Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

The Room Where No Balloons Floated


It began with a tiny pink lollipop, really no bigger than the tip of my finger.

I saw it sitting quietly on the counter as I stood there in the kitchen, seething; a drinking glass clutched in my hand, poised to throw at the wall, the blood pounding in my ears, drowning out all other noise.

The rage had come from nowhere it seemed, and in an instant, as I looked at that tiny pink lollipop, part of the My Little Pony advent calendar I’d bought my daughter (apparently boys are the only ones who should be taught to rob banks at Christmas), it evaporated. What came next was a sorrow so deep that it shook me to my bones, and I nearly fell to my knees as the sobs wracked my body. I wept, consumed with the kind of feral cry that reminds us that we’re not really that far removed from our animal ancestors.

In that instant, I was transported back to that room. The room where no pink balloons floated. No baskets of flowers were delivered. No visitors came to offer their congratulations. There were no happy phone calls made or cheerful cards read. The room was a barren hospital room overlooking an ice-covered roof and had two – not three – occupants. Both sat on the bed, weeping. Later, it was only one.

I think about that room a lot. I spend a lot of time with my ghosts, roaming those halls and reliving those uncertain days after my daughter was born.

But it is that room that haunts me most.

I want so badly to go back to that room and take that weeping, fractured, shattered woman into my arms and say to her, “Your daughter will live. She will live. She will go on to do amazing things with her life and so will you. Amelia will do much good for so many people. You will take all of these broken pieces and you will rebuild into someone else. Someone better. You will take all of this pain and you will use it to fortify you; to guide you; to help you find yourself. Please know that you are so loved.”

Because I will never forget how alone I felt. Maybe that is where that chasm of rage came from. That secret place, that land of tears and sorrow, that is ours to face alone. It was in that room, where no balloons bobbed and swayed, where no one celebrated Amelia’s life, that I sat alone in my own land of sorrow.

Seeing that lollipop on the kitchen counter brought it all back. It took me back to that room, the most uncertain, horrifying time in my life, and it reminded me of the days when no one celebrated her birth. The memories left me gasping.

I’d wanted so badly to celebrate her first birthday. To throw an ebullient celebration of Amelia’s life, a Fuck You to the Universe. I even had a CandyLand theme picked out. But I was so stuck in that land of tears that I simply couldn’t. It broke my heart.

Amelia will be two on January 28 and I have not planned a party for her. I want to. But it’s hard. This particular party is hard for me. It dredges up memories of some of the worst days of my life.

But I think that is what I need to do; throw her a birthday party, a REAL birthday party, the kind of party she deserved when she entered the world and defied all odds. I’m struggling, battling my demons, my dragons all rearing their heads as I work to slay them.

I will do it. I must do it.

I may never be able to go back in time to reach those two people in the room where no one celebrated her birth, but I can show Amelia how many people celebrate her life.

I will fill the rooms with balloons and shout to the world from the rooftops that this, this was the day that my daughter, Amelia Grace, the Warrior Princess of the Bells, she arrived.

And nothing, not one damn thing, has been the same.

Then I will sit back and watch my daughter giggle and snort and dash about, her curls bouncing merrily as she chases her balloons; her life finally, at long last, celebrated.

Baby Pictures

123 Comments to

“The Room Where No Balloons Floated”

  1. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:34 am BigP's Heather Says:

    Wish I was local so I could come celebrate!! Anything I can do to help from here?

  2. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:36 am Jana A Says:

    I think you should follow through with a princess/candyland party. With so many pink balloons filling your ceiling you think you might throw up from the pinkness and bounciness. She deserves it. YOU deserve it. You ALL deserve it. God I wish I could be there!

  3. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:37 am briya Says:

    Oh. If I were there, I would totally come to the birthday party with sparkly things. <3

  4. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:37 am Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] Says:

    She is alive and well.

  5. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:38 am Rita Bell Says:

    YES, she must have a party – with lots of things that make her eyes go wide and her mouth form an “O”! Have you decided on a theme? What is she “in” to? You know we will help you throw the best party ever.

  6. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:39 am Katherine Stone Says:

    Oh my gosh Aunt Becky. What a post. I’m so sorry you have to re-experience all of that fear and anger. I can only imagine how hard it must be. Let me know what I can do to help with Amelia’s birthday. Planning, ideas, support, whatever. We’ll help you get through this.
    Much love.

  7. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:39 am Becky Mochaface Says:

    I’m not local, but I’ll be celebrating in spirit.

  8. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:39 am Kristin (MamaKK922) Says:

    Awww I wish I could hug you and her that girl in that room. I have been there. Different circumstances. I know the rage and the fear and the sorrow. Different reasons. But I love you and I love Amelia. I wish I was local. I would be the first one there to help!! But if you need any email help or support you know where to find me I think LOL. We are BFF’s But I am serious. I will help in anyway that I can. Maybe a butterfly theme because it is a rebirth of sorts just like your Phoenix. And That is Amelia and damn I love butterflies LOL.

