Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Gift

On February 14,1976 I received a
Special Gift
, the birth of my daughter Valery Lea. She was a surprise since I had another 3 months to go before my due date. I went into the hospital very early that morning hoping that it was just the swine flu that was going around that caused me to be having early contractions doctor said no way to stop them that the baby was going to come. I prayed dearly knowing that this was not good hoping that my prayers would be answered for a healthy surviving child. During these years we really did not know for sure what the sex of the child would be so as my daughter was being born I just prayed. She was rushed from me taken straight into intensive care and then without hestitation the decision was that she would go to Children's Hospital, San Diego,CA. I got to see my daughter for a very short time, the name I decided was Valery, because she was born on Valentine's Day. Valery weighed 1 1/2 pounds and 19 inches long. I looked at her this fragile baby girl covered in white fuzz, long gangle legs and arms with no hair. The doctors told me that it was a miracle that she was alive and not to hope for the best. Those doctors did not know my strong belief in God nor my little daughter's will to live. I remember laying in the hospital bed with one visitor, my Dad bringing me a box of Valentine Day candy. This was the only memory I have of that night because that moment on I only concentrated on being with Valery, who now was being transported to Children's Hospital. I traveled everyday about 30 minutes away from my home to go see her in the incubator lying so peaceful. She received feedings every hour and my only contact with her was through the glass. I stroke her bald head, touched her so tiny fingers and spoke to her letting her know that her Mama was there with her praying that she would get stronger to come home. This went on for about 3 months I became close friends with all the nurses and doctors on the floor for Neo-Natal. They always let me sleep on the couch in the waiting room, made sure I ate and just allowed me to be a mother to my child in the best I could be through a glass dome. The doctors never really had much hope but in April they made the decision to let Valery go home. She now weighed over 4 pounds with lots of complications but she was going home with me. I was lucky my mother helped me for the first few months when Valery went home. I stayed with her so that I could have someone to help me with Valery's feedings. I had to feed her every hour 1 to 2 tablespoons of formula. The first ones we tried Valery had a bad reaction to- her stomach had not developed enough finally after several types of formula soy based was the only thing Valery could tolerate. My mother made doll clothes for Valery since nothing at the stores were for premies at this time. Each day she got stronger and stronger. The first year of Valery's life it was a slow process learning what foods she could tolerate, taking care of her hernia in the belly button area, and hoping she would just grow. Valery's one year check up the doctors were amazed at her growth and how she was at normal levels for her age group. I never had a doubt and Valery made sure we succeeded. I want to tell you that my little daughter exceeded all expectations. She was a straight A student, grew to be almost 6 feet and never was anything of a weakling. She did have more than her share of colds, and always seemed to catch anything odd going around but other than that Valery made it. Valery grew up to be a wonderful person and Mom, now married has 4 children of her own not one of them being a premie. We did worry about this since it does run in the family, my uncle on my Dad's side was a premie and one of my sister's was a premie, guess that is why my Mom was so helpful when her first grandchild came into the world a premie. I am just so THANKFUL for my most wonderful Valentine's Day gift who could ask for anything more ♥


  1. Rachel, thanks for finding me on the Fence. I'm returning the comment, and will definitely be popping in to see what you are making over here. Cute stuff!

  2. Hi Katie thank you for stopping by. I am hoping that you entered the Valentine's Day free Giveaway it ends tonight..Sincerely ♥Rachel

  3. Thank you Mom. I was just telling the kids how important birthdays are and no matter how old you get they still matter. Look at mine, I was never supposed to make it and here I am 35 years later. For some reason I get sick every year at this time, guess its a reminder to how thankful I should be to be another year older and another year stronger.

  4. You are so welcome honey. I think you are right because you are sick every year on your birthday....I never had a doubt Val that you were not going to grow up beautiful and strong. I will have to show your children one day all the pictures I have of you wearing those doll clothes I am sure they will enjoy. Hope you had a wonderful day even though it was laying on the couch sick all good thoughts were being sent your way. Love Mom ♥

  5. truly a miracle. happy birthday to your daughter

  6. HI Sarah so happy you stopped by. It was truly a miracle....Thank you for your message Sincerely Rachel♥