monday, september 8


to my dearest adali grace,


last night i sat awake thinking of your amazing journey to get you to your 6 month birthday.  i remember the day they told me they needed to deliver you like it was yesterday.  how could my body fail you, how could god be doing this to us.  i remember just days before saying that i would give anything for you to be born…then all of a sudden, i would give anything to keep you inside me for 3 more months.  i don’t remember much the night before you were born, but i do remember laying awake listening to your heartbeat on the monitor and pleading with my body to make it 12 more hours.  i needed to see you, i needed to meet the feisty little girl inside me.


in the operating room i remember feeling sick, really sick.  all i wanted to do was close my eyes, but i didn’t want to miss seeing you.  they promised me they would let me see you before they whisked you away.  then all of a sudden, you were here.  daddy told me that you were bigger than he thought you would be.  i had to see you, why weren’t they letting me see you.  finally they brought you over to me, you were so incredibly beautiful…so incredibly tiny but so incredibly beautiful.  once i had seen you, i knew you HAD to live.  i remember telling you to fight as they rushed you out of the room, did you hear me? 


after you were born, my memories get blurry.  i remember daddy coming to see me shortly after they took me to recover.  he was so proud.  he kept coming in and giving me updates on how you were doing, who was at the hospital to see you and what would happen to both of us next.  adali, in case you don’t already know by the time you read this, your daddy is amazing.  he was so strong for all of us and he was so proud to show you off to the whole world.  you are his little princess and always will be.


i remember the doctors telling me that because i was so sick that i would not be able to see you for awhile.  how dare them.  i needed to see me precious little girl.  i needed to help her fight.  i remember getting angry when people would come tell me how you were doing.  they weren’t supposed to see you before me.  i was supposed to be showing you to them.  why did this all seem so foreign?  why wasn’t everything normal?  i quickly learned that “normal” was a word i would learn to hate.


i don’t remember anyone telling me that it was ok to go see you, i just remember all of a sudden daddy was wheeling me down to the NICU.  the NICU seemed so far away from where my room was.  i knew then that i wanted to get better as soon as possible so that i didn’t have to be so far away from you.  when we finally made it to the NICU, i became overwhelmed…an endless hallway of glass filled to the brim with sick babies.  i wasn’t sure i was strong enough to do this.  daddy wheeled me into the room and next to your bed.  there you were, as beautiful as in my dreams.  there were so many tubes, lines and monitors sticking out of you that it broke my heart.  i would have done anything to switch places with you, take away your pain.  i realized that however unfair it may be, this was a fight you were going to have to go through.  daddy and i would be there every step of the way, through every up and every down.  all i could do is pray that you had enough fight in you to make it out.  little did i know then just how much of a fighter you were. 


as blurry as those first few days were, i will NEVER forget the first time i got to hold you.  you looked so peaceful in your little house that i wasn’t sure we should bother you.  however, i just had to touch you and hold you close so that you knew i was there with you and would be there with you every single day.  you weren’t happy when the nurse picked you up but as soon as you laid on my chest, your bare skin against my heart, you settled right down.  this is when I truly felt like a mother.  this is when i fell in love.


the next few days were consumed with thoughts of when i would get to see you again.  i loved going down and reading you books, talking to you and telling you about all of the wonderful people who loved you so much and were helping you through your fight.  some days were easier than others, but all were filled with thoughts of what we would do as a family once we were home.


it is hard for me to go back in my memory to the days in the NICU.  i was there for you every single day.  in a way i was probably trying to make up for the first few days of your life that i couldn’t be there but i went to bed each night thinking about the next morning when i could see your face again.  i never understood why some of the other parents seemed to want to spend their entire day in the lounge when all i wanted to do is be next to your bed looking at you waiting for you to look back at me, to know that i was there with you doing everything i could for you.  i wanted to be your main caregiver, not a nurse…after all i am your mommy.  even though it is hard to go back to that time, there are certainly things that i will never forget about your first few months of life; the day you no longer needed the ventilator to breathe, the first night i saw you stop breathing and the nurses rushing in to bring you back to life, the day they told me that your head ultrasound showed no signs of any brain bleeds, when you reached 1200 grams and could wear clothes, when you tried to breastfeed for the first time, when you took a bottle for the first time, when you cried for the first time, when each one of your eye exams came back showing no signs of ROP, when you passed your hearing test, when they removed the feeding tube for the last time, when you finally came off of oxygen and when dr. sadiq told us that you were finally ours to take home.  these are milestones that most babies never have to worry about, but they are milestones you can be proud of.


you have continued to amaze me since you have been home.  your fight is still burning strong and your smile could melt anyone’s heart.  i thank god every day for blessing me with the most beautiful little girl who loves life as much as i do.  it is the mother who is supposed to teach the child about life, but in your 6 months of life, you have taught me so much more than i could ever have imagined.         


adali, you are the most precious baby girl i could have ever dreamed of.  I hold the journey we have been on very close to my heart.  and whether it’s howling at the moon together, catching butterflies or shopping in paris, i welcome the rest of the journey we are about to embark on. 


love and fairy dust,




2 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Michelle Maul says:

    Wow…and this little entry from your mommy is proof that God only gives to us what we can handle. You, born with all your trials and tribulations were born to your mommy (and daddy) for a reason – they’re both hard core fighters. God knew that if anyone were to take care of you, help you through your downfalls and, be strong enough to pick themsleves and you back up again it would be your mommy and daddy – Jamie and Jastin. You’re oh so loved.

    I’ve said it before and will continue to say it – you’ve come a long way in your little life and amaze us with every new accomplishment. Happy BIG 6month Birthday, can’t wait to celebrate more of your accomplishments with your mommy and daddy and, not to mention, your 1st Birthday!!

    With all our Love,
    The Sweeneys

    p.s. This blog is just another example of how proud your mommy and daddy are of you – so proud that they want the entire world to know just how special you are! Can’t wait for you to get old enough to truely understand the joy (be it salty or sweet) in this blog. xoxo

  2. Lisa & John Bondurant says:


    What a beautiful letter you’ve written to sweet Adali Grace. I know that someday she will be very grateful that these glimpses of her start into life have been captured so that she can see just what she has achieved with her fighting spirit. I was just thinking how much I have learned as I’ve read along from the very first post by her GaGa. Once you were able to start sharing your thoughts and all the pictures it was great to read how she was progressing and know specifically what to pray for. It has made us feel like we are closer to you, Jastin and Adali and we can’t wait to meet Adali in person. She gets more beautiful in each picture we see of her. Your and Jastin’s love for Adali and each other is apparent in each word and picture. I wonder if you’ve ever considered sharing her story, perhaps just through the posts, in some kind of book that would be available to others who don’t know about Adali and haven’t read these posts. I bet it could offer a lot of hope to other new parents who have to go through similar things with their very premature babies. Just a thought.

    Adali is always in our prayers, as are you and Jastin. We are so thankful that she is the little fighter that she is. I know she will continue to amaze everyone all through her life.

    Love, Lisa & John

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