  9. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:40 am Pam Says:

    You and Amelia deserve a room full of pink balloons and lollipops. And ponies real and pretend. A freakin parade and a 10-piece band. A separate cake for messy faces. Toasts and happy dances.
    A huge, kick-butt celebration of her life. Wish I was there.

  10. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:42 am Andie Says:

    Everytime you write about what you went through at Amelia’s birth, I want to hug my ladies extra hard. Thank you.

  11. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:44 am Kay Says:

    I don’t know what to say. I’m sure lots of people didn’t know what to say almost two years ago, too. I’m basically a stranger, someone you know on Twitter, who passes on food & bevie news. But I’m also a mother. And my son was a preemie, born less than a month after Amelia. Ryder was lucky, only spent a week in NICU and really, his NICU status was more a formality than anything else. He had minor respiratory issues in the first 24 hours, nothing after. I’m lucky. I’ve admired your quick wit and sassy posts but this one cuts straight to the heart. You’ve touched me and spurred me to action. I will be looking into March of Dimes volunteerism. It’s the least I can do.

  12. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:45 am Jennifer June Says:

    Not local, but celebrating with you from far far away.
    Make new memories for that January 28th.

  13. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:46 am Sunday Says:

    I wish we could all make the 4 hour drive to be there to celebrate with you. She and my CoCo could get together and compare notes on EI, I bet they would be great friends, as CoCo also finds fart noised hilarious! We will be with you guys in spirit.

  14. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:47 am Neeroc Says:

    I know it’s easy to write these words from hours and hours and a country away, but hell, if I was remotely close to you I’d be your bitch for getting Amelia’s birthday celebration together! I love throwing a party. And beautiful little princesses? Well they have a special place for me. You NEED this party, she’ll love this party. Start building a day of sparkling goodness. Not to forget, but to recognize and rejoice.

  15. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:50 am Babbalou Says:

    Just my two cents – remember the birthday girl might have some (strong) opinions of her own about how to celebrate her birthday. Perhaps she’d prefer shoes to balloons? I can totally picture a room full of hot shoes and Amelia doing a happy dance around them! Best wishes to you both!

  16. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:51 am Lizzy B. Says:

    Happy birthday, Amelia.

    Becky, I have similar demons. I pray that you and I both defeat them someday.

  17. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:52 am Julie Says:

    What a beautiful and heartfelt post. This post hit my in the heart. My oldest son was born into the same kind of situation. Alone, terrified, and full of guilt, I could not even touch my son. It sounds like life is better now. Celebrate the day and your daughter, fuck the rest.

  18. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:41 pm Julie Says:

    Ahhhh, a neural tube defect. The my oldest boy has a neural tube defect as well but his diagnosis is myelomeningocele which is the most severe form of spina bifida. Three cheers and a shot of vodka for your daughter. The only way to kick it is in the ass!

  19. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:54 am Sasha Says:

    Lady, you do it. You celebrate that little girl. And if I were local, I would totally be there. Um, wait, where are you? Maybe I AM local? LOL

  20. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:59 am Amelia Says:

    Celebrate her life, celebrate YOU ALL lived through that gut wrenching time, and celebrate all the beautiful things that have happened since. Kiss that baby for me. πŸ™‚

  21. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:04 pm onecookieshort Says:

    I would totally come if I were in your area. You should throw a huge party. Not just to celebrate her birthday and her life, but also to celebrate how far you’ve come.

    And have tons of pink balloons.

  22. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:08 pm Josefina Says:

    I’m far away, but I want to help you. Send me email, or contact me whatever way–you know where I am! Just tell me what to do. Or if you can’t get that far, we’ll work it out. Love to you.

  23. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:10 pm Kori Says:

    You will psuh past the fear and pain and have the best party ever, I know this. And I wish I could come.

  24. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:24 pm Chrissy Says:

    Beautiful post, Becky.

    I hope you’re able to plan a real kick-ass party for Amelia. You BOTH deserve to celebrate.

    And if I were local, I’d SOOOOO be there!

  25. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:27 pm Melissa Says:

    YES! Celebrate – she is alive, and thriving. And you all got through it. I wish I could be there as well. But I cant. I will be there in spirit though!

  26. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:28 pm JenniferB Says:

    Oh aunt Beckster. I want to be there. If I had the money, I’d be on a plane for realz. My daughter would LOVE to come celebrate with her cousin Mimi. Since Miami is a fuckton far away, I guess we are RSVP’ing with “I wish”. But… I am one hell of an internet researcher. You tell me some general ideas for this kickass party and I will find some stuff to make it happen and we can have it all delivered to your door. Shopping with 3 kids, yeah, um, not so much!!! I buy almost everything on the internetz!!! Amazon Prime membership RULES!!

  27. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:31 pm Jennifer Simson Says:

    I wish I was there to help you plan-I love to plan themed birthday parties. Can’t wait to see how much she loves it.

  28. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:33 pm stacey@Havoc&Mayhem Says:

    I wish I could be there!

