Monday, August 17, 2009

My Golden Girl

On August 17, 1980, a beautiful little girl whom we named Anna Christine was born in Lancaster, Ca. I cannot describe the excitment that I felt as she was placed into my arms. We had prayed so long and so hard for this little baby and Heavenly Father blessed us so much. Anna was our 5th child. She joined a family of 2 sisters and 2 brothers.
Before I became pregnant with her, I had a very spiritual experience such as I had never had before. We wanted more children and had been praying for that, but at the moment I was still nursing her older sister. One evening as I sat in my rocking chair nursing V, I heard a very distinct voice in my head that said, "You need to stop nursing so that you can have a new baby." I was so surprised to hear that. I was really enjoying my little V and was not quite ready to stop nursing. The next evening I heard the same thing. "You need to stop nursing because there is a baby waiting to come to your family." Well, I knew I better listen to that voice. I stopped nursing and as soon as I could I went to the dr. to have my shot that I needed in order to get pg. That very month, I became pregnant.
Sunday the 17th, I woke up very early feeling kind of unusual. I was having contractions, but they were not regular. In fact I had been having contractions since the previous day. I was not sure if I was in labor or not. I just didn't feel quite right. We decided to stay home from church and see how things went. By late afternoon we decided to go to the hospital. My friend, Judy, came over to help with the kids and we left. I was admitted and continued to labor in the hospital. Late that evening, the dr. came in and said that he was considering a c-section but because I was "a proven birther" he would hold off for a while longer and see if I would deliver naturally. About an hour later this sweet little baby made her way into the world. I had no anesthetic of any kind and even though she was my biggest baby (8lbs 7 1/2ozs), I did not have an episiotomy, did not tear, and had a great delivery.
Anna was a beautiful baby and has grown up to be a beautiful young woman. I always have called her my golden girl because everything she does, she does exceptionally well.
When I was teaching V how to read at age 4 using Teach Your Baby How To Read we had this fun experience. We were visiting my parents in S.F. and I brought out all of the flash cards so that V could show off how well she was reading. She did perfectly and when she was done, we heard a little voice, "Can I have a turn not?" I showed A the flash cards and she knew every single word. She had learned just watching her big sister. We were so surprised.
I had tried to teach each of my children to play the piano and some of them do alright, but it was Anna who really took off. She took lessons with me until she knew more than I did and I had to get her a real teacher. She practised without being told and she is a beautiful pianist. She accompanies people, plays at church, and can play beautiful classical pieces as well as modern.
She went to BYU Hawaii on scholarship and graduated with the highest GPA of her class. And, she did not take easy classes. Her major was Information Systems and she minored in Math.
Anna is a great photographer. When she took pictures of her sister's wedding and the bride went to get the pictures printed, the store did not want to do it because they said these were professional photos and they could not copy them.
She makes beautiful cakes, does (cuts, colors, styles) hair. Whenever there is a big event coming up, you can be sure there are lots of girls who want her to do their hair.
Anna has had her share of difficulties in life. When she was in her first semester at BYUHawaii, she became very ill. The doctor phoned me and said that she was in the hospital. By the time I got there 2 days later, she had already had 3 blood transfusions and was critically ill. It turns out that she had ulcerative colitis. She was in the hospital for 5 weeks with no food or water by mouth. She had a central line through which she had all the iv's. The dr's had written in her chart that she was terminal.
One sunday a few weeks after I had been with her, I went to her stake conference. The one presiding was Elder Collister. At that time he was an area authority over the Pacific Rim Islands. He is now a general authority. The conference was great and after I went up to talk to him. In the conversation I told him that my daughter was sick, but that she was in the hospital. He asked if he could come and visit her. That was my secret wish and of course I said yes. The hospital was an hours drive from the campus and I had told Anna that he was coming. But, as the day turned to night, he was still not there. We decided that he probably had too many meetings and could not make it, but about 9:30 or so, he did come. He came with the Stake President and with his son, a brand new returned missionary from the Irish mission. They came and visited with us and then he asked Anna if there was anything he could do for her. She asked him for a blessing. After talking for a while longer about the priesthood he and the other 2 men placed their hands upon her head and gave her the most awesome blessing. I knew at that time that she was not going to die, but that she would live. And live she did! We are so grateful for her and for this great blessing from our Lord.
After graduating Anna married a great man, Amadeo. We love this wonderful guy. He is smart, funny, kind of loud, full of energy, kind and very supportive. She chose well.
Throughout the years she has suffered greatly with this disease and had to be hospitalized numerous times. She finally had to have her colon removed in a very serious and difficult operation. This has caused her fertility to go down over 30%. She ended up developing some kind of endometrial cysts which also had to be removed and then the drs were were not sure if she would ever get pregnant. However, because of some very wonderful blessings, she is now expecting her first baby. We are all so thrilled.
I love having Anna as my daughter. She is every mother's dream daughter.
Happy Birthday my little golden angel.

Anna in yellow with 2 of her sisters, TxMommy and UtMommy.

Anna with 1 of her brothers.

6 of our children. One of our sons couldn't be there because he was on vacation out of the country with his family and one of our girls is with Heavenly Father.

Anna with her oldest sister TxMommy.

Anna with Amadeo and their first baby Zoe.

At a baby shower where each guest decorated a onesie.

At the beach with UtMommy in the white sweater and her brother Michael. In the back are 2 of the Anderson girls, Alisa and Sabra.

I am a very blessed woman. I have a great family. My husband is awesome and so are my children. Luckily they have married wonderful spouses. I wouldn't trade any of them. They are good to my kids and they are good to me. I love them and thank the Lord for each one of them.


Yvonne said...

What a wonderful story--thank you so much for sharing something that is so sacred.

You truly do have such wonderful children. I have had the privilege of meeting two of them. (One day we will meet ; )

Love all the pictures. I am so happy that she is having a baby.

Happy Birthday.

Anna said...

Thank you!!

Connie said...

What a beautiful woman! I love your story, I have one very similar to that!
I hope she has a happy birthday and that all goes well with her pregnancy!

One For All said...

AWWWWWW! I love your Golden Girl too! She is best friend and I thank God for her in my life! Love you too! Thanks for sharing her story!

Shuldberg's in Texas said...

What a beautiful family you have! Congrats on the new grandbaby!!

Robin said...

That is so neat... Im so happy that she has a cute baby on the way. You are a lucky grandma... And so are your grandkids.. I love and miss you.

Nancy Face said...

I am all teary eyed after reading this wonderful post.

Joan said...

Natalie, I loved the story about hearing a voice tell you to stop nursing because you had another child that needed to come. I found it very uplifting. Thanks for sharing that with the rest of us. You have a beautiful family. It is very apparent that the Lord is smiling down on you and your family.