Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy birthday, Allison!

Allison and her daughter Lexie 18 June 2010
Allison is 42 years old today, June 22. She is my niece, Norma Jean's daughter. You wouldn't know from this picture that Allison had just given birth by C-section, to her precious baby girl conceived by in-vitro fertilization. I got permission from Norma Jean to tell their story, because I still find it amazing how some life comes into being these days.

Allison is a very strong-willed and beautiful career woman, with many promotions through the ranks as an officer in the Army. Soon she will become a Lt. Colonel, but that pretty incredible accomplishment pales in comparison to that child in her arms. Although Allison has been married before, she is not married right now, and she must have been paying close attention to that biological clock that many of us women are aware of: soon she would no longer be able to bear a child.

She tried to conceive this way a while back, but she was unsuccessful. Norma Jean told me in a conversation with her not long before Lexie was conceived that Allison would give it one more try, and if she didn't conceive, she would turn to adoption. Norma Jean, Pete (my brother-in-law) and I were dubious about the wisdom of conception this way, with a high-powered career woman for a mother and no father. We discussed this, all of us, on the phone a few times, and I was just not sure this was a good move.

But nobody stands in Allison's way for long: when she makes up her mind to do something, she follows it to the end. And guess what? She did conceive! One little egg was fertilized with one little donor sperm, and Alexandra Petra Stewart was begun. Allison had a completely normal and complications-free pregnancy until a few weeks ago, when she began to go into labor six weeks early.

She was put into the hospital and the doctors figured that bed rest and some drugs to slow down the delivery would give the baby more time in the womb, but it was not to be. Lexie wanted to be born, and she came into the world six weeks early on June 18. She was 5 pounds, 5 ounces, which makes me wonder what size she would have been if carried to term!

All is well, Allison has been discharged and Lexie will be sent home to join her mother in a week or so. She will remain in the NICU (natal intensive care unit) until the doctors are sure her lungs are sufficiently developed. She is having some periods of apnea that should disappear once she gains some strength.

Norma Jean and Pete are thrilled. Much more so than they thought they would be. They were on an extended motorcycle trip during this time and checked into a hotel a few nights ago. Pete got on line and asked Norma Jean in a trembling voice if she wanted to see a picture of her beautiful granddaughter, and they both cried over the Facebook pictures that Allison shared with all of us. That's where I snagged the picture.

No matter how this person was conceived and brought into the world, that little life will be loved and cherished with a full cadre of family members who will bring their love, hopes and desires into her world. We already love her immoderately. And we have always loved her mother.

19 comments:

  1. Babies bring with them their own love into this world, don't they. That little one will enrich the lives of all who get to know her and it is plain to see that she has the love of her mother already. Better just a mother than a mother with a bad father, right? Allison will have support and she will manage. Keep us informed how that little one grows up, please?
    Blessings, Star

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy Birthday to Allison and congratulations on the new adorable wonderful beautiful baby!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy Birthday! Happy birth day! Obviously another little soul has entered the world, born out of great love, determination and expectation! Bravo for you, Allison. (Your first name and my maiden name!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welcome to the world, baby! Happy Birthday, and congratulations, Allison!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aw.... look at that beautiful wee baby...! Happy Birthday, Allison, and

    Happy Birth Day to you little daughter. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congratulations and happy birthday to Allison.Beautiful story & baby looks sweet.So,there's hope after 40.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Happy Birthday to the new Mom! She almost got a big birthday gift!
    I know things are changing..I just drag my feet..I still think that every child deserves a Mom and a Dad. Parenting is hard, and when it all falls to one person it is even harder.
    But I support Allison's choice to undertake this Mothering and Fathering process all by herself, she will need the love and support from her family and friends:)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was a single mother and then married my husband almost 2 years after my daughter was born. He has turned out to be a wonderful father. Perhaps, your niece will be just as lucky. It is always easier to have a devoted husband and father to help with raising a child.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My company threw me behind on my blogging, but I'm working to catch up.

    I read all about your sky diving accident and I'm totally amazed you are walking, let alone hiking in the mountains. You are an amazing woman. A good example of what determination can do.

    I loved the story about your niece and great niece. That baby will know it was no accident, that it was dearly wanted. I say more power to women like your niece. It's good to have a husband and father but many a biological child is raised without that influence. I have no doubt your niece and your family will do great with this precious wee one.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congratulations to them both...they will be a terrific family, surrounded by more family who love them.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a lucky Lexie to be surrounded in love. Happy birthday Allison...it seems your wish has already come true for this birthday.
    And congratulations to you Great Aunt DJan.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A wonderful story. My first born was about 5 wks. early and weighed only 4 pounds...but she grew up to be a beautiful and smart lady now...so her baby will be just fine!

    ReplyDelete
  13. D-Jan,I've got an award for you,come see!

    ReplyDelete
  14. My own niece had to use this method because her husband had survived cancer. (Before the chemo, they saved sperm.) She engineered the pregnancy to have the baby on my birthday and had to schedule a cesarian, which she asked for on my birthday! A very expensive procedure, (test tubing is NOT covered by our generous health care,) but rewarding for anyone who has difficulties and every year on my birthday I enjoy my beautiful present!
    I'm so happy for you and your family with this gift you've all been given. Give my very best to your niece! Without my niece, my life would certainly be less content!

    As a sidebar... I was watching a TV show called Cowboy Country and they were featuring a ranch just outside of Vancouver. While watching the film run of the ranch, I noticed that they focused on a Red Winged Blackbird. (You had commented you'd never seen one?) So! Maybe you just have to find a pasture!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Congratulations and best wishes to this new little family.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Happy Birthday Allison! And congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter.

    Great story DJan, thanks for sharing. Allison sounds like a wonderful person.

    ReplyDelete
  17. An amazing story! That little girl will always know how very much she was wanted. I can understand your concerns but 'where there's a will there's a way.' I often remark (right after I've passed the kids off to someone else) that I don't know how single parents do it. It's not just the frustrating or stressful moments, it's the fact that there's no one else mirroring that look of amazement when your child does something awesome. Best wishes to both mother and baby!

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a lovely story. Congratulation and happy belated birthday to Allison.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congratulations!!! That is a lovely tale! All the best to Allison for this new adventure in her life! :o)

    ReplyDelete

I really appreciate your comments! If you see a word verification box here, just ignore it. I don't use the darn thing and Blogger is trying to get us to use it, I guess. Ignore it and your comment will still appear.