    A friend of mine had a reaction to something 24 hours after her daughter was born & spent 8 days in IUC swollen with fluid & they didn’t know if she would live or have brain damage or what. She ended up fine but was totally unable to celebrate her DD’s 1st birthday & had to make herself celebrate the second. She says she found it “soul cleansing’. I hope this does as much for you

  29. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:33 pm Tracie Says:

    A real party. A huge party. I think that is exactly what you need. (If I was local, I would come and help.) Those hard things are often the most healing, and exactly what we need. Also, she deserves it, and so do all of you.

  30. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:38 pm irant Says:

    I think your daughter deserves her second birthday party – a huge one.

    I think you deserve your daughter’s second birthday party too.


  31. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:45 pm ChristineMarie_ Says:

    I would just like to say “Screw you, Room! Amelia is gorgeous and moving forward without you!”

    Whew! I feel better. I think you should do it, too..that party will be the loudest “Screw you, Room!” ever.

    Philadelphia is local to you, right?

  32. On January 13th, 2011 at 12:53 pm Jenni Williams Says:

    Dude, I wish I was close. There needs to be SHIT TONS of balloons. Millions. Love you.

  33. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:01 pm Brooke Says:

    Yes. Throw the best birthday party ever. For the both of you. And take pictures and post them of you and your beautiful daughter having the best day ever!

  34. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:02 pm KC ( The Resident Bitch) Says:

    I am so proud of you. You have become such a strong woman and your kids are going to be so proud of you as they grow older for all the brave things you have done. You will make Amelia’s birthday absolutely perfect, because that is just how you roll.

    I wish I could celebrate with you in person but maybe we’ll have our own mini celebration here on the west coast and I’ll send you a picture or two because it’s totally worth celebrating and doing it up right.

    You’re amazing Aunt Becky, I love you.

  35. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:03 pm Stacy Says:

    There should be a pony. You can’t have a shit ton of pink balloons without a pony.

  36. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:05 pm Kathy Says:

    I’m far away, but I’ll attend your party in spirit! My daughter was born premature, and her first birthday was more a very private anniversary of the worst–and best–day of our lives. Reliving the trauma completely overshadowed taking silly photos of her smashing cake. Especially because I couldn’t help thinking about how this was all months too soon.

    Because she’s on the spectrum, other kid’s parties have been overwhelming for her. But, this year she wants a party of her own, so by golly, she’s getting one. (With a quiet room where she can escape the noise.) So, Aunt Becky, we’d be honored if you attended Claire’s fourth birthday party in spirit. It’s in February, and the theme is going to be “wishing stars.”

    And, I’m happy to tell you, after four years of time passing and excellent therapy, her birthday is now just her birthday, and not the anniversary of the emergency c-section and the beginning of the NICU. Last year I actually forgot about her due date birthday!

  37. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:05 pm Sarah Says:

    I’m glad you want to throw the party. I’d be happy to help in anyway I can. The time my baby spent in the NICU was the hardest time in my life. I hate driving past the place, even now, 2.5 years later. It doesn’t help that he has had 3 hospital stays in the past year at the same place.

  38. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:07 pm Alyssa Says:

    If I lived close to you and the sassy Ms. Amelia I would be there in a flash with gifts for her.. and you, our (just as sassy) Aunt Becky because hell you deserve them too. Since I can’t though, I will be here dancing and celebrating the fact that Amelia has given a huge middle finger to the world. Plus that gives me another excuse to go eat a cupcake.. not that I ever needed one, but this way it doesn’t make me feel like such a fat ass.

  39. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:12 pm Kathy Miranda Says:

    Big Hugs, Becky! Plan that party! Go all out! Make it a pink pony princess extravaganza and tell the universe it is #1 (the way we say we’re flipping the bird in my house)!

  40. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:14 pm Amanda Says:

    She deserves a party. You deserve a party. Have a joint party πŸ™‚ There are some REALLY cool things to do with a Candyland theme! You could do paper cutouts like the road on the board game all throughout your house! Also…let her pick which Candy Land Character she wants to be (you’re obviously the Candy King…er….Queen). I really wish I was local because I’m obsessed with birthday parties!!!

  41. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:23 pm Berserk Father Says:

    I don’t know much about throwing parties, but I really wish I was still living in Milwaukee. I would totally have drove the clan down to party with you and yours. We would hokey-pokey our asses off and laugh until everyone’s sides hurt.

    Play all the classic party games. Make the parents and adults all dress up. Get everyone really into it. Breath. Laugh. Cleanse your soul.

  42. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:28 pm Alicia Says:

    My heart breaks for you. I have tears rolling down my cheeks. I can not even imagine how difficult this is for you. You are so dead on when you talk about ghosts. We all have them. Some are more haunting than others. But there comes a time when they need to be locked away and forgotten about. You need to have that party. I really believe that in some way it will be healing for you. Amelia will love it. But in the end it will mean more to you. Do it. Don’t look back. Plan the best birthday party you can. Do it for you. Do it for Amelia. And if I was local, I would bring more balloons than you could count.

