love your lighthearted "life is a party" personality. The house is always quieter while you are away and we miss you terribly.


There are lots of wrong turns you could have made the past few years, yet you didn't. You have made good, responsible choices and you have always picked wonderful friends...because you are a good friend in return. I am most thankful for that.

Keep on being wonderful you and working hard in college. The sky is the limit and you will always be my little fighter!!!

And most importantly(for you, anyway).....21 Girly!! CHEERS!!!!!

I love you!!!



The Byrd's Nest said...

Twins!! You look like twins:) What a beautiful post to a very precious gift from God. What a miracle she is, Elisabeth was born 8 weeks early also (our family is WAY too freakishly alike I tell ya) but I had diabetes and ummmm... gained (ahem) 60 pounds with her and she was almost 6 pounds so no NICU for her.

I LOVE the picture with the little ones and the way that Sophie is look at Chels...soooo precious!

I know you must miss her as a daughter and a friend....I continue to pray for her and can't wait to see what God will do with her future!!!

Kristin said...

How sweet Michelle!!! A wonderful post about a wonderful girl. Happy birthday Chelsea!!

Heather said...

Has it really been that long since you posted?????????????

I am with Kimberley...she is your mini me and what a blessing because you are amazing!

I love her spirit and fight!

Happy Birthday are so beautiful, in every way!

Jo in Australia said...

Wow, what a wonderful story of hope & love. You have a way with words, Michelle! Chelsea's 21st is certainly something special to celebrate. It sounds like she is a beautiful daughter, sister & friend. Just love all the photos, especially the ones with her little sisters.

JShannon said...

What a great post! It's kind of cool and sad all at once when one of your children turns the big 21, isn't it? You want them to be "grown up and responsible" but at the same time you want them to stay little too.
I hope Chelsea has a GREAT birthday!

Sherri said...

I love Ryan's "almost" smile in that last beach picture. Our families are so similar!

Happy 21st Chelsea! Don't do anything your mom wouldn't do!

Kim said...

Happy 21st Birthday Chels.. you are sooo BEAUTIFUL.. you look so much like your Mother , who is an AMAZING Mom and a WONDERFUL friend..
May your day be filled with such joy..

Anonymous said...

Happy 21st Birthday to your Dear Daughter, Chelsea! May this be a wonderful year for her! Love, Maria

Faith, Hope, and Love said... eyes are all full of tears over here... I can't see what I'm typing. :)
That was a beautiful tribute to your gorgeous girl! I had no idea her life was off to a rough start. That had to be so frightening for mom and dad. I'm am so thankful that Chels blossomed without delays. Thank you Jesus!
Happy 21st birthday to your beautiful blessing!

Love ya!

Sharon said...

What a tribute Michelle!! And such a lovely daughter you have raised. And no wonder you are such an amazing woman ..what all you have been through (with your first born born so early! etc) Growing you up I suppose. You are killing me with the heartstrings, one step ahead of me in this, watching them go. Fabulous post...more more more!!!
God Bless you, you wonderful momma!
PS And Happy Birthday to beautiful Chelsea, of course.

Colleen said...

Ohhh Michelle, I'm just getting caught up on blogs (have been taking a break from FB for lent)and this is just beautiful!!! What a brave and gorgeous young lady you have raised!!! Your pride for her is beaming in your words written here! Many blessings sent out to her for her "big 21st birthday!!!" I know she has a wonderful future ahead of her!!

Carrie said...

wonderful post!

Ernie said...

Great job Michelle!! You had me tearing up remembering the concerns we had about Chelsea until she shed her monitor. After that point there was no doubt in my mind that God answered our prayers and Chelsea was as normal as normal can be. Actually, she is way more than normal. She is so beautiful inside and out and there is no doubt in my mind that she loves Nanny & Grandpop every bit as much as we love her. Great job not only on this blog, but on raising Chelsea...Love,Dad

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