Elaina started her life a lot earlier than her parents had planned. Her nursery had not even been prepared. Her parents had just moved into a new home, and had thought they had another four months to get things together. However, the warning signs started appearing, indicating that something was wrong. The doctors put her mother on bed rest as a precaution, which then led to hospitalization. That however, wasn't enough. Elaina was born via an emergency c-section on a sunny, January morning. We thought it was not her time...but we had yet to realize what Elaina was all about.
When we received the call, we were told Elaina was only going to have a 40% chance of survival. We drove to the hospital as quickly as we could, choked up with tears. Later that day, it was increased to 50% -- still not the odds any of us were hoping for. It just took one look at her to understand why - weighing in at only 1 lb 6 oz, Elaina was the smallest person I have ever seen. It was a miracle that she was still alive, as they had to resuscitate her as soon as she was born. Over the next few days, stuffed animals placed next to her looked enormous. We learned that beanie babies were a closer match in size.
They told her parents that if Elaina did survive, she was sure to have delays -- possible blindness/trouble with her vision, developmental delays and braces for her legs as she got older were the main concerns. Elaina's parents did what most parents would do in that type of situation - they took it day-by-day...and prayed! It was a very rocky road for several months, leaving her parents mentally and physically exhausted. The day she left the hospital just two weeks shy of her original due date was an amazing victory, beyond that which words can describe!
Elaina recently celebrated her third birthday. Her parents are the proud parents of a perfect 3-year old! In fact, her parents and her younger sister have a difficult time keeping up with her! Elaina has no delays at all. When she wants something, there is no stopping her. She is extremely focused and quite a little fighter. She has determination unlike anyone I've ever seen. Just try telling her no; she'll find a way to get what she wants and show you she can do otherwise. It's that same, amazing spirit she first demonstrated in the NICU.
They say that every child is a gift from God and Elaina is certainly that. She radiates beauty wherever she goes, and is truly like a ray of sunshine in the lives of those around her. It's amazing to think that she once used to fit in the palm of her fathers hand. Quite ironic now considering that the world is now in her hands!
Elaina being a stinker, a week before her third birthday
May you see that the possibilities in this life are endless. May you always have hope. May you remember Elaina's story when you feel that there is something you can not do. For if Elaina can accomplish all that she has in her tiny three years, anything is possible in your world!
Have a wonderful day!