  43. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:38 pm TheTameOne Says:

    Indiana will party Pinkalicous style for Miss Amelia! You both deserve to party like princesses. ?

  44. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:41 pm Mel Says:

    And a kick-ass party it will be. Wish I was closer, so I could help celebrate her day in person, but I will celebrate it in spirit here.

  45. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:44 pm Melissa G Says:

    I think you both need this party in a really big way. Think of how far you have both come since that day in that room … how different you both are and how much you have grown. I wish I were local … I would come bearing goofy goodies for both of you, come early to help you set up, even keep you company as you shopped if you wanted.

    Have you asked Amelia what she would want?

  46. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:47 pm Melissa G Says:

    Just wanted to add (b/c I’m not sure if she is verbal or not) but what I kind of meant in my head is that it would be fun to take her to a party store and just have her have fun … point at things, pick out silly stuff. Go ape πŸ˜‰

  47. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:47 pm Lauren Says:

    I’m sorry that you felt so alone after Amelia’s birth. I hope you know that you’re not alone now. EVERY child’s birth should be celebrated. You and Amelia deserve this party. And you both need fucking tiaras.

  48. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:53 pm Marie Says:

    You BOTH deserve to have a BLOWOUT! Those people in that room have gotten their prayers answered, and their wildest hopes come true: your baby is WELL and WHOLE. The WHOLE thing needs to be celebrated. You can use the excuse that at one, she wouldn’t have remembered and you wnted her to have a party she could (potentially) remember. OR you could have a party on the day you found out she was going to be ok, Maybe on the day of her surgery?

    Sort of unrelated but when my dad was dead a year, we had a “Dad is Dead a Year” party. We invited every he love, ate food he liked, watched football and Young Frankenstein and played cards. It was a blast. Honor the things you can! Love, Me

  49. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:55 pm Ali Says:

    Of course that little rough neck needs a huge party! And depending on if I can still travel at that point we will make the drive to help celebrate!

  50. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:55 pm Ali Says:

    Of course that little rough neck needs a huge party! And depending on if I can still travel at that point we will make the drive to help celebrate!

  51. On January 13th, 2011 at 1:57 pm Aimee Says:

    I’ve just ready Amelia’s story over the last few days and through many tears and many “I don’t know how the hell this woman did this”es, I came to love you more, and Amelia as well. (Plus the Daver, because who doesn’t love a guy so enamored of his baby girl?) I wish I could go back and hug that woman too and tell her how fucking amazing she is and will be. xo

  52. On January 13th, 2011 at 2:10 pm Nic Says:

    I wish I lived near you. I would make her a kick-ass glittery pink b-day cake!

  53. On January 13th, 2011 at 2:10 pm Lauren Elyse Says:

    She deserves the biggest fucking birthday cake ever. You rock for surviving, as does she.

  54. On January 13th, 2011 at 2:11 pm Roomba Saloon Says:

    Becks, your pain is so poignant in this piece – my heart goes out to you. Those triggers that pull us back into the abyss are chilling. At times I’ve wondered if they lie in wait, forcing us to strip off our masks not to break us, but to remind us that we are made of steel and stars and hot rage and fierce love and every other blessing and blemish that make us uniquely human.

    I am so sorry Amelia’s birth day was not celebrated by Those Who Matter. I’m also sorry for the isolation and fear that engulfed you and rattled your foundations, then and now. But revisiting that time, those thoughts, and those fears mean nothing to the Present.

    Amelia, her bright light guiding you from new strength to new strength is Your Present. Because of her, you live a life you didn’t expect, full of everyday blecch and moments of AWESOME, and continue to fine-tune this dance to the music of familial love, acceptance, respect, and encouragement. Amelia’s IS a life worthy of Celebration. Streamers! Balloons! And AT LEAST a kick-ass CandyLand cake!

    I wish I lived nearby so I could help you with this, but since I’m not, I’m going to say an earnest prayer that the Angel Alliance you’ve requested appear. I believe they will. And I also believe you are one of the finest feral Mom’s I know.

    Keep kicking and cussing and make Amelia’s Happy NEW Memory happen!

    (Glyph of a pinwheel with sparklers spinning)

    – RS –

  55. On January 13th, 2011 at 2:13 pm Betty M Says:

    I will celebrate from across the ocean. She is a lovely girl and you are an amazing mother.

  56. On January 13th, 2011 at 2:14 pm Snarky Mommy Says:

    That’s my birthday, too, and I am happy to share. How about we pretend I am turning 2, as well, and not 37? My birthday theme is going to be Casino Night, since we’ll be on a kid-free snowboarding trip in Lake Tahoe. But, perhaps, gambling and drinking isn’t the best choice of theme for a 2-year-old’s party.

  57. On January 13th, 2011 at 2:16 pm Varda (SquashedMom) Says:

    Hey, Auntie,

    You know if I were a Chi-town girl like you, or made of money and could hop on and off planes at will, we would so be there to celebrate with you. You all have been through so much, I say take every opportunity to razzle your dazzle and kick up those heels in an explosion of pink girly fun. Cake cake and more cake, I say!


