Happy 10th Birthday, Alley!

August 14, 2008

Wow! What a lightning fast ten years! Ten years ago today, August 14th, 1998, Alley Caroline Branson was born and our lives have never been the same. She was due on August 23rd but when I went to the doctor on August 13th for my regular check-up, the doctor decided that I should be induced the next morning because she was “big, at least 8 lbs.” I was young and inexperienced so I trusted him. We weren’t even quite finished with our childbirth classes we were taking at the hospital. We went that night and borrowed a video so we could watch ahead and be ready for the next day! Michael, my mom and I headed to the hospital at 6 am the next day. I remember sitting there while we finished checking in and knowing that my life was about to change big-time and I am so glad it did! We didn’t know then whether we were going to welcome a boy or girl into our lives but we were very excited, this being our first child as well as the first grandchild and great grandchild.

I had a funny doctor who made the scary experience of first time childbirth a little easier and thanks to an epidural, it was pretty much pain free. I even slept through some contractions! The doctor guessed the baby would be born by 1:00pm and the nurses thought it would be 3:00. She proved everyone wrong and came at 5:12! I was closely watching the scale to see how much this “big” baby weighed and was surprised to see that she was only 6 pounds 4 ounces! We were all amazed by her and were enjoying watching her but when the shift changed, the new nurse said she heard fluid in her lungs. They then took her to the NICU and hooked her up to some machines. They said she was okay but we didn’t get to hold her. I pumped milk and took tiny little amounts to the nursery for them to give her with a dropper. I got to sit in there with her at night some. I finally got to hold her on Saturday morning but Michael didn’t get to until Sunday morning. She was so tiny! She had a few other minor issues so we had to stay an extra day in the hospital but then she was cleared to go home. We were living with my parents for a few months then until we moved back to Bristol so we went to their house where my mom and sisters gladly helped with Alley and let me get some much needed sleep!

She got plenty of attention and grew quickly, even getting a little chubby. She had a few ear infections and almost choked on something once and scared us half to death but she was a real joy to us all. She has always been a “drama queen” and now she is teaching her younger sisters to be the same way!

I really can’t believe she has finished a decade of life already. I know the next ten years will pass faster than these have and before I know it, she will be leaving our house to move into her own. It is my prayer that she will be a godly young woman who wants nothing more than to “walk in a manner worthy of the gospel”. I know I don’t have too many years left to help prepare her for all the tasks and trials that lie ahead so I know I need to depend upon God now and in the future…it’s all in His hands, not mine, anyway.

She is a huge help to me, especially with a 4 month old sister around. She is talented in drawing and singing and she likes to read, stand on her head, put on plays with her brother and sister, and watch old Andy Griffith episodes. She doesn’t like to do chores or schoolwork but she does anyway! She likes baked potatoes for supper, Cream of Wheat for breakfast (or pancakes), she likes to paint her toenails and fix her hair and coordinate all her accessories! She wants to learn to sew and just recently sewed a pillowcase as a birthday gift for Liam with Aunt Jana’s help. She is a beautiful girl, inside and out, and we love her very much. We can’t imagine life without her.

(In case you’ve never heard why she is named “Alley”…Alley was my maternal great-grandmother’s maiden name and Alley was born the year my great grandma turned 90. My great grandma was the oldest daughter in her family, my grandma was oldest, my mom was oldest, I was oldest and Alley was oldest…5 generations!)

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4 Responses to “Happy 10th Birthday, Alley!”

  1. Jana said

    Happy Birthday to Alley-Gator! We love you very much and hope you have a wonderful 10th birthday!!

  2. Grandpa said

    Hey Gator,

    Happy Birthday, sweet girl. In some ways, it seems that you were born just a short time ago, and in other ways, when I think of all you’ve done and how you’ve grown, it hardly seems possible that it’s all fit into just ten years. I love you and am so very proud of you!

  3. heidi said

    Happy Birthday to a very sweet, smart, funny and talented 2-digit girl!! We love her so much! It was fun re-living her BIRTHday through your writing…it was such a fun and special day becoming an aunt!

  4. Aunt Jane said

    Happy Birthday Alley. Our family is so blessed to have you. You are precious to all of us…This is also the last year you can show someone how old you are with 2 hands. You are getting older!!! We love you very much=)

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