  58. On January 13th, 2011 at 2:24 pm Eileen @ Bringing Up Bronwyn Says:

    This is haunting. It is also amazing. Both you and Amelia have come so far in these two short years.

    January 28th is my daughter’s birthday. Her FIRST birthday this year. We will celebrate not only her birthday this year, but Amelia’s as well. I am too far to come celebrate in person, but just know Bronwyn and I will be on the left coast celebrating her life!

  59. On January 13th, 2011 at 2:32 pm Heather Says:

    Becky, I know EXACTLY the feelings of the lonely room. I keep remembering Penelope’s birth. All of the other rooms on the floor were filled with mom’s and their babies, but I was alone in my room, my precious girl upstairs in the NICU. I was so bereft.
    I wish I was closer Penelope and I would come to Mimi’s party.

  60. On January 13th, 2011 at 2:53 pm Marion Driessen Says:

    Becky, please give Amelia the biggest hug from me, all the way from Holland. If I were a local, I would definitely drop by, just to see your happy face on her birthday. I feel for you, both of you.

  61. On January 13th, 2011 at 3:12 pm Eliza Says:

    Aloha from the land of Orchids ~
    Your wish to hug and communicate with yourself and your daughter two years ago can happen, and is happening, by you writing this piece and sending that thought ‘back’ to them with all the emotions you’ve held at bay. Please appreciate that this is an emotional shock of two years time for you to heal. Better than those locked up for decades.
    If you want to step into a form of mental health assistance which produces results – look into NLP timeline therapy. Have used it to heal many aspects of my youth and life.
    I consider this another step into your return to *awesomeness*.
    Pink sparkly hearts with wings and sparklers to you always ~

  62. On January 13th, 2011 at 3:12 pm Becca Says:

    I, even though I am not a hugger, wish I was there to hug you or pat you on the shoulder and tell you that you and Mimi rock!! You rock hard, and you are both awesome!!

  63. On January 13th, 2011 at 3:19 pm Marian Allen Says:

    0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    / / / / / / / / / / / / /

    Know what those are? / Those are PINK BALLOONS!!

    HUGS all around! πŸ™‚

  64. On January 13th, 2011 at 3:24 pm Suzy Voices Says:

    You BOTH deserve the best fucking party ever!!!! Make new memories! Happy memories! With lots of exclamation points, apparently!!!!!

  65. On January 13th, 2011 at 3:38 pm Crystal Says:

    Your strength is amazing and look what a gorgeous daughter you made!! As for your daughter’s birthday I would rent out a party space at a hotel and throw a big bash with all the fixins! My Baby Diva was a huge surprise and one I never thought to have and every year this is what I do to celebrate the joy she brings me! And to remind myself the tempers are fleeting.

  66. On January 13th, 2011 at 3:39 pm daisybv2 Says:

    Maybe celebrate the day she came home after everything was over it might make things easier for you.

    When my son was born 3 months early on none other than Christmas night! Last year we decided to celebrate on the day he came home to the NICU and I plan on doing it again this year. We did sing to him on christmas and acknowledged the fact it was his bday but the big party will be march it seems to make things easier on me as I will always remember that christmas both happy and sad

    Hugs girl!

  67. On January 13th, 2011 at 3:41 pm Momma Chaos Says:

    2 days before my birthday.. hmm, we shall see what Mother Nature is throwing at us around then. If our world is not encased in snow & ice I will try to make the drive πŸ™‚

  68. On January 13th, 2011 at 3:45 pm Dora Says:

    Huge hugs for you and Princess Amelia. I wish we could come to her party. I would love to see our miracle girls play together. You both deserve a big, sparkly, princessy party! Have it catered, since I know the kitchen is not your forte. Much love!

  69. On January 13th, 2011 at 3:57 pm Bella Says:

    I wish I could be there but I hope you tell her happy birthday for me!!

  70. On January 13th, 2011 at 4:13 pm Mary Says:

    Yes, it was so unfair for this to happen to an otherwise perfectly formed baby girl. Not to know what the future would hold, completely unexpected, the day that you looked forward to for nine months. You had no way of knowing at that time, that she would be so awesome, such a fighter. inspiring so many others. Too much to ask of such a little one. But she came through. An amazing child. I bet you are so proud of her.

  71. On January 13th, 2011 at 4:25 pm txjennk Says:

    Like everybody else, I wish I was closer and I would so totally be there. Amelia needs pink balloons and lots of sparklies for her birthday. The 28th is on my calendar and in her honor I will be as pink and sparkly as I can get so I can celebrate with you and her in spirit.

  72. On January 13th, 2011 at 4:47 pm Amy Says:

    If you live anywhere near Wisconsin I would love to meet you. And to celebrate your beautiful daughters second birthday. <3

  73. On January 13th, 2011 at 4:55 pm Pademelon Says:

    I’m just some random person but if I was nearby, I’d totally help. You both deserve an awesome super-sparkly balloon-filled fiesta! You’ll get there though! You always do right by your kickass little girl. You always have her back. So, even if it seems overwhelming now, there’s no way you aren’t going to figure out how to get her what you think she deserves. Have faith in you!

  74. On January 13th, 2011 at 4:55 pm Purplejamie Says:

    Oh! I wasn’t expecting that. What is it about the ballons? I am right back there with you wishing for a blue balloons. My twin sons were born 12 weeks early and whilst one spent three months in special care, the other died the evening he was born. We were unable to celebrate the birth because of the loss but oh how I wanted to be a Mummy with balloons beside my bed!

  75. On January 13th, 2011 at 5:24 pm Jenni Chiu Says:

    May the balloons float freely at this party.
    Lots of them.

  76. On January 13th, 2011 at 5:24 pm Jenni Chiu Says:

    May the balloons float freely at this party.
    Lots of them.

  77. On January 13th, 2011 at 5:55 pm Chibi Jeebs Says:

    You will NEVER be alone, dear heart.

    If there’s anything I can do to help plan, let me know. Love you.

  78. On January 13th, 2011 at 6:05 pm blacklisted Says:

    Is that really your kid in the picture? I diiiiiiiig the facial expression!

  79. On January 13th, 2011 at 6:18 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    That is my kid. She was pissed the hell OFF.

  80. On January 13th, 2011 at 6:28 pm LindsayLu Says:

    Ah, Bob Saget, if I were local I would step in and show you how to swing.

    In the meantime, plan something awesome for Amelia (which is totally going to happen, dehr!).

  81. On January 13th, 2011 at 6:38 pm cindi Says:

    hope you all have a great day! that day is also my birthday, of course I’m old and don’t count them anymore. you will end up having a great party, great theme to go with

  82. On January 13th, 2011 at 7:22 pm a Says:

    What kind of planning help do you need?

  83. On January 13th, 2011 at 7:28 pm Kat Says:

    You sure as HELL will have a birthday party! With lots of pink balloons and whatever girly theme you want to have. And if you were within a couple of hours of me, I’d come to that party and bring cupcakes topped with piles of pink frosting and sprinkles.

    No more alone-ness. You and Amelia have Pranksters now!

  84. On January 13th, 2011 at 8:17 pm K A B L O O E Y Says:

    An absolutely beautiful, wrenching post. Party on, Becky and Amelia, party on.

  85. On January 13th, 2011 at 8:42 pm rachel Says:

    oh my sweet

  86. On January 13th, 2011 at 9:45 pm Gwen Says:

    You rock! Your absolute realness never fails to amaze me. Party on, my friend.

  87. On January 13th, 2011 at 9:50 pm Rumour Miller Says:


  88. On January 13th, 2011 at 10:12 pm Christine Says:

    You need to throw a party and celebrate your gorgeous girl.
    Give her a birthday full of balloons, lollipops. Celebrate today! Now! The present! The past will always be with you, but don’t let it define you. I got stuck once myself but was able to pull myself out with alot of help.
    I too gave birth to my son into a silent delivery room where there was no celebration, no elation, no joy.
    We watched in horror as the dr’s worked to resuscitate him.
    Grateful we were able to bring a baby home with us – every single birthday is a celebration of our beautiful boy and how far he comes each year.
    We don’t dwell on the day he arrived (thank you therapy!) and we know that almost all babies born in a similar manner are either stillborn or profoundly disabled. We know how lucky we are. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way…but most of the time – we know.

    I look forward to reading about her kickass birthday party!!

  89. On January 13th, 2011 at 10:25 pm LenettΓ© aka The Shitzizle Says:

    fly those balloons now! suck the marrow out of every moment!

  90. On January 13th, 2011 at 10:49 pm Gunfighter Says:

    Brava for Amelia! Brava for the courage and the strength of her mother!

  91. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:11 pm brett Says:

    just hysterical crying. i don’t know anything about Amelia, but that doesn’t matter. I just planned a bat mitzvah for my daughter for 175 people!!! Guess the theme…canDYLANd!!! Know why? My daughter’s name is DYLAN!!! I am here to help. Email me if you would like

  92. On January 14th, 2011 at 12:11 am phd in yogurtry Says:

    I’ll be at Amelia’s party in spirit, letting the pink balloons fly!

  93. On January 14th, 2011 at 4:06 am Tweets that mention The Room Where No Balloons Floated | Mommy Wants Vodka -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aunt Becky, Aunt Becky, Kay Marley-Dilworth, writewrds and others. writewrds said: I wish you a party/room full of balloons + joy. You both deserve it. RT @mommywantsvodka: This is what PTSD looks like: […]

  94. On January 14th, 2011 at 5:39 am seekingelevation Says:

    Yes, lots of pink balloons.

  95. On January 14th, 2011 at 6:25 am guinspeg Says:

    Happy birthday Amelia. And hundreds of hugs Aunt Becky. I’m partying with you in spirit x

  96. On January 14th, 2011 at 6:33 am Meg Says:

    Celebrate away Auntie Becky. You and Amelia deserve it. Wear those tiaras and don’t forget the fairy wings πŸ™‚ You need happy memories of Amelia’s birthday to balance the sadness and let’s face it January is a really long month and a little pink sunshine will do wonders in reminding all of us that spring is coming.

  97. On January 14th, 2011 at 6:53 am Jolie Says:

    Ok Aunt Becky, how many pranksters gotta tell ya? Hell yes you’re having a party! A kick-ass one that has anything you and Amelia wanna have!
    Rock on Aunt Becky, and show’em how it’s done!

  98. On January 14th, 2011 at 9:23 am Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points Says:

    I think only that people at the time thought the more they celebrated that little girl’s arrival, the worse it would hurt (and hurt you) if you lost her.

    Because we are flawed and often confused and don’t realize how our best intentions at the time are screwed up.

    But now, oh my woman, throw that rockin’ little girl a party.

    Let the wild sugar high commence!

  99. On January 14th, 2011 at 10:08 am Camille Says:

    I get it – I honestly understand – and now it’s time to move forward sweetie. The best you can. And knowing you – you’ll rock the ASS off this party!

  100. On January 14th, 2011 at 10:17 am leanne Says:

    And it will be the best damn party ever. Because your little princess will be there.

  101. On January 14th, 2011 at 10:39 am Miss Matched Says:

    Girlfriend…you throw that baby a party. Throw her the biggest, pinkest, most AMAZING GIRL PARTY EVER. Because she’s here, and she’s a dream of a girl.

    I can’t wait to see the pictures. πŸ™‚

  102. On January 14th, 2011 at 11:31 am Deanna Longo Says:

    Yep Live it up! I think a princess theme would be best… after all she is YOUR princess! Have the tissues close at hand, because trust me you will cry. It’s these small moments in time that you can never believe that she is just so “Normal”! My son (the one who had open heart at 5 days old) who is now 19 still makes me cry at the smallest of things. (Of course he looks at me like I’m an idiot, but hey! Whatever!) Enjoy the day to celebrate her – Someday you will show her all these posts and she will know that many of us out here in cyber world are thinking of her on her special day! Rock ok Momma Becky! And then when she finally crashes from the sugar high have yourself cocktail!

  103. On January 14th, 2011 at 11:33 am The Mommy Says:

    That sweet baby girl has been kickin’ ass since the day she was born. THAT is worth celebrating. Make it pink – as pink as you can stand it – and tell everyone who’s coming to wear pink. Heck, her brother already has a pink cupcake shirt, right? You’re set!

    But probably don’t make the cake yourself…Just sayin’.

  104. On January 14th, 2011 at 11:33 am KYouell Says:

    Oh, I would so be there.

    You’ve reminded me how lucky we were that we didn’t know about our son’s differences until he was 3 days old. We got to have the celebration. True, at the time we wallowed in how hard it was to call people back and tell them bad news about heart surgery and possibly Down syndrome (and then call again to confirm the Down syndrome), but we got that moment you missed. I’m sorry. All babies should be celebrated. They are all precious gifts.

    I haven’t done big treacle-y birthday parties for my kids, but that’s because I’m not naturally that kinda girl myself. I’ll do it up if they want it, but otherwise I’m all about lets tell stories and eat a bunch of food. Maybe Amelia is like me?


    I think you are on the right track and should give her the celebration that you all 3 deserved that day. And all of us from far-away will be celebrating with you.

  105. On January 14th, 2011 at 12:02 pm Amanda Says:

    so there is so much I can say in response to your post but, ugh. My brain’s a bit mushy. So just let me say I SO GET IT! When my youngest was born and had a 5% chance of living (being only 19 ounces will do that)I remember the craziness of the rest of my hospital stay (he would be in there for 143 more days). My favorite was when the hospital brought in the obligatory “you just gave birth- let’s celebrate” lunch for me and my husband. It was all set up like it was Valentine’s Day (which I hate anyway). Um, really? Celebrate? Fuck that. I did eat it all though cause trauma makes me starving.

    In regards to the birthdays, I made a vow to myself that if my boys survived (my oldest spent 109 days in the NICU as well. Yes, I have a problem. No, no one can figure it out) I would throw the biggest party every year for them. And I have. Take that, threat of death.

  106. On January 14th, 2011 at 5:53 pm Wombat Central Says:

    Your sparkly little Warrior Princess of the Bells should be celebrated with great pomp and circumstance. Yes, people still do paper invites, but you can invite them any way you choose. It that’s going to hold you up from doing it, do email invites instead. Just do it. I, too, wish I were local so I could help/attend. I’ll be there in thought. Can’t wait to see lots of photos….

  107. On January 14th, 2011 at 8:10 pm Mermama3 Says:

    You have an amazing little girl, and she has an amazing mom. I’ve often wished the same thing, as a PPA/D sufferer – that I could go back and tell myself I’ll survive, the baby will thrive, and everything will be ok. I read a quote recently that went something like, “Life is a tough teacher, because it gives you the test first and the lesson afterward.” Truer words were never spoken! Enjoy your little one’s celebration!

  108. On January 14th, 2011 at 8:27 pm Erin@MommyontheSpot Says:

    You and Amelia, you are survivors. She made it and so did you. Now? Now it’s time to celebrate all that you have made it through.

    And I love how you would say to yourself about taking all the broken pieces and making them into someone better. Beautiful.

    Geez, I wish I was local! Have yourselves a wonderful time!!

  109. On January 14th, 2011 at 9:36 pm Loretta Says:

    Your baby girl is a beautiful toddler and she was a BEAUTIFUL newborn. I wish I was local, I’d bring her tons of flowers and presents for her birthday. I hope you have a wonderful birthday party! If I had known of you at the time of her birth I would have been so happy to congratulate you and celebrate her arrival. I’m expecting a baby at the end of March and I can only hope that if something happens with his health I will handle it as well as you have. CHEERS! -Loretta

  110. On January 14th, 2011 at 9:47 pm mae Says:

    I was all full of deep thoughts and beautiful words of encouragement and solidarity, until I saw that she has a Christmas Tree Cake. And now I can only think of that Christmas Tree Cake and can you please just tell me that she did eventually eat the rest of the Christmas Tree Cake because those shouldn’t be wasted and I understand that parenting is hard but these are lessons you need to be teaching her Becky.

    Also CandyLand is an awesome theme and Piper’s 2nd birthday party was a million times more fun than her first. I wish your warrior princess acres of balloons.

    And I’m pretty pissed off for you that no one celebrated her birth in the hospital with regular balloons and flowers and stuff. WTF? That’s not right.

  111. On January 14th, 2011 at 10:38 pm Lauren Says:

    You must throw a party- not just for Mimi but for yourself. A child’s birthday is a celebration of the parents too. Ave’s first birthday party was more about us than her (except that we didn’t get any gifts, WHATEVER).

  112. On January 15th, 2011 at 12:45 am StacieT Says:

    I can relate. Sending hugs to you…

  113. On January 15th, 2011 at 10:03 am Karen Says:

    Is it too late to get an airplane ticket out to Chicago for the partay? Because I do a mean impression of a deeply annoying mime stuck in a box and the birthday presents I give are spectactular and NOT craptastic. If you can bring yourself to believe that I am not a weirdo or a stalker, or if you have a po box, and you send me your address, I will send Amelia something beautiful I made several years ago, that has been waiting for the right person for me to give it to. I think it just found it’s place.

  114. On January 15th, 2011 at 10:09 am Karen Says:

    No I’m not a robot…it was the plane ticket thing wasn’t it? Shit.

  115. On January 15th, 2011 at 3:18 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Are you kidding? OF COURSE! I’d be honored!

  116. On January 15th, 2011 at 7:52 pm Karen Says:

    Oh right, you need my e-mail…duh…

  117. On January 16th, 2011 at 10:14 am Nona Says:

    I love you and happy, happy (early) birthday to the beautiful Miss Amelia.

  118. On January 16th, 2011 at 12:08 pm Courtney from FL Says:

    Just started reading today…I’m in love!!! My son shares your daughters birthday, yay, for our celebrating our babies birth!!

  119. On January 16th, 2011 at 1:49 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Your son is CLEARLY awesome.

  120. On January 16th, 2011 at 3:48 pm Vanessa Says:

    A birthday party is not only for your beautiful lil’ girl … but for you. At some point you have to start celebrating that day that you were handed a shitty hand of cards but instead of completely crashing & giving the fuck up … you played the hand dealt & showed that dealer who was boss. You took the hardest thing any parent would ever have to deal with & made not only a place for YOU to go to for strength but you have built an entire city of ‘pranksters’ that depend on you for telling them how to be strong. Go ahead celebrate that ass kicking you gave that hand you were dealt. If I were local I would totally be there to celebrate not only the birth of your daughter but the birth of a strong woman who was picked to raise that daughter.

  121. On January 26th, 2011 at 9:51 am tobacco brunette Says:

    Celebrate! And there should be wine, as well as juice boxes. I feel that’s appopriate for the first three birthdays.

    Oh my god, yeah. That Room. I had one, too. We were the room on the floor where the door was kept closed and the nurses entered with grim looks or avoided eye contact all together. All around us, celebration was going on and I was sobbing my eyeballs out, convinced that a teeny heart with so many things wrong with it could do nothing but give out.

    Now we celebrate Warrior Day – January 14, the anniversary of my son’s open heart surgery – with a cake and balloons. But back in those early days in That Room I could never have imagined that there’d ever be celebrating of any kind again. Dark days indeed.

  122. On February 6th, 2011 at 12:23 pm NJames Says:

    Goddamn, I felt this one. Good post. You can see what my wife and I are dealing with here:

  123. On February 6th, 2011 at 12:25 pm NJames Says:

    No robot, just a fan!

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